“I can show you the world…Shining, shimmering, splendid…Tell me, princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?
A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no or where to go or say we’re only dreaming”
– Disney’s Alladin to Princess Jasmine
Dubai is a whole new world after going around Europe for one month! It is really different from anywhere I’ve been to during this trip. I don’t regret grabbing the offer of Emirates to stay there for few days if i wanna have my rebooked tickets cheaper.
I never planned to go to Dubai, but i was left with no choice, and since i have friends there, i just grabbed their offer. I’ve been wanting to go there anyway too :)
Dubai is known as the City of Gold because of its abundant source of good quality, stylish designs and tax-free gold in the world! 95% of tourists buy gold when they visit here. In my case, I’ve found a different “gold”, maybe more precious than any treasure?
On my way to Germany, the guy seated beside me on the plane is based in Dubai and been living there for 5 yrs already. He is originally from England. His name is Laurie.
It was a midnight flight, so all I want do when I boarded the plane was to sleep. When it was time for our meal, we started to talk and learn few things about each other in more or less 7 hours only with some few naps in between.
When we reached Dubai, it was time for me to say goodbye and transfer to another plane going to Germany, then he handed me his business card and told me to contact him when i arrive back in Dubai…hmmm, okay…
After travelling around Europe for one month, I came back to Dubai and this time to stay for few days at Ate Dhads’ place, which I’m very thanful for! We were friends way back in Manila as neighbors and we have shared a lot of fun in the past, and I miss her so much! She has to leave Manila to be with her husband coz she can’t stand a long-distance-relationship. They are living with their 3 kids now :)
Then we called up Laurie and we meet up with him for dinner at Madinat Jumeirah, and this time, we talked for more than 7 hours already and we’ve been together everyday since then, just before I flew back to Singapore!
Since my friends were all working, I had to extend my stay, and also it was really HOT in Dubai, so I normally go out of the house and go around after 5pm, so definitely I need more days. I am thankful that Ate Dhads, Kuya Rene, Ate Ana and Kat really spent some time off their work just to show me around!
These are the places that i went to:
1. Desert Safari + Dune Bashing
This is heading out to the desert with SUVs with crazy Desert Drivers dune bashing like a roller coaster! For us we had a Hummer H3 which is a bit more expensive but it’s worth it, some people were taking pictures with our Hummer hehe :P They also took us to a very nice spot to see the sunset, really magical!
Then after that, to ride some camels before going to the Arabian BBQ Dinner with entertainment like belly dancers etc…they also have sheesha, henna tattoo, photo ops wearing their traditional clothes…this is a MUST DO activity when you visit Dubai :)
2. Madinat Jumeirah
– two hotels and clusters of 29 traditional Arabic houses, all built around the souk, the traditional centre of Arabic life. The resort also provides conference and and banqueting facilities, and various dining options…
3. Burj Khalifa
– once called Burj Dubai, at 828 metres and 160 floors this is the world’s tallest structure by a long shot, over 300m taller than the previous contender in Taipei…around the burj are the Magic Fountain, Dubai Mall (world’s largest mall) and various dining options too.
4. Jumeirah Beach Resort with view of Burj Al Arab
– we went to Jumeirah Beach Resort to have a perfect view of Burj Al Arab (self-proclaimed as the only 7star hotel in the world)
5. Jumeirah Beach Park
– public beach where you will only pay 5 dirhams.
6. Barasti Beach Bar
– Laurie took me to this bar to see the sunset but we got lost, so we got there and all we see are already dancing lights :P So we ended up just having shisha with house music being played.
On my last day in Dubai, Laurie showed me his office, his home and most of all, himself. Even in just a short time that we were together, we both felt that we’ve known each other already for years. We were very comfortable with each others’ company.
But of course, i told myself, he is in Dubai and I will be in Singapore, “keeping in touch” will be just another cliche’ for us. So I conditioned myself that it might be the last time I’m going to see him, it was very clear to me that time that it may be just another adventure story of my travels.
I was really sad leaving Dubai when Laurie dropped me at the airport. But as I looked back on the memories we had shared for few days, it gave a smile to my face. I was already happy that it happened and I thank God that at the end of my trip, I’ve met a wonderful guy like Laurie. A treasure better than gold ;)
And as the song goes: ” (It’s) A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view…(Where) No one to tell us no or where to go or say we’re only dreaming”
Be happy coz it happened!