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My Two-day Travel in Dubai

Popularity 9Viewed 2654 times 2015-5-24 10:44 |Personal category:Travel|System category:Life| dubai, desert, beach, island, museum

After the two-day exhibition, it's time for us to relax and have some fun. We had a small discussion on where we should go in the coming two days before we pack things up and go home. My colleague Shilin proposed that the first day we should go to the desert and ride the camels, and we should spend the next day touring around the city and visiting some famous scenic spots. The rest of us thought that's a good idea. So on May 14th, after the lunch, we started our trip to the desert.

When we arrived at the desert, we were asked to get into a specially-designed SUV, and this SUV would take us to a camp in the heart of the desert. As soon as we buckled our seatbelt, a roller-coaster like ride began. Safari was more adrenaline-driven than we could possibly think of. There were many occasions where I thought our vehicle would overturn and we would be suffering serious bruises. Luckily, that never happened to us. But others might not be as lucky. Half way into the desert, we saw a vehicle tilted to one side with one side of its wheels totally submerged in sand. Our driver wanted to tow it out of sand. So we got off our vehicle, and stood back with our fingers crossed. A guy standing beside me greeted me by saying "Nihao", I looked at him perplexed. He asked me, "Which part of China do you come from, are you from Guangzhou?" I said, "No, we're from Shenzhen." He then said he's an Iranian and he loves China. And then, he started to sing a popular song in China--"Little Apple". That surprised us even more.


The tilted vehicle on safari.

As soon as we arrived at the camp, we saw two camels standing not far away from us. It's my first time to see camels, and they were taller than I had imagined. We got closer to camel and wanted to have some pictures with them. My colleague Spring motioned me to take some pictures as she stroke different poses in front of a camel. After a series of photo shots, it's time to ride this thing. While Shilin and Spring were mounting a camel, I shot a series photos of them--I wanted to capture every moment of this new experience. When the camels started to walk, I ran past them in order to take pictures in front of them. I could tell you: it's really hard to run in the sand and it's especially true, when you're holding a heavy camera and want to outpace a camel. When Shilin got off the camel, he urged me to have a ride too, and he would be my cameraman.


My colleagues were riding the camel, while I was the cameraman.

After the camel-riding, we entered the big camp, where we could find a table to sit at and have some rest. Right in front of us, there's a big stage. We were told that there were live performances there by the time the darkness fall. So we sat there, waiting for the performance to start. At this moment, a middle-aged man approached us and put some narrow-necked flat bottles on our table. The bottle, filled with fine sand, was a work of art, featuring a camel and the writing "Dubai" on each of its two sides. We knew immediately that he's trying to sell them to us before he could open his mouth. Initially, he offered a price that was too high. We haggled with him over the price for a long time. Finally, he gave in, and agreed to sell us at the price of 40 yuan for each piece. Three of us eventually bought 13 pieces in total.


We were gathering around our dinner table.

What we didn't expect was that this camp could offer us a buffet. The food of choice included rice, pancakes and kebabs. I put a little of each of those in my plate and returned back to my seat. As we were having the dinner, we were treated with local dances and stunts. What a beautiful night!


The local dance.

The next day, we were on a tight schedule to visit some of the most iconic places in the city. The driver who's going to take us tour around the city happened to be a Chinese from Heilongjiang province. He had been here for as long as eight years, so he knew the city like the back of his hand. On our way to every place we were going to visit, he'd be introducing us to that place with a lot of facts, background stories and anecdotes. That had made our journey more enjoyable even though we spent a lot of time on the road.

We first visited two seaside resorts: the Jumeirah Beach near Burj Al Arab Hotel--the only 7-star hotel in the world, and Palm Jumeirah--one of the world's largest artificial island. We stayed briefly on Jumeirah Beach largely because of the unbearable temperature (up to 50 degree Celsius). We stayed on the beach for no more than ten minutes to shoot some photos against the backdrop of Burj Al Arab Hotel, then we had a swift retreat to our car.


Me on Jumeirah Beach against Burj Al Arab Hotel.


Riding on a monorail to Palm Jumeirah. Ahead of us is Atlantis Hotel.

Then we went to the Dubai Museum, where we got a glimpse of the city's modern history starting from the 1930s and got to know how the city came into being out of a piece of desert. After that, we visited the Gold Souk and Spice Souk, where large quantity of gold and spice was traded daily. As the sun was going down, we reached our final stop--The Music Fountain. Across the water, we could see Khalifa Tower, with its spire shooting straight into the sky. The lake promenade was crowded with people as the fountain show was about to begin. At 7:30 pm, the show began as the classic song "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston started to play and water started to dance to the music. When the song reached its climax, the water was shot into the new heights, and the audience was screaming with awe.


We were visiting Dubai Museum.


Walking along the street of Gold Souk.


Burj Khalifa Tower--world's tallest manmade structure.


Music fountain show.

That's our last night in Dubai.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (3 comments)

Reply Report josee1016 2015-10-20 14:35
Dubai is such a rich country with great economic growth. But how about the residents there and the natural sceneries? I prefer the cultural sights, manners and customs locally. Could you pls introduce a little about that?
Reply Report cody160 2015-10-21 18:39
josee1016: Dubai is such a rich country with great economic growth. But how about the residents there and the natural sceneries? I prefer the cultural sights, ma ...
During my visit there, I lived in a hotel. So, I didn't have chance to have a close contact with local people. But it's really hard to meet the local people to learn about their local culture. After all, it's such a melt pot -- a huge part of population are immigrants from its neighboring countries like India, Pakistan, etc. Most of the staff in our hotel were Philippines; all the taxi drivers we met were from Pakistan or India; the construction workers for exhibition stands were also from those two countries. As you can see, this is a city of opportunity, acceptance and tolerance. Many immigrants liked the city, because they didn't feel they were outsiders and their contribution really made a difference to the city's vibrant economy.
The driver from a travel agency, who took us around the city for two-days travel, was from Heilongjiang, China. He'd been there for more than ten years and borne witness to numerous changes in this city. En route to every destination, he would talk about some background stories and history about that place as if he knew those places like the back of his hand. He was happy with his life and treated the city his second home.
UAE is an Islamic country, so halal food is served in restaurants and alcoholic drinks are forbidden. But near our hotel, we found a bar that serves beer and red wine. It showed how multi-faceted the city is.
Reply Report josee1016 2015-10-21 19:17
Wow, it sounds like a tolerant and open country. I have read some news about foreign people in Dubai living a happy and pleasant life. So nice country and local people they are.

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  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-17 10:25

    RonJaDa: Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious probl ...
    Hi, Ron, thank you very much for your concern and kind suggestions. Yes, it's a valuable lesson for me.

  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-10 19:39

    Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious problems.

    My recommendation would be to talk to your boss about it to ensure you are covered for future trips. If you legally have to declare a business trip and get the $250 visa, your company should be able to add that cost to your customers bill for your trip.

    It is always hard knowing how to deal with corrupt officials, but I guess this is a valuable lesson for you.

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