Descending into Dubai, the sand dunes stretch for miles. The view is amazing and the barren landscape makes Dubai seem like an Oasis amongst the sand. The first thing that hits you when you exit the airport is the heat! I am from Africa however the heat here even for me is excruciating. Thankfully the ocean provides a well received breeze!
Traveling on a tour bus throughout this magnificent city, you can't help but be overwhelmed by the scenic views that are flying past... Yes fly. These guys drive like crazy! Buildings that stretch higher than the clouds, the next bigger then the last. You can even spot exact replicas of buildings from around the world! The Opera House from Sydney Australia for one. Don't forget the famous Al Farooq Mosque in Dubai which in Istanbul, Turkey is of course the famous Blue Mosque.
Perhaps Dubai's most impressive landmark, Burj Khalifa, is the world's tallest tower. Rising an impressive 829 metres it dominates the Dubai skyline. It is one of a kind and the locals are extremely proud of it. For those unlike me who aren’t afraid heights, the observation deck would be sure to give you an adrenaline rush! Landmarks located around the city can be covered in under 4 hours with the right guide and a flying carpet, or rather a bus!
Spend your afternoon at one of the most impressive aspects of Dubai, their man-made beach. Running your hand through the sand you’d be forgiven for mistaking the sand for that from natural beaches. The strangest thing of all here was that there were tourists escaping the scorching sun in the murky waters while construction is going on around them.
Stumbling through the streets at night can give you an idea of how desperate locals are for cash. Everywhere you look shop keepers are doing all sorts of things to grab your attention. It can be amusing having a brief interaction with them however after a while it was easier to avoid eye contact. In Dubai there is an actual street called ‘The street of gold’. Exactly as the name describes, the street is packed with hundreds of speciality shops all selling gold. If you’re not careful you can leave blinged out literally wearing a jacket made only from gold!
Continuing the upmarket theme, throughout your visit in Dubai you are sure to pass some of the most expensive hotels in the world. You have to wonder to yourself who would actually pay 10,000 USD a night per person for a room! If it was me I’d be expecting nothing but the full 5 star treatment. For the ladies, you’d be pleased to hear that Dubai has the world’s largest shopping mall. It is near impossible not to get lost!
Perhaps my most treasured memory of Dubai, and a great way to say goodbye to the UAE, was watching the fountain dance at night. The song “time to say goodbye” by Sara Brightman and Andrea Bochelli plays in the background while the true highlight, the fountain, lights up in an array of colours and dances to the rhythm of the music. This is truly a moment that captures your heart!
This is the United Arab Emirates, this is Dubai!
- Nic Vos
Nic Vos comes from the scenic country of Botswana.
Living amongst wildlife, Nic runs camps both in Maun and the Okavango Delta. Nic has travelled extensively throughout Southern Africa and as of late has travelled to both the UAE and Australia.
Australian Abroad is privileged to welcome Nic as their first guest blogger!