The Viagra Salesmen of the Dubai Spice Market

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Middle East, Somewhere | 3 Comments

Spice Market Dubai

“I was hoping you could put together a nice mixture for a chicken recipe,” I said to one of the vendors of the Dubai spice market, hoping to use the mixture to prepare a romantic dinner for my wife when I returned to the States.

This spice salesman didn’t look like his modest competitors, all of whom stood beside their barrels of pulverized cardamom, dried jasmine petals, reef-like pieces of turmeric and ginger, and appeared dressed for the mosque, whenever that call to prayer would echo through the city and pull them from the souk. Everything this young man wore–designer jeans, fashionable belt, black leather shoes, hair gel, and cologne–indicated that the combination of night and house music would be the only thing to get him to close up shop.

Read more

Dubai Islands

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Middle East, Somewhere | 2 Comments

View of City Across Gulf on Dubai Islands Jumeirah Island

During my trip to Dubai, I stayed on Jumeirah Palm Island. Most people are shocked when I tell them that Dubai has islands. Their surprise is warranted, since, just ten years ago, Dubai’s islands did not exist. Jumeirah Palm is manmade and sits in the Gulf in the shape of a palm leaf, with fronds and a stem that lead toward a crescent that is home to some of Dubai’s most luxurious hotels, including the Atlantis and the Rixos. Jumeirah will be the smallest of three manmade Palm islands, but it is currently the only one complete. (Deira Palm Island, which will be three times the size of Jumeirah and will become the largest manmade island in the world, should be ready by 2020, when Dubai expects to host the World’s Fair.) Read more

Dancing in Dubai

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Middle East, Somewhere | 1 Comment

Dancing in Dubai Spinning Dancer with Lights

You don’t need words to experience the beauty of dancing in Dubai. Here are a series of photographs and videos, in which I hope I captured the artful bellydancing and mesmerizing illuminated twirling that I experienced in Dubai. Read more

Snowboarding Dubai: Riding the Sand and the Shopping Mall

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Middle East, Somewhere, Surf & Snow | 2 Comments

Snowboarding Dubai in the Desert on a Sandboard

My favorite thing about travel is experiencing the unexpected. Snowboarding Dubai on two different terrains–sand and snow (remember this is a desert)–was one of the great ironies of this fast-growing city. Read more

Dubai Desert Safari: Bashing The Dunes

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Middle East, Somewhere | 2 Comments

Dune Bashing in the Dubai Desert Safari
The sand in the desert around Dubai looked as though the reds and beiges had been sifted together. They appeared as if someone had dragged their hand in the wrong direction across the back of a Tabby cat. All around us the dunes ascended and descended with graying desert plants dotting the land. The sun turned the sky hazy and ghostly. The hot wind erased the foot prints and jeep tracks we had just made in the landscape. Read more