Monday, September 1, 2014
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MSU Choir Middle East Tour – Day 7

Day 7 in Dubai, UAE:

Today, we traveled from Muscat, Oman to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.).  This was a seven-hour drive by bus, but quite enlightening to see the terrain of a foreign country.  Earlier you may have read about Muscat being in a volcanic bowl, thus all the mountains around the city.  The actual name for the volcanic rock is Ophiolite – you geologists may know this word. This is a section of the oceanic crust that has been uplifted and exposed above sea level and placed on continental rocks.  This type of rock is only found in three regions of the world:  Madagascar, Norway, and Oman.

We left the hotel at approximately 9:00AM.  We took many rest stops along the way to Dubai.  One stop had a large box lunch ready for the group, where the group ate on the bus.  We crossed the border from Oman into the U.A.E. not once but several times.  There was a huge mountain separating the two countries.  While waiting for our Passports to be stamped at the Omani border control, we presented our two exceptional guides, and drivers with gratuities from the group. We have travelled all over the world, and perhaps not had better guides.

As soon as we entered U.A.E., we noticed the landscape changed drastically.  We immediately saw several sand dunes, much like you see in the movies.  We saw opportunities for persons to rent all-terrain vehicles to have fun in the sand dunes.  We also saw the random camel walking in the dessert.  Yes, we were getting a hefty dose of Middle-Eastern culture, albeit in an air-conditioned bus!

When we entered Dubai, we immediately saw a skyline similar to New York City, with their landmark building – the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world at 160 stories and 2,716.5 feet high!

We checked in to the CityMax hotel in Dubai with a wonderful view of the City Skyline.  The check-in went very smoothly – with all guests welcomed by a welcome fruit drink.  This evening was time on our own to explore Dubai.

Many choir members went out to celebrate a fellow choir member’s birthday, who turned 21 today! Imagine spending your 21st birthday in Dubai!  Some people have all the luck!  I might just get in bed before 11:00.  See some our performances (via YouTube) from the Middle East below:

America the Beautiful

Over the Rainbow

Heal the World