It was hot. We knew it would be hot, but we never felt heat like that.

You can see the heat. It rises off of the desert floor and enters your body until your lungs are like space heaters.

You escape it only through state of the art air conditioning systems, an industry that is only surpassed by the oil and tourism wealth that created the reason for us being there in the first place.

It’s the kind of wealth that only the wealthy can comprehend. The kind that buys fancy cars not because you appreciate a well made automobile, but because that well made automobile happens to be expensive, and you can. It’s the type of wealth that pays for a building because the architect wanted to experiment. It’s wealth that has vending machines filled with gold instead of soda, million dollar resteraunts that aren’t occupied, man made islands in the shape of palm trees, yachts that never leave their slips, and artificial oceans that accidentally created a cultural phenomenon.

You can’t really call the wave artificial; it is more real than the two foot slop most everyday surfers paddle around in at home. It is real enough for you to get an eerie feeling when you know a wave is coming, and it’s real enough to try everything you ever wanted to try on a surfboard. No, you can’t call the wave artificial, but you can most certainly call it surreal.

You can call almost everything you come across in Dubai surreal. The friendly, sometimes masked people walking down the street are surreal. The skyscrapers that twist like a pile of cocktail napkins that want to topple over at any minute are surreal.

The experience is surreal.