I was thinking about what should I write next and, as I previously wrote about my first time abroad, I decided to tell you about the first time I traveled somewhere outside Europe.
So, the first time I left Europe for a holiday was in December 2012, when my parents and I went to Dubai to spend the New Year’s. You can imagine how exited I was about going there – I was fascinated by their culture and I just wanted to see ‘the city of the future’.
On the four or five hour flight to the United Arab Emirates, I was restless, kept looking at the clock to see when we’ll arrive and tried (but failed) to watch a movie. For me, it was so awesome because it was the first winter holiday we were to spend in a country where it wasn’t snowing or cold. Even now I remember how I kept saying, “And I’m going to spend the first day of 2013 on the beach.”
When we arrived, we were faced with a long, LONG queue at the entrance in the country. It was so hot outside and we were dressed in coats and boots because back home it was snowing when we left. And we waited for, like, an hour at that line, sweating, but very enthusiastic.
After all the airport-related stuff we’ve passed through, we were finally out of the building and I had the first taste of Dubai on the car to the hotel. It was evening and all the buildings were lit and it was like magic, I felt like I was dreaming. Do you know the faces of the people in the movies who go to a place for the first time and they are in the taxi and look at the lights outside and smile? Yup, that was me. “Am I really here?”, was playing through my head. I have never been before Dubai to a city full of skyscrapers and I was really amazed, especially when we drove past Burj Khalifa.
At the hotel, we had a room at the 20 something level and the view was breathtaking. AMAZING. I can’t say anything more.
What can I tell you about the trip to Dubai? Whoa. Let me gather my thoughts.
One day we’ve visited the ‘Old Town’ of Dubai, with their Dubai Museum and the Dubai Creek. It was so interesting as I knew nothing about their culture and I got to learn a lot. After the visit to the museum, we took one of their traditional boats, called ‘abra’, and we crossed the Creek to the other side, where there are their markets. The Gold Market or the Spice Market are incredible places. In the Gold Market you can see beautiful jewellery and, of course, the biggest diamond ring in the world (and it’s quite impressive!).
When you go to Dubai, you shouldn’t miss the Safari – the desert trip. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve done there. We went with the 4×4 cars in the desert and it was like one of those crazy rides at the theme parks. It was such an amazing and adrenaline-full experience to see the mounts of sand and absolutely nothing else besides the other cars. It felt like I was on Mars. After the drive, we went to a camp in the desert where we ate (camel meat, sorry camel), we watched an incredible traditional dance and we could make henna tattoos.
Oh, I couldn’t miss to talk about the malls. After all, Dubai is famous for its malls, apart from other things. I love shopping and Dubai is a HEAVEN FOR SHOPPING ADDICTS. Even if you aren’t a shopping addict, if you go there, you’ll become one. Seriously, their malls are INSANE. They have a freaking aquarium or a ski resort in them! I am speechless.
Now let’s talk about the buildings which made Dubai famous. Burj Khalifa is one of the tallest buildings in the world (if not the highest) and its architecture is insane. I adore the shape the skyscraper has. And it has a mosque at the 50th something floor. Besides Burj Khalifa, there is Burj al Arab, the one and only 7 stars hotel in the world. What can I say more about them? Go, go, Dubai!
As we spent the New Year’s in Dubai, we went to a party but it wasn’t really impressive. The impressive part was when the clock hit twelve o’clock and 2013 was there. We watched an insane firework show which was at Burj Khalifa and then we took a taxi to see the fireworks at Burj al Arab and how they projected on the hotel, “Happy New Year 2013”. Really nice firework show!
On the 1st January 2013? We went to the beach! It was so crazy to stay on the sand and go into the sea and to talk to my other friends who were freezing back home.
One word about Dubai? INSANE. Yup, that place is simply insane with the mix between old and new, with the breathtaking architecture and the culture.
You should really go to Dubai, because the city has so much to offer and, to me as an european, it came as a shock. I was shocked to see desert wherever I looked from the hotel balcony, I was shocked by the rule regarding all women to walk covered and I was shocked by all of it.
For me, Dubai is one of the cities of the future and a city that made me want to visit more cities of the future, like Hong Kong or Shanghai.