Total contrast — arriving in the hub of the Middle East

In the space of just a few hours bumping across the Persian Gulf, I went from Iranian gritty to Dubai glitzy as the dramatic skyline of the United Arab Emirates revealed itself amid a haze of heat and pollution. Inside the catamaran, the sickbags were being handed out – and filled – but I managed to squeeze out onto a small front deck where the warm ocean wind warmed my face, settled my stomach and lifted my spirits. I was on my way again and had made it to the Arabian Peninsula.

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