Dubai is famous for being the city that grew out of virtually nothing and to do it at breakneck speed. And it's true, it's still growing. In the past two-and-a-half years that we've been here, so much has changed. Whole suburbs have sprung up. Whole suburbs have disappeared with a shopping district popping up in its place. Skyscrapers have grown in front of my eyes in what seems like time-lapse mode.
After we returned from our Christmas break in Sydney, I was astounded to see that major roads had changed, buildings had grown, hotels had opened and I even had to ask myself if that speed bump had always been in front of my home (it hadn't). I was only gone for three weeks.
This morning we headed out to the desert. The kids were filled to the brim with energy that needed to be released and the weather, well the weather is bang on perfection.
We drove out and marvelled at the new road. The new housing developments where not long before had been empty vast desert dunes. There were cars, lots of cars, and bikes and people. Our little spot where we used seek a little solitary time away from the hustle of the city looked like it had been discovered. The first time we went out there I was worried we'd get lost, no chance now with the three-lane road, freshly painted lanes and gleaming road signs. Who knew our little track actually had a name!
It was still beautiful out there and it's still easy to feel like you're a million miles from nowhere. The distant rumble of a plane, but usually just the wind blowing across your ears is all you hear. The coolness on your feet as they sink deep into the dunes. The blueness of the cloudless sky contrasted against the beige of the sand. There really is no place like it that I've been. So tranquil.
The best bit is there is nothing that sucks the energy out of a kid than a couple of steep sand dunes. Somehow it's the opposite for me, being out there re-energises me.
It's funny, even our little spot in the desert looked different. And it wasn't the new road or the signs. The winds shift the sands and the dunes are steeper and closer together than they were last year. The winds of change definitely blow across this country.