Posted by: 7bibti | 2010/01/03

Ahlan wa Sahalan

ahalan everyone!

My name is Nicole. I am a senior at ASU majoring in Global Studies and Arabic. I graduate in May, but I am planning on pursuing graduate school next fall.

I enjoyed reading everyone’s post and getting to know everyone’s story a little bit more. It seems like we have quite a diverse group, which makes things interesting.

Going off of our last meeting, I think our diverse agendas will make this trip a very rich experience. While in Dubai, I intend to look at religious activism of women and the youth.

I look forward to our trip and getting to know people better.
I love Emirate and am eager to return there.

Posted by: 7bibti | 2010/01/02

Day 6 – Abu Dhabi:Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Masjid is a place I have wanted to visit for a very long time. When I was in UAE in 2008, the masjid was still in its construction stages and I was not able to go inside. I was elated to know that it was completed and requested that we visit this masjid when traveling to Abu Dhabi. Now, I am infinitely happy that I did.

There are many things in life that humble me, but I don’t think I have ever been able to say that a building moved me so much that it humbled my soul. Just recalling the experience of touching the walls and gazing up to the ceiling stirs something deep inside roohi (my spirit/soul).
The elegance of the building is unearthly, every corner and detail is perfected and seemless. Although millions of dollars of gold, silver, and precious stones were utilized to create the intricate details, it is not the glamorous side that is so striking for me – It is something else entirely.

Posted by: cherbst | 2010/01/02

Day 6: Obermeyer Faust Design Firm

While in Abu Dhabi, we visited an architecture firm called Obermeyer Faust.  They are based out of Germany, but do work in the UAE. Two of the architects, one from the U.S. and the other from Germany, sat down with our group to talk about design. They showed us one of their most recent projects- a hospital in Al Ain.

This meeting was actually more interesting for me than I thought it would be. I asked quite a few questions. Their design was really great- they built atriums throughout the hospital so that every patient room has a window for natural light- the atriums also allow for shorter hallways. The rooms are designed so that most medical equipment can be hidden. Which is less stressful for patients because they aren’t assuming that all the equipment will all be used on them.  Based on the animations, drawings, and renderings they showed us, it is definitely a hospital that I would love to work in. The other neat thing is that Muslim culture influences the design. For example, the rooms are much larger because their families are large and they all come visit when someone is ill.

They explained that the labor and delivery rooms have an extra sitting room attached to them for family and there is a lot of space for flowers. I was very impressed because hospital rooms in the U.S. are built to the minimum standard because space is money.  But here they allow for the extra space because it will help their patients feel more comfortable and hopefully aid in the healing process.

Posted by: Rebekah Zemansky | 2010/01/02

Day 6 – Abu Dhabi markets


I think few things taste as good as a chocolate covered date.

Fruits & Vegetables

The fruit and vegetables in these stands were so many beautiful colors.


This is a place of truly… amazing… smells – for people with strong stomachs only!

For the rest of the Abu Dhabi pictures, click below…

Abu Dhabi (January 2010)
Posted by: stacey | 2010/01/02



Our first van stop this morning was at Sheikh Zayad Mosque in Abu Dhabi…. absolutely infreakingcredible. I may just be in love with a mosque. The structure was finished in 2007 and is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest in the world. It was built in honor of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the founding President of the U.A.E. The mosque is almost Taj Mahalesque in it’s magnificence and it just soars into the sky as you approach from the many freeways of the Emirates.

As a women visiting the mosque I had to dress in the traditional Hijab of the Islamic culture in order to go within the building. It was an interesting experience as I am not used to filtering myself and my appearance for modesty. I did struggle a bit internally, feeling confined by the dress… I am not sure my westernized personality could live an everyday life behind so many filters, but I do think it is important to respect the traditions and experiences of the local culture.

Posted by: nkunz1 | 2010/01/02

Day 6 – The Emirates Palace

Today we went to the Emirates Palace. This is the kind of place you see in movies; dramatic scale, gold ceilings, a harper, and a christmas tree about as tall as the Burj. The most stimulating element of the Emirates Palace was the art and architecture museums that we’re located inside. One particular component of the architecture museum that was unique to any other I have seen before, was the real conceptual models that we’re available to observe. The museum euphoria  defined our visit to the Emirates Palace.

Posted by: Rebekah Zemansky | 2010/01/01

Day 5 – Bab al Shams

For New Year’s Day, we slept in and rested a bit from a breathless week and a late New Year’s Eve of dancing, fireworks, and taxi chasing. Then we met up in the evening to go to Bab al Shams for an evening of food, crafts, and entertainment.

The food : amazing.

The entertainment : musical.

The crafts: intriguing.

Dubai at night

New Year’s Eve in the world’s most excessive city.  A once in a lifetime opportunity.  You, your friends, and hundreds of other rowdy ex-pats partying the night away at a waterside hotel in Dubai.  Enough said.

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Posted by: ajdewitt | 2009/12/31

Day 4: New Years Eve Dubai !

Our new years was as last minute as it gets, we literally found out the day before that we would be spending last moments of 2009.  After the fact it turns out from multiple sources its one of the hottest expatriate clubs to party at in the city. Who knew ! It was at Barasty Bar at the Le Meridian Hotel. The Hotel sits on the beach of New Dubai directly in front of the Palm Island. It location gave quite an impressive ambiance. It back drops against the empty sky scrapers of New Dubai that have a fake it till you make it attitude. On the other side has fabulous view of pristine beaches and the neighborhoods of the Palm Island (Palm Fronds).

Thousands of party-goers joined us on the patios and beach dance floor by the countdown and the DJ mixed eclectic electronic beats all night. By the end of the night our shoes were full of sand and our hopes high for the new year to come. Check out the skyline, totally full but the sad thing is the buildings are completely empty due to the credit crisis and Dubai’s roided building boom. At least they look good !

Posted by: nkunz1 | 2009/12/31

Day 4 – Emirate Hills / Ibn Battuta Mall

A lush green landscape is the last thing anyone would expect to see on the Arabian Peninsula. However, the Emirate Hills is exactly that. Named after Beverly Hills, the Emirate Hills property consists of luxurious villas, beautiful green grass, lakes, ponds, and a world class 18 hole golf course. Many students were under the impression that the Emirate Hills was a sustainable community; we quickly discovered it was anything but. Coupled with our visit to the Emirate Hills was our visit to the Ibn Battuta Mall. Created in celebration of the great 14th century explorer Ibn Battuta, the Ibn Battuta Mall was divided into section that reflexed the regions that he explored; China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, Andalusia. Experiencing the many different environments all contained in one building was fascinating, the shopping was not.

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