Madinat Jumeirah

Imagination is everything.

It is the preview of life's coming attractions.

Albert Einstein

How anyone could have imagined Madinat Jumeirah when they were faced at the outset with just barren desert is hard to comprehend.

It is one of the few of the artificially created experiences that works.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah outlook from Iftar tent

Arriving at Madinat Jumeirah you are greeted by a colourful camel announcing the international position of the emirate of Dubai in the world.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah international camel

More than a shopping experience in the reconstructed old souk, an opportunity to stay in luxury, or dine or meet friends in exotic bars, Madinat Jumeirah is a clever construction of what old Dubai could be – had it not been something quite different!

Madinet Jumeirah even has its own turtle sanctuary – and its visiting is like entering into a magic land of idealized Arabian delights.

The resort has been designed to take advantage of its waterside location.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah Water taxi dock

There are more than 5km (2.3miles) of artificially created waterways where traditional Emirati wooden ships are moored.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah traditional wooden ship

The Madinat Jumeirah wooden ships are more decorative than functional, unlike those of nearby Dubai Creek, which range from small Abras or water taxis, to sturdy sea-going freighters.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah waterside docks

But here in the man-made waterways of Madinat Jumeirah traditional wooden abras or water taxis (here electric powered) quietly moving people around the 40 acre complex.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah abra water taxi

There are luxurious hotels with marble floor gleaming coolly while outside the temperatures sizzle.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah Al Qasr hotel lobby

There are stunning views towards Burj Al Arab.

The contrast of the reproduction of traditional architecture of Madinat Jumeirah and the landmark Burj Al Arab shape that is based upon a wind-filled dhow sail seems to accentuate the apparent simplicity of each.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah lagoon

Where Madinat Jumeirah is a reproduction of traditional architecture... 

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah traditional wind towers

Burj Al Arab is ultra modern - a symbol of Dubai to the world.

This contrast seems to accentuate the apparent simplicity of each.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah with Burj Al Arab

Recreated traditional wind towers jut high above Madinat Jumeirah, with the Burj Al Arab seeming almost to hover behind them.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah wind towers nd  Burj Al Arab

There is traditionally designed fretwork over windows shades protecting against the extreme heat and glare.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah fretwork screen

Wooden pergola verandahs give a colonnade effect that draws you in welcome from the heat.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah verandah shadows

The arched lofty pathways of the Souk entice you in.

When I was there it was Ramadan and a Friday during prayer time.

With Friday being the Holy Day – equivalent to a Christian Sunday – this meant double quietness!

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah quiet Souk laneway

Madinat Jumeirah is exotic at every turn, from its lofty glass domes…

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah glass dome

…heavily patterned and decorated arches and domes…

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah arches and domes

…to the beautiful chandeliers.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah chandelier

The light in the Souk filters down in coolness…

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah airy souk archway

…and though it seems quiet – even then you might have to watch out for camels…

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah camels

The Egyptians have a proverb that:

When a slave mounts a camel

he wants to ride on both humps at once

I hadn’t previously coveted a camel, but found these soft toy versions appealing enough to invite one home.He resides with me still: doesn't eat much and smiles continually.

If you get lost in Madinat Jumeirah, don’t try using this reproduction of an ancient map in the ceiling to help you, for it maps an earlier Dubai Creek than that which we now enjoy.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah Al Qasr map of old Dubai Creek

In Madinat Jumeirah there seem to be lots of entrances…

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah Landing stage

…outlooks …

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah outlook over canals

…and quiet corners...

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah quiet verandah

…where, like the birds, resting on their migratory flyway which passes over the Emirates…

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah visiting sunbathing bird

…you can bask in the sunshine - or better, take refreshments in the shade of one of the beautiful bars of Al Qasr.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah Al Qasr Bar

Madinat Jumeirah is a photographers delight – with patterns everywhere – even those of the palm frond shadows.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah palm shadows

Whether you stay in the luxurious hotels of the complex, or just stop by for a shorter visit, Madinat Jumeirah will leave you with some wonderful imagery of an idealised Old Dubai.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah view of Burj Al Arab

As the writer Terry Brooks said of his own writing:

Fantasy is the only canvas large enough

for me to paint on.

I guess if you are a land which is suddenly transformed by incredible wealth when before the desert and its lore were all, you seek a big canvas on which to paint the fantasy of a life that may have existed only in dreams.

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