Lands of Contrast: Greece & Dubai
Sitting at opposite sides of the spectrum, Greece and Dubai are what dreams are made of. And we mean that literally. Dubai was nothing more than a fishing village not so long ago. Talk about dreaming big. Athens on the other hand seems like a dream lost in a haze, wrapped in a vision. So different, yet so similar.
Greece needs no introductions to most people. The land of sunshine, feta and gorgeous beaches is a top 5 global destination with a reputation that far exceeds its small (by comparison) size. Greece is a combination of old and new, juxtaposed irregularly at times, yet with more authenticity to spare than its venerated temples. It’s developed and modern in the true western style, but it retains its eastern charm of not sweating the small stuff. You’re as likely to be enamored by your local grocer’s generous offering, as you are to be offended by the direct and often aggressive nature of Greek drivers. It’s an organized chaos that pulsates with life, particularly in metropolises like Athens and Thessaloniki. Island life is decidedly more tranquil, even in places like Mykonos and Santorini. But that’s not to say that you’re far off the unexpected.
Dubai by contrast is a place where life flows at different beats. Dubai is all about what’s modern and new. It attracts wealthy, well-heeled travelers to sample luxury that simply has no comparison; after all, this is where the only 7 star hotel in the world can be found.
And let’s just say that the way people party and have fun in Dubai is completely different to what you can possibly imagine. And we really mean that. Because we’re pretty confident that there’s simply no way that you’ve ever seen camel races with robots in place of jockeys (retrieve your jaw off the floor). And if you have, well done for you. Other activities that simply don’t exist in other parts of the world include dune buggy races, sand kite surfing, sand surfing and really any kind of activity that utilizes the sand as a way to have fun. Heck, you can ski inside the artificial ski center any time of the year. Diving with sharks is another thing you can experience. The beaches are there, too. You can snorkel and see underwater creatures and do some scuba diving. You can even drive F-1 cars.
Dubai is like a theme park for adults. A very cool one at that. The oldest building here is a few hundred years old at most. But that is the appeal. Just like other great metropolises, like Athens, it utilizes its space wisely, and incorporates the marine element into every-day life. People sometimes forget that just like Dubai, Athens is in fact a coastal city, with several thousand km of sandy beaches on the Athenian Riviera. Great cities think alike.