United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the worlds playground for the rich and famous, especially the city of Dubai. If you have read my blog posts you would know that I’m not really about that type of travel. That said, exploring new places will always excite me and UAE is no different.
I arrived in the United Arab Emirates for a business trip. The business trip had me based in Abu Dhabi which is a much more relaxing city compared to its more famous neighbor of Dubai. most of my time spent in Abu Dhabi was spent working but I do have this beautiful image of the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque I took from my Hotel.
Abu Dhabi is a great place to just relax and get away from it all. I stayed at the Ritz Carleton and the amenities there were amazing, I spent most of my free time at the pool and in the gym.
There are many other things to do in Abu Dhabi, but since I only had one weekend to tour around I chose to spend one day/night in Dubai and the other day doing a desert safari tour.
On the way to Dubai I just had to stop near the famous Burj Al Arab for a photo op.
I arrived in Dubai early and made my way by metro to the old part of Dubai. First stop was the Gold Souk.
Next stop was the Spice Souk
Then Dubai Creek.
Then Lunch in the Area. I had pani puri (which is an Indian snack) from a small snack cart, then made my way to a local restaurant and had a chicken shawarma sandwich, both were delicious.
I then stopped by my hotel for a break from the heat. I took a dip in the pool which was on the 43rd floor.
From my hotel I walked to the Dubai Mall. The mall is incredible, huge, and extravagant. The mall has many high end stores, an aquarium, an underwater zoo, an ice rink, and even an indoor waterfall.
From the Mall I walked outside to the Dubai fountain area. in the fountain area you have a perfect unobstructed view of the Burj Khalifa. In addition to the Burj, you can find many restaurants, food carts (serving ice cream, coffee, and other treats). The Dubai fountain itself puts on a water show every half hour from 6PM to 11 PM.
After the fountain show I was pretty hungry so I found a spot to eat near in the area. I ate at Samad Al Iraqi Restaurant. the food was amazing. I ordered a fried fish called Zubaidi.
After a full day touring around Dubai I was pretty tired so I went back to my hotel and went up to the 43rd floor lounge which had a stunning view of the city at night.
The next morning I woke up and made my way to the Dubai Marina area by metro. The Dubai Marina is a great place for rest and relaxation away from the bustle of Downtown Dubai. There are many resorts one can stay at. I did not stay at a resort here since I already had my room booked in Abu Dhabi, so I only briefly visited the Marina area. I made my way to Jumeirah Beach which is open to the public. The beach area has chairs/towels for rent, there are many vendors offering water sport activities, and if you are really feeling extreme you can try sky diving above the Palm Jumeirah island. I included a google map image so you can imagine what it would look like if you were sky diving towards it :).
After a few hours relaxing at the beach I made my way back to Abu Dhabi using the Careem app. Careem is very similar to Uber, but for some reason it is much cheaper.
At around 4 pm I was picked up from my hotel in Abu Dhabi by a tour company for my desert adventure. In the desert we first stopped at a Camel farm
We then went Dune Bashing in a 4×4 truck. Driving over massive dunes in a 4×4 was exhilarating.
After the dune bashing we got to do some Sand Boarding. Sand Boarding was pretty fun, but I was a little disappointed that they did not have a board with straps that I could use to do some real carving. I guess I will just have to wait until snowboarding season back home to get my carve on!!
After sand boarding I just sat down for a while and appreciated the dunes.
After that we made our way to camp where we ate, watched a Belly Dancing and Tanoura Dancing show., and did some star gazing after dark.
UAE is definitely an amazing vacation spot. The country offers activities for all types of travelers. You can bring your family here and relax at a resort, you can party it up all night long, or spend a few days camping in the desert. Luckily I was able to experience a tiny bit of everything. UAE definitely has a ton more to offer than I was able to experience, and is definitely worth a visits (hopefully a second visit for me).
Hope you enjoyed this blog, and hope you get to visit UAE at some point, and as always Saif Travels.