New sea cards in hand we ventured out on our own to the Emirates Mall of Dubai. 5 stories high in places, a ski slop for some indoor skiing , an ice rink, aquarium, banks, laundry’s, and a grocery store. To many other things to list. There was a trail of small foreign coins behind us so we could find our way back to the taxi stand. Had lunch at Five Guys burgers. We are American and need burgers and fries to maintain our image. Paid with a strange mix of Dinars and US. We managed to find in a mall the size of Rhode Island a back scratcher, glue sticks, instant coffee, and badminton shuttlecocks for our room Stewart. They play late at night when the guests are off the court and theirs were pretty beat up.
1822 there just 800 people here and they survived by trading cultured pearls. In 1971 seven countries formed the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi as the capital. NE Shayah being the largest. Britain had withdrawn troops East of Arden in 1968 so this was the solution for these small Arab counties. I am writing this because now the population is at 3.1 million as of 2013. (depending on the guide you have). Only 15% are nationals and have citizenship. 50% are from India,5% Bangladesh, 25% PakistanI 5% other. There is a whole neighbor hood of Iranians with their own masque, hospital, and school. They all live together honoring each other’s beliefs and way of worship. There are churches here from almost every religion.
Now the interesting part, anyone can come here get a green card but must be employed with in 30 days or they are deported. Our guide has been here 26 years on a green card knowing he will never be a citizen and MUST work to keep the card. Citizenship is only for Nationals and to increase their numbers the King often pays for marriages between nationals to encourage population numbers. They sometimes have group weddings of as many as 24 couples. Woman will lose their citizenship if they marry someone who is not a citizen.
Warning strange topic change: Falconry is a big hobby here. The nomadic Bedouins as far back as 2000 B.C. used them to hunt for food in the dessert to survive. They also trained Hawks and Eagles. Nobility used them for sport and as a status symbols. The females are used more than the males. They tend to be larger and more aggressive. Imagine that! There is a Falcon bird hospital here and a bird beauty contest just like the ones for dogs.
It was pointed out to us today that everywhere is within walking distance if you have enough time.