United Arab Emirates Ryan J. Aragon

Last winter I was fortunate enough to spend time in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for work. The UAE is known for it's oil supply, knowing oil is a non-renewable resource the rulers decided to make Dubai (one of the 7 emirates) into a hub for tourist to allow the country to continue it's growth. During our time, it quickly became apparent that they take pride in creating the biggest, fastest, and fanciest things within their power. We spent several days experiencing the tourists side of the beautiful country.

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world standing at 2,716 feet. "Burj" translates to "Tower" while "Khalifa" is the name of the UAE president, also translated to "Successor".
On the 124th floor the other skyscrapers seem dwarfed. Below is also a boardwalk encompassing a man-made lake.
Using 31,400 metric tons of rebar to build, the Burj Khalifa officially was recognized as the tallest building in the world 16 years after excavation began.
At nightfall the Burj Khalifa reflected the colors of the French Flag, out of respect for the unfortunate events that occurred in Paris, November 2015.
At the base of the Burj Khalifa sits the larget mall in the world boasting roughly 1000 retailers. The mall is split up into atriums catering to each persons shopping taste.
In another atrium rests the elegant "Human Falls", a floor to ceiling waterfall.
The UAE is also known to have a supply of bullion, it was only right that we went saw what precious metals they had to offer. Here I am with a 5 kilo brick of silver.
News of the famed Dubai marathon taking place rang like sweet music in our ears. A few of my running buddies and I rounded up to go participate in the 10k event. In the distance is the Burj Al Arab, a luxery hotel and the fourth tallest of its kind in the world.
The beaches in Abu Dhabi (another one the 7 emirates) have white sand and turquoise water with a wonderful view of the skyline.

One of my favorite trips while in the UAE was to the Grand Mosque. Over $545 million went into the development on the mosque that took ten years to complete. A price tag almost seems non-existent as the breathtaking building was made mostly of things like gold, marble, crystal and precious stones.

The entrance to the Mosque boast pillars with pools of blue water in the forefront.
Once you remove your shoes and enter the Mosque, you are greeted by stones that protrude the walls on all sides.
Before entering the main prayer area, the clock on the wall is there to tell you the 6 times that prayer will be held for that day.
Walking into the main prayer area, the largest of 7 crystal chandeliers rest above your head from one of the domes.
The carpet is a 67,570 sq foot rug created with wool from New Zealand and Iran. There are many different designs, each unique.
The sun set perfectly behind the Mosque when leaving.
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