Friday, December 17, 2004

Marina Walk

Funny how you can live and work in a place for a long time and not know about things that are practically on your doorstep. For example, there is a gigantic development area called Dubai Marina. It is right next door to Media City, where I am based.

The Marina itself is a huge water-filled hole in the ground, with wiggly concrete edges, and two 'canals' that link it to the sea. Around this hole they are building literally hundreds of residential towers. There are several developers working side by side on this, but the biggest single development is Jumeirah Beach Residence (36 residential towers and 4 hotels). So I've known about the Marina for a long time, but I've never really ventured inside until this morning.

The point of this story is that today we discovered a new 'thing' at the Marina. I don't know what you would call it - it's like a food-court but with proper furniture and service and without the mall attached. Basically it's an indoor walk that houses about a dozen restaurants, some of whom have seating that spills over onto the outdoor bits beside the water. There is a small Spinneys supermarket, and an A & E (booze shop).

And the most enchanting fountain I have ever seen. It comprises a low-walled central area that generates pulses of foam-capped water (like when waves hit a beach). This is surrounded by two concentric rings of water jets set into the pavement, and these squirt water into the air in various carefully synchronised sequences. Honestly, we stood there watching it for about ten minutes. And of course assorted kiddiewinkles were playing in it, trying not very hard to avoid being soaked.