What Happened in Dubai Didn’t Stay in Dubai
Hello there! I just realized that I’ve been publishing a blog every week since February. Not that I’m complaining. It’s just that it’s a bit tough to come up with a topic every week unless I take out the skeleton in my closet and let everyone feast on it… hahaha! Nah! There are just some things that are better left untold.
Anyway, if Covid hasn’t disrupted our normal lives, I would be in Singapore again next month. But I guess, travel is the farthest thing that we can do this year so let me reminisce that time when I was in Dubai 4 years ago.
I went to Dubai during the Chinese New Year in 2016. Since our company shuts down for a week during the CNY, I thought of going to Dubai since I have a lot of friends there.
Dubai totally surprised me. I didn’t expect that it’s one beautiful country. If I was amazed with the wide roads when I first came to Singapore, I was flabbergasted with the super multiple lanes when I reached Dubai. It took me a while to get through Immigration. Not that I was interrogated but the queue was really long. And my first taxi ride in Dubai was a bit scary. They really drive so fast there. They drive as if they’re members of the Fast and Furious gang. We almost collided with another car. Anyway, my friends and I were still in one piece when we reached home.
I always perceive Dubai as a desert but this country really offers a lot of places you can go to. And the skyscrapers. It seems everywhere I look, there are colossal buildings. And they keep on building infrastructures. I wonder if our beloved PRRD got the idea for the BBB program from them. :)
My friends took me to a lot of tourist spots in Dubai. Can you believe that my first night was spent watching the movie The Revenant at the Mall of Emirates? And I saw one Dean & Deluca restaurant which amazed me without knowing that there is also one in Singapore. By the way, Dean & Deluca is a restaurant in New York which was featured in one of my favorite books, Judith McNaught’s Someone to Watch Over Me. I know, too shallow me. :)
So, I spent the rest of the days with my friends taking me to the famous spots in Dubai. We went to the Dubai Miracle Garden. It’s amazing how they maintain all those beautiful flowers in the climate they are in. And you can take a trip around the world in just 3 hours at The Global Village.
My friends also took me to the Dhow Cruise, a cruise along the river with food and dancing. We spent a few hours at the Old Souq where it was a struggle to haggle with the price while buying souvenirs. They also let me try some juice at Juice World. They have the best juice, milkshake, parfait and falooda in town. What’s a falooda? It’s like a smoothie. :)
You’ve never been to Dubai if you can’t take a glimpse of the Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the whole world. Burj is tower in Arabic, by the way. And while you’re at the Khalifa, you may as well try their attraction, the At the Top where you will be taken to their observation deck and lounge and see the panoramic view of the city. You will be amazed on how fast the elevator takes you to the 124th floor where the observation deck is located. From the lobby, it only takes 1 minute to reach the deck. You won’t feel anything, only your ears popping due to the change of pressure. That was really amazing!
And what’s a trip to the UAE without visiting another emirate, Abu Dhabi? We visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Emirates Palace and took a photo of the Etihad Towers where it was used as a location for the film Furious 7.
My most favorite attraction in Dubai is the Desert Safari at the Lahbab Desert. The package includes pick-up and drop, dune bashing, Arabic buffet, camel ride, henna tattoo and a bunch of shows like fire dance, belly dance, etc. Arabic food tastes good, by the way. And the best thing about it, you will experience a breathtaking view of the desert. I was totally amazed by it. And oh! It’s just sad I missed Skydive Dubai. It would have been more awesome!
I guess I consider this trip a very memorable one not because I got the chance to see the beauty of Dubai but it made me realize that I had to let go of something which hadn’t been mine for a very long time. It was quite a comforting revelation.
And you may be wondering about the title. Of course, whatever I experienced there wasn’t left there. I took the memories with me.
Before I end this blog, let me share with you an anecdote about my trip there.
During a recent trip, I took off my eyeglasses before I approached the Immigration Officer since the sign stated so. When I reached the booth, he looked at my passport and looked at me. Then he looked at my passport again. He asked me, “How old are you?” So, I told him my age. He looked quite perplexed but I just smiled at him and stood there quietly and waited patiently. Then he looked at my passport, back at me and said, “Your face is so small. Nice.” Then he smiled as he passed me back my passport and said, “Enjoy your holiday.”
And I did.
Photos courtesy of Judy Abigail Booc