My love for travel remains a flame within my soul that occasionally must be stirred. I've always had a fascination with Arabia and set out now on my own fantasy of the desert. My mom is convinced that my life is a trip by leading groups all over the globe. It's been a long time since I've had my own getaway. I don't recall the last time that I've experienced things for the first-time desert safari dubai deals. Already I miss my husband, yet I require this break to recharge my stressed batteries. It's a need for me to unwind, to play and be amazed. No better place than 21st century Dubai that was similar to landing on another world.
It's my first flight on award winning Emirates Airlines with the world's fastest growing fleet that now has flights to 55 countries. Very impressive with in-seat massage system, sandwiches to order from the galley and sparkling stars that shine at the ceiling after the lights are dimmed. EK won the Best Inflight Entertainment Award. I can pick between 600 movies as well as 6000 audio tracks, books, as well as 40 games. I can also access my email, and check out the new "Pilots Camera" where take offs and landings can be seen by a camera positioned below the nose of the aircraft. Coaching classes aren't going to get better than this!
There are seven emirates along the Arabian Gulf that are sandwiched between Iran, Qatar, Saudi rand Oman. What's an Emirate? A kingdom ruled by a Sheik. Dubai was declared an official Sheikdom in 1833. nomadic tribes were already settled here around 3,000 years before. They survived off the sea in this arid landscape. There was a time when this wealthy, yet obscure kingdom decided to be one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It expanded at a frightening rate by adding 500 miles of brand new waterfront along with countless artificial islands. Now it is called"the "Las Vegas of the Middle East" thanks to it's sun, sand, snow, and sea. It's also referred to in the "St. Tropez of the Gulf" or "Monaco of the Desert" because it's so ultra-chic.
Tolerance and hospitality are highly sought-after virtues. Dubai is a sliver of freedom in Arabia as Hong Kong is to China. Also, there is contrast with its Islamic culture within a context of Western affluence, a total melting pot that combines East meets West. I did pack lightly for this trip , utilizing the "covered elbow to knee" rule. Even at night there's a multitude of clubs where you can do whatever you want. Its total population stands at 1.3 million. Only 12% of them are citizens with the right to own property here. All others are foreigners. I have witnessed no poverty, and was told the fact that Sheik Al Maktoun's services are friendly to all with the free services of social assistance. It's clean , and truly free of crime, with all year long sunshine.
I do have an agenda regarding my "vacation." I flew together with the Uganda group up to Dubai. From here, they continued to Entebbe to gorilla trekking. I've also arranged site visits with suppliers via the Ministry of Tourism. Arriving at the airport, was greeted with my name sign by a chauffer. He transferred me to the luxurious Grand Hyatt, an oasis of tranquility. There was an ice-skating rink just to the left to the left of the hotel lobby. All rooms are Gulf views. Mine overlooked "The Palms", a breathtaking marvel of fanned out artificial islands that are lined with a wealth of homes. This is in close proximity to "The World" with its 300 artificial islands on which you can purchase the title of a "country." No plans or plans my favorite method of traveling is to let the wind blow me wherever it wants to.
My private city tour revealed the city's futuristic, sparkling skyline. The city is experiencing unprecedented development and extravagant designs that make Vegas boring in terms of. It seems every crane around the globe is in operation at the moment. Hotels are incomparable. Grand boulevards are filled by palms. The city of the future Bur Dubai has the most popular mile on earth today. However, there's an old Deira district with old-fashioned architecture in ancient wind-towers castles, forts and mosques on every corner.
My ultimate goal is to go to Burj Al Arab. Burj Al Arab, which is the most amazing hotel on the planet. It is the shape of an enormous sail that is situated on its own island. It's rated "7 stars" with a ratio of staff to guests of 5:1. Room rates start from $950 for a night. The rooms are completely booked up until 2007. Tourists aren't allowed to visit the resort with the entrance fee of $50. The only way to gain entry is through lunch ($160) or high tea ($85) or for dinner (if you're required to request, you can't afford it.) I decided to break my budget to try every option but my concierge was unable to secure me a spot on any given day. Remember, I'm in the area for 97 hours! So I went for Jumerirah beach instead to use my time well.
Traffic is insane as the city is growing too fast for its britches thanks to the influx of 3,000 people moving here each month. It's expensive, considering that I bought a bag for $4 of Cheetos but gasoline is similar to bottled water in this oil rich region. The first night I was exploring the Spice market and the world's largest Gold Souk that covers a one mile of glittering bling. I didn't buy anything but was awed by the infinite glittering gold and diamonds. I returned back at the Hyatt at 2am. The staff had repeatedly assured me that it was safe for a lone woman to travel around Dubai. It was such a relief.
After swimming in the morning I attended a few meetings with major tour operators. There was typical Middle Eastern business protocol of courteous salesmanship and a lot of cardamom-infused coffees. Then, I caught a taxi to Mall of the Emirates. At 5:37pm, it was time for the fourth prayer of the day. My devoted driver pulls over, exits with his worn prayer mat and kneels in the road. Soon, I'm in the massive structure, which looked like another city , with 460 shops to make me feel right at home. This is the duty-free capital of the world. Shopping here is a national hobby. I'm a mall-rat and this one sparkled with tempting offers. There were festive trees but no Santa's as I'm guessing that's a graven image. The crowd was huge. Men were robed by white and kanduras. Women were covered head to foot in black abayahs some of them with their eyes closed. Their carts were filled with bags. It's always a puzzle to me. Why do woman here bother to put on a show if no one is able to look at their attire? I spent an hour stalking a group of 5 young women with a veil for my sociological study. They hit the top designers' boutiques at the third floor, not looking but spending cash like Paris Hilton on steroids. They bought Dior, Channel, countless shoes, lingerie and perfumes that I found priceless.