After sunset – when the glowing and dynamic Dubai awakes.
During the sacred month of devotion and discipline for the Muslims, tourists also have to show some respect to Muslim traditions, but nonetheless they begin to experience the most genuine atmosphere of a thousand and one nights.
When orange, lilac and pink streaks in a partially yellow and blue sky clearly steal all the attention of the people, they cannot even talk to their children. In Dubai, a moment like that is not ignored, but praised.
The call for prayer is always a magical moment, thanks to its divine melody that causes a strong feeling of peace and harmony of the humans with the entire Universe. This is also a magic moment because of the close interaction among the Muslims, when they search and find the voice within themselves, transmitting hope and energy.
Finally, the crescent moon begins to reign in the clear and starry sky. The great, modern and mirrored skyscrapers reflect the traditional tents in front of spacious houses of natural tones, reflect the party of light and ornaments on the streets and also reflect the joy of the worshippers for having managed another hard day of minor sacrifices during the holy month, apart from helping their families and the needy ones. Last but not least, their joy is caused by devouring a colossal meal, starting always with dates, lemon juice with mint, followed by Syrian bread, pates, sheep meat, and tons of candies.
The shops reopen offering hundreds of prizes and super discounts, the restaurants organize special set menus, the belly-dancers in their exotic costumes get ready for another busy night, the tourists do not know what to photograph first with so much to see.
The warm waves of the Persian Gulf Sea keep their eternal rhythm; and by the shores of the sea arm, known locally аs Khor, where the city of Dubai was born, hundreds of seagulls fly high and low among the mosque domes; the abbras – narrow water taxis – run back and forth in these busy waters; and old boats make their way to and from the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia.
Despite all the things that Dubai has to offer, there is only one place where its heart beats wild, and this place is the souq. Narrow, colored and perfumed alleys for its spices and for the sweet smell of shisha (water pipe), are taken care of by the skilled and always well humored vendors. The music of the Arab language mixed with other languages fills your ears with pleasure; the cries of the carpet dealers rolling them in and out are tiring but it is a part of the whole experience; the pride of the customer who has just bought an extremely expensive peace of jewelry, as well as the bargaining process itself, are studied by potential buyers and are amusing to watch. Mirrors, trunks, incenses, perfumes, fabrics, oil paintings… There are too many traditional items that can only be found at the bazaars of Arabia.
A stop for refreshment with the natives is a must and you will certainly feel welcome. Apple tea and music is part of the menu.
The night filled with the sounds, colors, tastes, fragrances and heat seems endless, but I finish it just a few kilometers out of Dubai in the absolute silence of the desert by the high and lonesome dunes. I feel complete and happy.
Luciana B. Veit