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United Arab Emirates Trip from Feb. 18 to March 01, 2006 & March 04, 2006 (Transit)

To proceed to the UAE Journal.

Route Map through UAE. Covered approx. 3000km on the motorcycles.

Feb. 19, 2006. SKI HILL in Dubai.

Feb. 19, 2006. SKI HILL in Dubai.

We park in front of the old AL-FAHIDI FORT, ...

...which was build in the early 19th Century, and...

..thought to be the oldest building in Dubai. Figure that.

Across from the Al-Fahidi Fort (which now houses a museum) is our first view of a mosque.

We went on a walking tour through the old Dubai souq.

Compared to any other Middle Eastern Country ...

...this is the cleanest we would come across on our journey.

From the Souq we wander on to the DUBAI CREEK.

Locals take an abras (water taxi) to get across the Dubai Creek.

The Creek shore is lined with dhows from Kuwait to Mubai loaded with cargo.

For 40 Dhr we were chauffeured along the river by an abras (water taxi).

It is the way to see the old and new cruising inland on the Dubai Creek.

Everything is so very new to us...

... and it seems unreal that we are actually here.

A floating Restaurant.

Modernization of the country is inprocess to a scale that is unexplainable and...

... unimaginable if not seen with your own eyes.

Every road, every overpass, every gas station, every new building ... built with no limit on the amount of money spent.

Looking back at history, one can compare this to the ancient Romans or Greeks and ...

...the grandness of their empires.

Back on the waterfront...

...we check out the BASTAKIA QUARTER.

The Bastakia quarter displays some traditional windtower houses.

This area shows how Dubai ancestor used to live.

A traditional Bedouin tent, which is still used in remote areas of the desert.

These windtower houses were once the homes of wealthy merchants from southern Iran.

These windtower houses were once the homes of wealthy merchants from southern Iran.

The only surviving piece of the old wall built in 1800AD. It used to surround the old city.

A old sailboat on display and in the distance the minaret of the Grand Mosque.

Our last stop for the day is the Dubai Museum in the Al-Fahidi Fort.

Our last stop for the day is the Dubai Museum in the Al-Fahidi Fort.

View down the street from Jessica and Brent's home.

A gated townhouse/condominium complex/community for foreigners working in UAE.

We take stroll through the neighborhood.

Massive construction projects can been seen in the distance and an unfinished golf course built into the sand.

February 20, 2006. Downtown modern Dubai.

The famous Emirate Towers.

Signage in UAE is superb.

Our first stop of the day is the SOUK MADINAT JUMEIRAH.

One can't miss the grandness of this hotel overshadowing everything around.

In the background towers the famous BURJ AL ARAB HOTEL.

A canal winds it way through this souq lined with palm trees...

...and windtowers of the old time.

With a close up view one can see the helicopter pads and tennis courts high up.

It is all very picture perfect. ie. The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is lined with little shops for the rich and famous.

The hotel attached to the Souk Madinat Jumeirah can only be entered if you are a guest.

Our first view of the 8th wonder of the world...


This is way over the top, but it doesn't stop us from visiting the sales center and checking out the models of the finished product.

Walking along the sandy beach and looking out over the Persian Gulf.

And then we turn and look inland. The sheer number of construction projects is hard to comprehend.

Every direction we turn. It is difficult to believe that they can build so many large contruction projects all at the same time.

"Rome was not built in one day", but it does appear that the grand city of Dubai will be.

We stop by the Ferrari Dealership and check out the latest models....

...and of course there has to be Maseratis...and wait....

...the next building over is Jaguar...

Just before 4pm we head to the Le Meridian Hotel for the big moment.

By 4:30pm we were standing under a palm tree facing each other with Pastor Daniel exchanging our vows.

Jesscia, Brent and Marina stood by our side as witnesses and Ann and Angela the wedding coordinators looked on.

After the ceremoney we had pictures taken on the beach.

Officially married with a ENGLISH & ARABIC MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE...

...we walk together...

... into the sunset ...a new beginning...

...and one incredible honeymoon ahead of us.

February 21, 2006. The motorcycles had arrived the previous day...

...and they get unloaded at the Emirates Cargo.

We take the crates apart and assemble the bikes. Customs takes about a couple of hours. It was very easy and well organized.

We made it and are finally on the road.

Brent goes to work on his motorcycles, while we pack ours.

February 22, 2006. Finally on the road, we head south at Tarif to the Liwa Oasis.

A rest stop in the desert with a huge camel farm in the distance.

Sand as far as your eyes can see and a perfectly paved road ....

...winding its way through the desert. The next day we woke up to a sand storm and as we rode through it for hours, visibility was very poor and it felt like standing infront of a sandblaster.

Even looking into our rear view mirrow shows sand and more sand.

We reach the LIWA OASIS, which lies on the edge of the EMPTY QUARTER DESERT.

Its main attraction is its 350m-high sand dunes.

We followed the sign for the great dunes, which did not disappoint.

Temperature starts to climb to 42 Degree Celsius.

We set up camp in the desert...

