Unfortunately my Arabian Adventures have come to an end…..for now! The last few weeks have been truly amazing and profoundly affecting on me. I entered the UAE over a month ago with little more than a notion of what it was all about – and now feel as though I have had an amazing education as to the richness in experience this part of the world can offer. The most important thing I am taking back to the US with me are the new friendships & acquaintances I have been fortunate to receive while there. I can’t express how kind, generous, accepting and joyful these people were to me – it made my experience there truly memorable!
In the last couple of weeks there I was able to get in quite a bit of entertainment and exploring that were well worth the effort. From the fabulous Burj Al Arab to a desert safari to souk shopping and shisha culture – lots of new places and experiences; and I still haven’t done Ski Dubai! Next trip for sure.
The Burj Al Arab – astounding in scale and design. The view from the Skyview Bar is worth the price of admission (50 stories high) & they boast some of the most unusual and original drink recipes in the world, as well as the world’s most expensive drink at $7000 US!
Atrium view from the lobby of the Burj Al Arab
Coral aquariums by the escalators in the lobby – Mikel and Jay fit right in!
One of the amazing drinks I tried at the Burj – An English Rose, with cucumber and roses!
Two new friends, Fiona and Parizad, on the beach with a view of the Burj Al Arab in the background.
A Mosque in Dubai
The shopping in Dubai is incredible. Something for everyone, from top designers to traditional goods to tourist souvenirs. It’s all there and at a good price, if you can bargain well with the merchants!
Spice Souk – sage, roses, dried limes, cumin, indigo, frankincense and myrrh, plus lots more.
All that glitters is gold! Unbelievable gold workmanship found at the Gold Souk.
Decoration at the Ibn Battuta Mall
After all the shopping it’s time for a lunch or dinner by the Creek, topped off with shisha, fruit flavored tobacco smoked through a large water hookah (floor pipe). Intoxicating, and I’m not a smoker!
Dining alongside the Creek at night
A trip to Dubai would not be complete without the ‘Desert Safari’. You are picked up at your hotel and whisked in a 4 wheel drive vehicle to the desert for some serious dune surfing. After about an hour of this, with periodic stops to enjoy the majesty of the desert, you are dropped off at a dinner site where you can enjoy camel rides, shisha lounges, desert sand art, henna painting, music, an Arabic BBQ buffet and belly dancing. This is a must do for anyone visiting this area. Lots of fun and unexpected surprises.
Our work gang out on a desert safari – Kushal, Shashon, Tracy, Veejay and Ali
Jay with Ali, Kushal and Veejay – having a dune climbing contest!
A lifelong dream come true – on top of the world, rather on top of the dune!
Mikel and Ali reflecting
This camel must be tired by now!
Some of the friends I made (from India, Pakistan, Iran, South Africa and Dubai) while in Dubai:
Kushal, Mikel, Veejay, me, Parizad, Shashon
Parizad and Tracy
Fiona and Tracy – thanks for your generosity in showing me the real Dubai!
Costa snack shop guys
So for now I say ‘Ma’ aa al salaama‘ to Dubai! It has been an incredible experience and one I will cherish forever. I hope to see you again very soon for more Arabian Adventures!