Another extended weekend ... I took Thursday off as well to link the weekend with Wednesday, December the 2nd. On this day, the UAE celebrated its 38th National Day. Despite the recent financial bombshell, festivities seemed to be going on as usual (as with life in general, apparently). But 2-Dec is not considered a day to scrimp anyway.
There was a parade of boats on the creek in the afternoon. Twin-hull racing powerboats Victory 1 and Fazza were there, along with abra, waterbuses, coast guard and various other public service craft. A few private yachts and commercial craft also made appearances.
Dressed in flag colors, I had a great dinner with friends at Noodle House (excellent laksa, but forgot to take pics)
The next day, I went to the Global Village, an annual multi-month expo for merchants from different countries to peddle their wares. The pavilions were certainly impressive, built in the popular imagination style of the country being represented, or featuring some architectural icons thereof. Some of the stage performances were impressive, and there was some decent food to be found.
Inside the pavilions, though, things were often less exotic. There were too few vendors of traditional or popular items UNIQUE to the countries, and too many trinket mongers selling cheap factory outlet products. This varied from pavilion to pavilion, but some of them were major offenders in this regard. Likewise, there were too many fast food restaurants and way too many generic karak tea stalls. And I could not find a single European country in the Europe pavilion (no, Turkey doesn't count). What's the point of going to a "Global Village" to find plastic kitchenware and a tub of KFC? If the organizers simply rejected all the merchants of miscellanea and at least 90% of the McChai stalls, more authentic sellers of real national products might be attracted to come there, along with buyers of the same.
Anyway, while it did not nearly live up to expectations, it was not a total disappointment.
An Emirati dance, one of the performances
Qatayef (Arabian pancakes) and Shay Zaatar (tea of thyme)
The day after next, I went out in the afternoon for some actual Emirati food. Few restaurants serve it, and it took some trouble to locate one. This one is known as Al Makan, and serves Levantine food as well. The one at the Dubai Mall also features a nice alfresco area for when the weather is good, with The Address towering nearby, and the Burj Dubai itself next door.
Yarish Soup (vegetable soup with crushed wheat)
Kabbouli Meat (a mild lamb biryani, with lots of lentils, raisins and cashews, served with yoghurt ... probably of Central Asian origin, but it was in the Emirati section of the menu)
Assidat Boubar (sweet mash of red pumpkin, a bit like pumpkin pie minus the pie)