Truth be told, I did not feel like returning back to Nigeria after an awesome 10 days in Dubai but hey! reality calls and yours truly is back at work. Nonetheless, it was a rewarding holiday and i am already scouting for another travel destination (South Africa maybe).
I left for Dubai on Friday, the 1st of July for studies and vacation as shared here and also celebrated my birthday over there as shared here. Embarking on this learning + leisure + luxury trip was one of my best decisions; the hotel stay at Jood Palace Hotel, the networking with the great team at SEMP – MBA July 2016, the fun boat cruise from Dubai Marina, the long walk at the malls (whether window shopping or purchasing), the exciting tours to Abu Dhabi, Dessert Safari and Dubai City, arranged by wakanow. They also handled my flight booking and airport pick-up services. I want to use this medium to appreciate their staff, Mr. Francis Chileke, who exhibited a great level of professionalism in providing these services. It was a great relief after my unpleasant experience with them from the outset. Come reminisce with me!
ABU DHABI CITY TOUR
My holiday kicked off properly on Saturday, the 9th of July as I left for Abu Dhabi City Tour in the company of a couple from Chile (North America), who are on honeymoon to see three countries; Egypt, Dubai and Turkey. I love the “oyibo” lifestyle sha
Our first stopover was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Entrance to the mosque is free but as a new comer, i didn’t realise you have to dress in a certain way as in, all covered up until the tour driver handed us (myself and the new bride), a long black dress and a hijab plus the scotching heat before we could be allowed to pass the entrance gate. Learning new culture is quite interesting!
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and it’s main prayer hall can accommodate 7,000 worshipers. Unlike most mosques in the UAE, it is open to non-Muslims, dress code is strict and non-Muslims cannot enter during prayer time. I was marveled at the gleaming marble exterior, 80 domes and manicured grounds. There are more than 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold-plated chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-woven Persian carpet. As a budding photographer, I tried my best to capture a few good pictures.
And as a shopaholic, I got carried away in the shopping spree while at the Etihad Modern Art Gallery within the Mosque center and didn’t realise others had gone to the car and were waiting for me.
We proceeded to the luxurious Emirates Palace, the second seven-star Hotel in the UAE and arguably the world’s most costly hotel with about 392 rooms and suites, all decked out with the latest technology and sumptuous decor. The outside scenery was beautiful and perfect for my photo sessions *wink*
A short stopover at The Heritage Village, near Marina Mall facing Abu Dhabi’s waterfront to refill our stomach but in the words of the groom “Gosh! their food is expensive” we had to leave. I felt pity for the bride though and I didn’t want to be the only one eating while others wait for me so, we opted for McDonalds.
Our last stopover was Ferrari World, an amusement indoor theme park where one can enjoy high-speed thrills but we couldn’t take a ride because of time limit. That is one of the shortfall of the tour arrangement, I just had to book for the tours since it’s my first time in Dubai. With knowing my way around town now, I will most definitely embark on these adrenaline parked adventure on my next visit.
The dessert safari tour was on Sunday, the 10th of July and another exciting adrenaline adventure where we were taken on dune bashing, bike and camel riding (the later i didn’t embark on) while you watch the sun set, buffet dinner and belly dancing.
My “sun set” picture is a classic, i shared it on my Instagram page. I have plans to frame them and i am certain, they will make great wall-art pieces in my home.
Learning point: Never wear an open shoe to the dessert, you might get your feet burnt!
DUBAI CITY TOUR
My Dubai City Tour started off on Monday, 11th of July from the Old Dubai which is made up of the Deira and Bur Dubai. A traffic-laden area with mid-sized apartment blocks and virtually no green spaces then, to the New Dubai, of glitzy skyscrapers and super-luxurious bars and restaurants where only those who know their Gucci from their Prada reside.
Our first stopover was at the Dubai Museum, housed in al Fahidi, a traditional Arabic fort that dates back to 1787 and was once the home of the ruler of Dubai and also functioned as a sea defence. Inside the museum were interesting artifacts and relics from their past and they tried their best to best make the artifacts appear real. I would have taken loads of pictures but to my greatest disappointment, my camera developed a mind of its own and decided to fall my hand (disappoint me). It was more or less a no picture day as most of the places visited had a “no photography” rule hanged up everywhere. Ticket for entrance into the museum is just Dhs.3 for adults and Dhs.1 for children under six.
From the museum, to Saga World, they specialise in luxury handpicked artwork, jewelry, Islamic art and calligraphy, renaissance-inspired woven carpets, even gold and silver furniture and again “No Photography” rule!
A little stopover at the Jumeirah Beach Park and then to the Atlantis The Palm, one of Dubai’s grandest hotels with a staggering 1,539 rooms and suites, all with the view of the sea or the Palm Jumeirah.
We ended the day at Fakih Group of Companies, an antique museum offering a great deal of exquisite gifts, handicraft and antique products.
The trip to Burj Khalifa (aka the world’s tallest building) scheduled for Tuesday, 12th of July was cancelled by the tour agent , reasons best known to them though they promised to refund payment. On my part, it was a welcomed response because I was running out of time and i actually left Dubai for Nigeria on same day.
P.S: There are loads of interesting places and activities that i was unable to embark on due to limited time (studies took the better part of my Duabi stay) but i will most definitely plan another trip, maybe in the company of loved ones and/or friends but i am glad i ticked off this trip from my bucket list.
P.S.S: I’ve got load of interesting pictures but unfortunately i couldn’t upload most of them here cos of the size even after compressing them. This is also the reason why i haven’t published this post since i returned coupled with the fact that i am back at work. I will keep updating though…
If you enjoyed my Dubai Travel Profile and have been to the great country of UAE, kindly suggest more places of interest/fun and what you love or loved about it.
…Making The World More Beautiful One Room at a Time