“Disney World for Adults”
Since 2016 I have been hearing about this amazing place called Dubai. Songs were made about it. Influencers have beautiful photos taken here. I even heard that Dubai is the Disney World for adults. I finally took a trip to Dubai and made my own discoveries. I went with two friends and we met up with another friend that lives there. Dubai is definitely a must see place if you have the money.
One of the things I discovered is that Dubai wants to break all of the world records to attract tourist. There is the tallest building, the biggest mall, a garden that has broken three Guinness records, and I went to all of those places. It was nice to be outside of a dry country, with lots of things to do. Despite, I also found that I was still conscious of my attire just like I am when in Kuwait. I couldn’t help but remind myself that I was still in a Muslim country. Dubai is great because it is a nice getaway, but there are still rules. When I’m on vacation I never worry about revealing too much, but I worried that my sleeveless tops or high low dress may be too much. I thought about my outfits and bought jackets to cover up accordingly.
Another discovery was that women are very respected in Dubai. The trains have sections for women and children only, no men allowed. There is also something free for ladies every night somewhere. We went to a place called Mcgettigan’s where ladies were able to get four drinks free. And these four drinks were good drinks too, not the water down drinks other places usually serve for free. Each of us were given four vouchers to claim our drinks. There were women who left and decided to give their unused vouchers to us. We ended up with about 12 vouchers altogether, but we didn’t use them all and went to another spot.
I was amazed to see how diverse it is. I was surprised at the number of black people in comparison to Kuwait. Dubai has a lot of people from different ethnicities while not quite like New York, it comes pretty close. Then, there is the juxtaposition of old Dubai and new Dubai. New Dubai with its tall buildings and flashing lights and old Dubai with its sturdy cement buildings. It is definitely a clear difference.
I had a week off for Kuwait’s National/Liberation Day, which is something like Independence day for America. Because of this celebration plane, ticket prices went up. To save money me and my friends decided to book a connecting flight to Bahrain with a long layover. While a straight flight to Dubai from Kuwait only takes about an hour, our trip took about 6 hours. We left late Friday night and arrive early Saturday morning. We also booked an experience to the Burj Khalifa and the aquarium for Saturday morning. After we arrived at the airport, we freshened up as much as we could in the airport. We went straight to the Dubai Mall for the Burj Khalifa via metro. When we arrived we had about an hour to kill. It took about 20 minutes to get to the mall from the metro, even with the moving walkway, but it’s better than being in the heat walking. When we arrived we were really hungry, but the stores and restaurants were closed and the general mall area was opened. We just relaxed until it was time. Since I have first-hand experience, I do not recommend an activity right after the airport, unless your accommodations are really close to the attractions or you are able to get rest beforehand.
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, was our first activity. We got there thinking we would be one of the few people there because we arrived so early. That was not the case. It wasn’t packed, but there were more people than anticipated. We dropped our bags off at the front and started the tour. The elevator ride up to the 124th floor was fast and smooth. The operator told us that it was the fastest elevator in the world. The elevator went to the 124th and we walked up the stairs to the 125th floor. From the top, the city looked like a play world, as a model of the actual thing.
After the Burj Khalifa we had one more experience and here is where the story gets complicated. We debated back and forth about getting food or going to our next activity right after which was the aquarium. At this point, we haven’t eaten, slept, or stepped foot in our hotel. We still had our bags. Luckily, we only had book bags. We packed light because we knew we would only be in Dubai for a few days. We were like a Snickers commercial, cranky and tired because we were hungry. Mind you Dubai’s mall is huge and getting from one place to another could easily be 10 minutes. We decided to drop our bags off, eat, and then the aquarium. But this was a whole situation. We did a lot of walking and attitudes were brewing. Again, I suggest when you visit the mall you are ready to walk around. We got food just in time. We did not have any fights. No friendships were broken because the food was our saving grace. After we ate our happy meals at Shake Shack, we went to the aquarium. The aquarium was an aquarium and had fish. As you can see this wasn’t my favorite activity.
Getting around in Dubai was surprisingly easy. I have been lost many times because I was confused about the directions. We simply took the red line from the airport straight to the Dubai mall. Then, we went to the metro from the mall to our accommodations. We had to change from the red line to the green line, but only had one stop on the green line.I guess I was also surprised that we could ride the metro to the hotel. We only took a taxi once the whole four days. Our hotel, the Florida City Apartment Hotel was very close to the metro, basically across the street. We were in the center of lots of shops and restaurants. Everywhere we turned there was an overly aggressive guy trying to sell us bags. Even after us saying “no we are not interested”, they persisted on. We just had to keep walking and eventually, they stopped pestering us. There was even one guy who tried to sell us bags, but we asked him to direct us to a restaurant. He took showed us a restaurant called Wave. After we finished eating we were shocked that he waited for us outside and still tried to sell us bags. I think we had to tell him to go away and he did.
The next day we woke up late morning to do more exploring. We walked to the ferry boats so we could see Dubai’s Heritage village across the river. The walk to the ferry was about 15 minutes from our hotel. The ferry ride was a short ride across Dubai Creek and only cost 1 AED of about 30 cents in the US. Don’t take this to mean Dubai is cheap because depending on what you do, it can be expensive, but this ferry was cheap. We walked through a souk and men were literally draping us with scarves trying to get a sale as we walked through. They were way too aggressive. After that experience, we found an eccentric cafe called Cross Cultural Cafe and Bistro. After breakfast we walked to the Heritage Village which was a huge contrast from the bustling city to the calm of the village. On our way back we took a different ferry and it was 6 AED which is about 2 US dollars.
The highlight of the trip for me was the Miracle Garden. The Miracle Garden has the world record for the tallest Topiary Sculpture. We spent half of the day to journey to the Miracle Garden because it took a while to get there on the bus. I even had a nap. Once we entered we greeted with heart shape arches with colorful flowers. Throughout the trip, we were amazed at all of the flowers it took to make each structure and just the amount of flowers we saw in general. It is a miracle that such a thing exists in the desert.
I had a nice time in Dubai with my friends. I’m glad I got to see the place that everybody was talking about for myself. More than likely I am going to visit again and add Abu Dhabi and brunch to my itinerary.