A Worthy Trip: Dubai
We gaze at videos of desert safaris and beautiful skyscrapers from the Instagram posts of celebrities like Tyrese. Pitbull makes mention of performing in this mystical land for a beautiful princess in his song “Give Me Everything.”
This magical middle eastern place is indeed Dubai, one of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates. Travel Noire, “the ultimate source for Black travel,” published an Instagram post on Christmas Day in 2014 for flights on Ethiad airlines from Abu Dhabi to JFK for a little under $170. Yes, you read correctly, $170. I had the opportunity to take advantage of the deal along with some of my fellow travel-obsessed alumni from the University of Florida.
Dubai is located about 90 minutes away from Abu Dhabi. After a lengthy flight with some very rambunctious toddlers, we were able to take a free shuttle to get us to the famous city we have heard so much about in the past.
After satisfying our hunger with chicken shawarma near our hotel we slept off our jetlag for a few hours. Then…the adventures began. I recommend getting a two-day pass Big Bus Tours: Sightseeing Bus | Hop-on Hop-off in order to get around Dubai. This will save you money on taxis and you can navigate the city with ease.
There are malls all over Duabi. Lots of malls. Almost too many malls. Those are great places to shop, but the real gem of Dubai are the souks. A souk is an open-air marketplace where vendors sell everything from clothing to souvenirs to spices. You must haggle in the souks. Haggle like your life depends on it in order to get the cheapest price. Also, if your ministry is not math, you should carry your smart phone in order to do quick conversions from American dollars to Dirhams.
The highlight of my trip was the desert safari. This adventure included dune bashing in the desert, a camel ride, a fantastic dinner, and entertainment from belly dancers and other performers. You can also make great use of your stay in Dubai by visiting the the Jumeirah Mosque, The Palm, and of course laying out on the beaches in the Arabian sun. It is also important to note that if you decide to go out to a club in Dubai, come dressed to impress.
Overall, my visit to Dubai was fantastic. Thanks to one of my friends, we were also able to spend time with some residents, who gave us a lot of insight about the area. I think it is safe to say that after our short stay in the area, we will definitely be making a trip back to Dubai before long.