The Desert Oasis of Dubai
Our agents travel to some pretty awesome destinations. When they return, our excitement to hear about their adventures is almost as great as their excitement is to share them. In ON LOCATION, they talk about the little nuances that make each place special. From Peru to South Africa, Switzerland, and Croatia, experience a fantastic second-hand journey and maybe take away some travel inspiration while you’re at it.
I had the opportunity to experience the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi last week. Dubai has always been a bucket list destination of mine, and it was fun to finally see/experience it! Although it is a long flight to get there, it is definitely worth the trip. I would love to go back again as there are still lots of things I have not seen/experienced.
Dubai is such a clean, safe destination, which some people may not realize. If you leave a wallet on a taxi in Dubai, 9 out of 10 times they say you will get it back! There is no crime and no unemployment as you are not allowed to live in Dubai if you don’t have a job. There are some AMAZING 5* hotels for incentive groups, and Dubai even boasts the only 7* hotel in the world (Burg Al Arab), which is frequently visited by diplomats and celebrities. We had the opportunity to tour this hotel and eat dinner there. It is pretty amazing.
Dubai has some beautiful beaches, and as most people know, has the famous Palm Islands, which is a home to some beautiful beach-front hotels, including the world-class Atlantis hotel. It was pretty incredible to fly over Dubai in a sea plane and see the Palm Islands from above. We were also able to see The World Islands, an artificial group of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of a world map, located off the coast of Dubai. Dubai has the most amazing architecture and even has an indoor ski resort called Ski Dubai. There is nothing like skiing in the middle of the desert! Dubai is fairly spread out, and you definitely need a car to get around to all the different attractions. One of the most famous attractions in Dubai is, of course, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
Abu Dhabi, located about an hour outside of Dubai, is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and has a great mix of culture, history, and luxury. There are amazing incentive hotels in Abu Dhabi, as well as some nice beaches. Yas Island, known as Entertainment Island, is a popular locale in Abu Dhabi that hosts the F1 Track and other water parks and theme parks. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a great museum, and the Royal Palace Hotel is famous for their “Gold Coffee.” The highlight of Abu Dhabi for me was probably the visit to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It is an active Muslim mosque and is the largest Mosque in the country. Pretty incredible!
We ended our trip with an amazing desert safari. We took Toyota Land Cruisers and rode off into the sand dunes, climbing the extensive sand hills and even getting stuck once. We had a falconry show on the top of a dune while watching the sun set with drinks. We then arrived at a private bbq dinner in the desert, complete with camels, Hana tattoos, fire dancing, and a sky full of stars.
I think Dubai is on most people’s bucket list, and is well deserving of being there. It is a great place for a corporate incentive trip or just a family holiday. I highly recommend a visit and look forward to returning some day!