...and now know where the expression of "IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE" comes from.

February 23, 2006. In the morning we watch the sun rise.

Our first Camel Crossing Sign (one of many to come).

From the Liwa Oasis we head north and then west to the Saudi Arabia border.

We take a room at the Saudi Arabia Border just west of Ghewefat for $33.00CDN.

February 24, 2006. This is as close as we can get to the SAUDI ARABIA border and turn around. The custom's buildings are in the background.

February 25, 2006. Blue sky greets us in the morning and we head for the old fort in Buraimi, which is adjacent to Al Ain.

Buraimi is actually part of Oman. Al Ain and Buraimi used to be separate oasis villages that were major crossroads ...

...for caravans traveling from the east to west and from north to south, between the Arabian Gulf.

We explore the old souk.

Adjacent to the fort is the old oasis...

...which definitly had seen better days.

We take a stroll through the oasis, winding our way through shaded palms, citrus, fig, banana and mango trees.

The oasis is full of cisterns, wells and mud walls, where locals take the occasinal bath.

In the distance another fort.

As we return to the motorcycles in the busy souk area we realize that Ruby had left the keys in the bike....

...the first real test for the Middle East people, nothing was missing and the bike was still there.

The United Arabic Emirate Flag.

From Buraimi we head north to Al Madam, in search of the famous sandfall.

The road into the sandfall was more difficult then we expected.

Due to the rain the sand had turned into a slurry of a mess.

We decide to go for it anyway, there was a few close calls and a lot of pushing and spinning tires.

Sandfalls are created as hardened sand breaks off and then flows down the dune.

As can be seen here and...

Out of nowhere suddenly we have a spectator high above in the dunes.

Our first picture opportunity arises...

...leaving a single track of footprints in the sand...

...Mike climbs to the top to get a better look of the surrounding area...

...and more sand ....

...greets his eyes as far as he can see.

A moment to reflect of what we had seen already. Sitting at the top of a sand dune.

Heading back into Dubai, we stop off at the BMW Motorcylce Dealership.

February 26, 2006. Our first real live camel crossing. Our passports are held up with the Canadian Embassy in Dubai, as they legalize our marriage.

We are unable to leave the United Arab Emirates and decide to head north east to the Musandam Penisnula, Oman.

Several reports had indicated that for the northern most tip of the Saudi Peninsula we do not need a passport....

...but they were wrong. We did have a beautiful ride and got our first few of the impressive Omani Mountains.

We head back to Dubai and decide as we fuel up to camp in the desert. A guy on a Harley Davidson Sportser stops beside us and introduces himself as Richard.

Within a couple of minutes we realize that we both know Dirk from Duesseldorf, Germany and Richard invites us to stay with him. Richard with his BMWR1150GS.

In his living room are parked two very shinny Harley Davidsons.

A VRod and a Custom.

This is a newspaper article from the morning Dubai paper. The stats on this didn't surprise us, as there seems to be no speed limits or safety belt inforcement.

Mike downloads pictures onto our laptop.

We decide to lay out our thermo rests and sleeping bag under the front yard Canopy of Richard's place.

We actually stayed with Richard, his wife Shijing and Mom for several days waiting to get our passports. We can't thank them enough for their hospitality.

February 28, 2006. Still waiting patiently for our passports, we head to the SHARJAH DESERT PARK.

A typical UAE yield sign.

The parking lot is overrun by tourist (not).

The Sharjah Desert Park introduced us to all the different poisonous snakes and spiders living in this area of the world.

March 01, 2006. At last we get our passports and head toward Hatta...

A mosque at the crossroad north to the Musandam Peninsula in Oman.

Mosques are everywhere, not only in town, but also along the road.

After Hatta we encoutner our first twisty road.

We spent March 01 to 03, 2006 in the Musandam Peninsula, Oman (See Oman Pictures) and then return to UAE in transit.

Late March 03, 2006 we set up camp by Daba by the beach.

What an incredible beach. No one or no body in sight for miles.

Undisturbed and peaceful.

March 04, 2006. We are after all on our honeymoon.

...and can't resist to play in the sand.

Looking inland, our campsite and the massive barren mountain range.

Just before al Fujayrah we come across AL BIDYAH MOSQUE, ...

The mosque is built of stone and mudbricks and coated in many layers of whitewashed plaster.

Not a lot of green plants in this part of the world.

An artistic framed picture.

The roof consists of four pointed domes and is supported by an internal pillar. It is unusual for religious architecture in the region.

The construction of the Mosque maybe as early as 1446 AD.

We explore each tower.

Inspect the construction of the walls and ceiling.

As always the bikes are park all alone in the ever so empty tourist parking lot.

A view over the oasis and mountain range.

The middle east is known for its beautiful wooden doors.

To enter the Mosques we have to remove our shoes and socks,...

...and Ruby has to wear a traditional dress, which was provided.

Inside the mosque, beautiful carpet covers the floor.

The mosque is still used to this day. Our final day in UAE and we head to Hatta for the border crossing into Oman.