If you want serene beaches, head to the Maldives,
If you want magnificent skyscrapers, head to New York,
If you want adventure and sports, head to Australia,
But if you are greedy and you want it all in one, then Dubai is for you, my friend !
It had been over a year since our passports got stamped. So my husband and I decided it was time to explore a new destination and we headed to the city of sand and sheikhs - Dubai. It was December, the coolest season in Dubai, and also the peak season for travelers. After a 3 hour flight from Delhi, the Dubai Sun greeted us with a warm morning. Stepping outside the airport, we could find more Indians than in India itself.
We had got our local bookings done through a travel agent, carefully customizing our itinerary to suit our preferences. With the first few hours available with us for leisure, we relaxed and freshened up for the evening - the desert safari, one of the most unique attractions offered by Dubai. We hopped on to the Land Cruiser which zoomed us to the starting point of the desert. Our driver then deflated the tyres a little and off we were on to the deserts to enjoy one of the most adventurous rides of our lives. Curving up and down the sand dunes like the waves of the sea, we gasped with thumping hearts. The daring ride lasted about 20 mins before we reached our camp, which was set for the belly dance night. Culturally rich with a number of engrossing activities, the camp was set in the middle of the desert, with nothing but sand till miles away. As the evening progressed and a chill took the air, the camp was set on fire with the sizzling belly dancers. A sheer delight to watch, with a figure that would attract every man's glare and every woman's envy, the belly dancers captivated the entire audience with their groves. With hookah and chilled beer for company, we relaxed at the low seating, and enjoyed the evening. Post a non-so-appetizing dinner, (given the huge audience, the quality of food was very low), we headed back to our hotel.
Day 2 had a city tour in store for us, and we hopped on to a mini bus, to be welcomed by some more Indians. Cruising through the city, we marveled at the architectural royalty that the city boasts of. Stopping for about an hour at Jumeirah beach, we basked in the sun and clicked pictures in front of the famous Burj Al Arab hotel, which is synonymous with Dubai. Next up on our itinerary was the majestic Burj Khalifa - standing tall and mighty at 830 m. An architectural marvel, the tallest building on planet is a mixed use development structure, housing residential units, hotels, commercial spaces and restaurants. The skyscraper is a sheer delight to watch, especially in the evenings when the lights on its 160 floors shine to create the illusion of stars. The fountain surrounding the building is also a masterpiece, with the light and sound show making the fountain waters dance with glory. We spent the next couple of hours shopping at the Dubai Mall, which is any shopper’s paradise. The city tour drew to a close with a drive through the famous hotel – Atlantis, The Palm, which resonates luxury and is a world in itself. The latter half of the day had a cruise ride in store for us. With a nip taking over the air and the city of skyscrapers lit up to celebrate life, a top deck dinner with light music made the perfect setting for a dinner date.
Day 3 started pretty early, as we had to drive down to Abu Dhabi to spend the day at the Ferrari World - the theme park with the fastest roller coaster on earth. The drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in the mini bus was a smooth 2 hour journey. We were awestruck by the colossal structure of the theme park. With limited time and a huge number of rides beckoning us, we headed straight to the fastest roller coaster. There was a 3 hour long wait in the queue for the 60 seconds ride, which tested our patience to bits. This wait however, eventually seemed totally worth it, since those 60 seconds gave us an adrenalin rush and memories for life. With hardly any time left for the other rides, we strolled around the theme park and clicked some snaps with the utterly handsome Ferraris, and headed for lunch at an Indian restaurant within the theme park. Exhausted from the jam packed day, we retired for the day as the bus drove us back to our hotel.
Day 4 was a complete contrast to the previous day, since it had a leisurely and relaxed agenda - the gorgeous Miracle Garden. Spread across 72,000 sq. mt. and housing over 109 million flowers, the miracle garden is the largest natural flower garden in the world. True to its name, it is nothing short of a miracle, offering an assortment of flowers that are a sheer treat to the eyes. A photographer's delight, the garden left us spellbound with its beauty and we captured some of its vibrancy in our camera. The flowers bloomed in happiness, and the exquisiteness of the garden had the ability to uplift even the gloomiest of moods with its charm. Bring our day and the trip to a close, we headed to the airport to catch our flight back to Delhi.
I like to call Dubai the city of superlatives - the world's TALLEST structure, the FASTEST roller coaster, the LARGEST natural flower garden, the city indeed has a lot to boast about. Every penny spent was totally worth it, and we enjoyed every bit of the vacation. We took back with us memories for a lifetime, and it helped us tick many a things off our bucket list. Thankyou Dubai, you were a pleasure to visit !