Dubai Expo 2020 part 1

Dubai Expo 2020 part 1

As I'm here for six months I thought I'd do some some regular posts during this period.

Arriving in Dubai for the first time one is overwhelmed by the buildings and freeways, a costal desert strip that has been transformed into transport arteries by kilometres upon kilometres of 6-8 lane freeways with clover leafs and more clover leafs all teaming with traffic, these arteries link together pockets of high rise and ultra high rise apartment blocks, offices and hotels, Dubai boasts around 120 5 star hotels. Most of the big players have at least one luxury hotel in each suburb. 

Like a scene from a science fiction film, here its all large scale, this is walkway into my metro station at the Expo, a new line was built for the expo to cater for all the visitors. This picture was taken when I arrived, before the expo actually opened, it's turned into a busy station now that the expo is open, especially after a long days work where we have to mix with the expo visitors, on the way to our hotel, standing room only, sardine style.

If we travel by car we arrive at the sustainability Gate dominated by "Terra" the Sustainability areas symbolic main pavilion. I haven't been there yet but it looks impressive with its solar tracking dishes. there are three sections to the expo Mobility, Opportunity and Sustainability: The Swedish pavilion where I am is a pretty impressive building, with the construction focus being as sustainable as possible and leaving as little a footprint on the environment. There is no concrete in the building, the structure including the foundations is all made of wood. Its like a giant tree house with offices, kitchen, conference rooms and diverse facilities built on poles.

And just to prove it, one of the supporting logs, all the way from Dalarna "central Sweden. Termite treated and built straight onto the sand. Theres another story about building on sand which is probably not as etched into the local customs here as in other countries.

No photo collection of Dubai would be complete with out a picture of the Burj Khalifa, this one taken in the early evening. Its tall I don't know how high "thank god for the internet look it up if you need to know" theres a cafe on the 120th floor and probably much more, the area is surrounded by shopping malls, hotels, the enormous Dubai fountain, branded restaurants, exclusive cars and the need to be seen in areas full of life, colour and people watching, the best time for visiting the area seems to be at night time.

Here I am at the beach, well by the water anyway, "kite beach", for kite surfers. Its a long walk across the hot sand, we westerners probably don't realise that muslims go to and enjoy the beach as well. I've heard the Adhan "the muslin call to prayer" in many countries but I can guarantee this mosque has the best sound system I've ever heard.

How was the beach? - hot 40 degrees, nice and clean as well both the sand and water, i think the water is saltier than in other places, it was a bit hard to know what to do, it was very hot in the sun but the water seemed even hotter, it was the only time I've worked up a sweat swimming, it is like taking a bath but the water doesn't get any cooler.

We've even had a bit of a sandstorm, looking out from the hotel pool balcony, theres no grass down there its all sand you get the picture, otherwise the weather has been hot, I just say its 40 degrees who bothers to split hairs between 38 & 41. We've had a storm threat as well forecasting rain! the local authorities took action direct, closing schools and all high rise work "without safety equipment". Dubai without guttering or drainage, it apparently gets a bit messy here with a little rain.

We are working as well, here we have our own fruit and vegetable delivery, in suitcases through the security. Such a complicated system of purchasing have I never seen, frustration, frustration, frustration. complicated by bureaucracy and labour intensive administration. Complicated further by our lack of any credit rating, "here we are representing a country and we can't buy a litre of milk" and a delivery checkpoint nightmare, but we are still working. more pictures next post.  We've opened up our kitchen with some clever menus "not mine my menus aren't this clever" the menus are representative of Sweden traditional Swedish produce and preservation styles.

There's lots of great food here in Dubai the locals are spoilt rotten with a wide selection of culturally correct and innovative restaurants and full focus kitchens most of the big hotels feature speciality restaurants with speciality executive chefs and cutting edge wow concepts, I'm looking exploring these over the coming months as well as eating my way through the expo.



  1. Thanks Neil, keep the posts coming.

  2. Thankyou for another very interesting post Chef! Keep’ em coming!


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