The yuletide is a beautiful time of the year to visit Dubai. Not many cities in the world celebrate Christmas as dubai does. Welcoming, warm, beautiful, safe,… I call it the city of lights. Dubai is home. Having a not-so-glamorous Christmas brought back the memories of my visit to dubai in 2018.
The dubai hospitality is experienced before you even fly. The pilot and his flight crew were warm, the plane was comfortable and roomy even for an economy class. I could only imagine the comfort offered to passengers in the business class. I particularly respect the pilots at Etihad Airways (you can book flights here https://flights.etihad.com/en-ca/flights-to-Abu-Dhabi). They embark and disembark with such smoothness and finesse that make you say a prayer for them. The immigration process in Dubai is nothing herculean, unlike countries that harass, drill, and make you stand on long queues. The United Arab Emirates operates a 22nd century immigration process. I do not recollect if I needed to do anything beyond a retina scan at the Abu Dhabi airport, collected my bags and joined my friends to the Etihad bus connecting us to our final destination – Dubai.
Arriving downtown dubai late in the night was the stuff that dreams were made of. It was not enough that we treated like royalty on the Etihad bus ride, I do not know how my luggage was delivered to my room. You would think they easily matched the luggage tag to the hotel reservation, but you would be surprised at how difficult and extremely impossible this is in many countries where hospitality and excellence are not cultural elements. Rhoda Al Marooj is a hotel of dreams. Whenever I am impressed by a hotel’s hospitality, I ensure I make my own bed and not ring the bell for cleaning or changing of towels and beddings, except highly indicated. Breakfast was something to look forward to at Rhoda. Breakfast was a place to connect with people of different nationalities. I can guarantee you that the kitchen department has something that suits your taste buds. It was a business trip, the day typically ran from 8am till 5pm. However, we were not lodged at the heart of dubai just to be too tired to explore The dubai mall was just opposite Rhoda Al Marooj.
It became our retirement spot for sightseeing, window shopping, photography, perfume testing, and more food at night. Things to do at the mall : Everything! We visited the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. It is a divine experience. You lift up your gaze and the ceiling is designed like the night skies with bright stars. The deliberateness! I particularly marveled at how the fishes coexisted in peace and harmony. You could dedicate a night to testing perfumes and fragrances, and I can guarantee you that you will not exhaust your vanity. The business owners are also particularly kind, they are not offended if you tried ten fragrances before deciding to get one. There is a host of recreation activities at the mall for children as well. While you will enjoy a great deal without paying a dime, you will need some money to have a full experience.
The water fountain and boat ride was a mesmerizing experience at the mall. A sea of tourists gather to watch the fountain dance. It is celestial! I had a conversation with one of the workers and he affirmed that the dance comes up every thirty minutes, every single day of the year. I was in awe! “You do not shut down a day for maintenance or something?” “Never!” The Burj Khalifa lights up in the ambience of music and luxurious display of lights. This end of this attention the Burj draws to itself signals the beginning of the fountain dance. You will like to view it at night.
Burj Al Arab
You will always find me taking sides with and solace in nature. This burj was a must-see. I spent hours enjoying the making of the Burj Al Arab on my Extreme Engineering documentaries, (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6krdi2) best believe I took a trip to the beach with friends on a particular night after work. Recreation is a continuum in Dubai. There are all sorts of games, beach sports, lights, and books to read by the beach. You don’t need to come with a book. Just pick one from the shelves, read and return.
This market deserves to be a wonder of the world! Just imagine that we entered a store and they changed the music to a Nigerian hit by the international superstar, Davido https://www.iamdavido.com/. I’m sure that was how they hypnotized us with their hospitality and amazingly affordable and quality products, such that we forgot about our trip to the desert. Fabric, jewelry, perfumes, ornaments, memorabilia, just name it and get it at Deira market. I would assume the market runs for 24hours, because we left the market about 1am and it was still a buzz. Then, I knew Dubai was in for business. Markets in my country typically shut down by 6pm – 7pm. You really would like to have some memorabilia. I like to keep some from every country I visit. I got a glass frame of the Dubai mall, burj Khalifa, and burj Al Arab on a glass stand and it’s beautiful for your small family museum. Our departure from the UAE via Abu Dhabi was quite eventful because we were late to the airport and boarding had closed long before we arrived. We had some communication barrier that made us miss our connecting bus to Abu Dhabi. However, I was super impressed by the manager at the boarding gate. He expressed his disappointment in our lateness, but that was it. He swiftly put a call through to the airline and every other person that needed to ensure that the 13 of us got on the plane. I saw people who had closed, return to duty with pure compassion. No, hospitality is cultural to the people of Dubai and I love them.
I am pretty jealous of people who will witness the new year in Dubai. Please furnish us with pictures and videos. I look forward to repeating my dubai visit as a proper vacation, and not a work trip.
(All pictures are culled from the Instagram pages of the edifices).