Travel Blogger. ESL Teacher. Optimistic Millennial Adventurer!
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Scorching hot but definitely worth the trip. That's right, my 4-day adventure in Dubai turned out to be one of the best vacations ever!
Dubai has long been a region of the world that I've wanted to visit. I will admit though, I initially had reservations about traveling to the Middle East. Was it safe? Were strict rules enforced? Was the landscape aesthetically appealing? Yep, the Middle East was just that foreign to me.
But this is what traveling is all about, right? Going on adventures, experiencing different cultures, and getting out of your comfort zone all the while creating some of the best memories in a lifetime. With that, Dubai here I come!
I landed at Dubai International Airport (DBX) on a Tuesday and arrived at my hotel—Ibis One Central Dubai—across from World Trade Center Station in the a.m.
By noon I made my way outside and ... d-d-d-damn! Truth be told, I didn’t even bother checking the weather in Dubai before my trip. I knew it’d be hot and that’s all I needed to know. But Jesus. It was about 1000 degrees and my shirt was drenched with sweat within 15-minutes of walking outside, no kidding.
The Dubai Mall
Before long I wound up at my first attraction, Dubai Mall, which also housed the Burj Khalifa.
Here are the facts: Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall. It has a floor area of 5.9 million sq. feet and averages well over 50 million visitors a year. Heck, that's more than the annual number of tourists to popular cities around the world such as Los Angeles and New York!
Key attractions at Dubai Mall included Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, an ice rink, Reel Cinemas, Kidzania, an interactive children’s zone, a complete dinosaur fossil skeleton, a Gold Souk, and of course, the infamous Dubai Waterfall.
Now, I’ve visited the largest building in the world by total floor area—New Century Global Center in China’s Chengdu—and though its indoor water park had largely impressed me, I had never visited a colossal mall that had so many shops, restaurants, food courts, and people at every turn. I repeat, every turn.
What’s more, my trip to Dubai Mall was a great introduction to the people of the city, which turned out to be way more diverse than I ever could of imagined.
I saw Middle Eastern, African, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, White, Spanish--all the shades you could find under the sun. And that’s what Dubai was all about. It was a melting pot of races and cultures living under one roof, much like in the US.
Plus, I encountered a lot of Muslim men donning Arabic thobes and Ghutras, and women dressed in Niqabs. It was the first time in my life that I had been surrounded by so many people cloaked in traditional Muslim garbs.
And after about 2 hours exploring the mall I finally landed at the top attraction I wanted to visit in Dubai: the Burj Khalifa. Day 1 of my adventure in Dubai was already off to a great start!
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