As someone deeply connected to the rhythms and energies of the natural world, I must confess: Dubai was not my first choice for a holiday destination. However, my friends persuaded me to join the trip. Little did I know that this would become one of the most memorable trips. Was it because of the company of my friends, the futuristic Dubai, or mesmerizing Abu Dhabi? Stay tune to find out…
We embarked on our Arabian adventure in February, greeted by temperatures from 23 to 28 degrees Celsius. Our first stop in the city of Dubai was the Aura Sky Pool, a stunning floating scene set high above the ground that offers breathtaking panoramic city views. As twilight fell, we found ourselves at the Sky Views Observatory. For the sake of the schedule, we visited Sky Views at night time, and it was so worth it because seeing the city at night was as futuristic as it gets.
Next, we dived into the future at The Museum of the Future, an architectural masterpiece filled with riveting exhibits about the world of tomorrow. I was especially amazed by the 3rd floor; they dedicated the whole floor to wellness where we could experience feeling, ground, and connection therapy. We also visited the vibrant souks, a captivating glimpse into the traditional side of the cities that’s well worth the experience.
A trip to Dubai would be incomplete without scaling the world-renowned Burj Khalifa. We went there in the early hours to avoid the crowds. However, when in Dubai at the main attraction places, expect to always spend some time waiting in lines.
For all the places that require tickets, I would suggest to book them in advance as they sell out quickly!
When it comes to dining, Trove was my personal favorite. Overlooking the spectacular Fountain Dubai Downtown, the restaurant pairs extraordinary food with an enthralling water show. Another gastronomic gem was Ula Dubai, a place where Dubai’s extravagance meets a refreshing Bali vibe.
Soon, we ventured to Abu Dhabi for a kayaking trip through the serene mangroves. Guided by a knowledgeable kayak guide, we reveled in the peaceful rhythm of the water and the whispers of nature. And then the grand finale of Abu Dhabi was definitely the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Its majestic architecture held me spellbound, resonating with a profound spiritual connection. The serene ambiance and harmonious energy of the mosque created a space of introspection and reflection. Remember, men need to wear long trousers, and women should wear an abaya and headscarf out of respect for the sacred space.
Our journey continued with an overnight experience at Sonara camp in the desert. The thoughtfulness that went into each detail was beyond remarkable! Our overnight adventure peaked with sandboarding, sunset meditation, and dinner under the stars accompanied by a dance-music show. We slept beneath the desert sky in ‘the Nest’, woke to a breathtaking sunrise in the middle of the desert.
One week is quite enough to uncover the marvels of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Just remember to add in a beach day; we chose Kite Beach for ours.
If you’re asking whether Dubai, with all its shiny buildings and luxury, has its own less visible challenges, the answer is yes. Even though the city is clean and well-structured, it’s not immune to the realities that exist in every country. Behind the obvious luxury, there are parts that many don’t see. By the end of the day, you can spot trucks packed with laborers, giving a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes life that often goes unnoticed. It’s a reminder that every place, no matter how impressive, has its hidden sides.
While Dubai may not have been my initial choice, it left me with memories and appreciation for the vibrant city. The best part was seeing my college and swim friend after so many years. I also spent some time with my friend Aluissa, who has lived there for almost a decade and would totally agree of what she said that Dubai kind of reminds of the district one from Hunger Games.