The Dubai Museum was the most succinct lesson in the emirate’s history I saw anywhere in Dubai. There were lots of neat dioramas, but one of my favorite features was the architectural parallelism implied by the spiral ramp I walked down to get to the museum, and the spiral ramp I walked up to get down.
The spiral down focuses on a mobile of seagulls over an inlet–Dubai before people lived there. It’s quiet, cool, a little desolate and a little shabby.
The spiral up is out of the gift-shop, past a hundred or more tourists talking a babel of languages (I heard tours in Japanese, German and Arabic, and chatting in Hindi and English).
The gift-shop sold Petrushka dolls of Emiratis in cultural dress, jingling bead necklaces, and stuffy-camels. This is my favorite:
I could probably make the video upright, but don’t you ever feel like the world is sideways?
“God never tells us in advance whether the course we are to follow is the correct one.” Albert Einstein