0 03/09/2012 reviews Travel

Dear Dubai.

Dear Dubai,

What a whirlwind adventure we shared! You are so diverse and interesting and I feel like I only got a small taste of everything you have to offer during my short visit. Your stunning architecture impressed me, your beaches soothed me, your shopping invigorated me and your unique culture and history mesmerized me. You taught me so much about your people and I realized how little I know about many places in the world. You are so different from me or anywhere else I have visited yet I enjoyed you more than I can describe.

IMG_0413.JPGThe view of Dubai from my hotel room at the extravagant Atlantis on The Palm.

I have to be honest with you, I didn’t know what to expect. You certainly lived up to your reputation of luxury and excess. Our beautiful urban experience at The Pullman Hotel attached to the incredible shopping experience of The Mall of The Emirates was perfection. High Tea at the Ritz Carlton in the financial district and luxurious spa treatments at both The Ritz and the relaxing Park Hyatt Dubai exceeded my wildest dreams.

Pullman Hotel DubaiMe (in my fab Old Navy sundress!) at the rooftop pool of the Pullman Hotel with the
Burj Al Arab in the background. Stunning spot.

However, you were so much more than this. You have personality and diversity and an energy that is unique to you. The “Open Doors. Open Minds.” philosophy of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding set the stage for an opportunity for me to learn more about your past. The traditional breakfast and open conversation with guests addressed many misconceptions I didn’t even know I had about the Arab world and I thank you for opening my mind.

SMCCULearning at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

I would also like to thank your for enabling me to have this adventure with friends. The many laughs and reflective conversations over exotic meals and fine wine were such an important part of this journey. Facing my fears with my friends on our adventures on the Seawings seaplane flight over Dubai and our Desert Safari experience from Knight Tours will forever be remembered.

IMG_0539.JPGTaking it all in with friends. A true gift.

the palm dubaiA view of The Palm with Atlantis at the tip from the air.

Knight tours desert safariThe wild ride got us stuck in the sand dunes of the beautiful Arabian desert.

And thank you for the opportunity to make new friends. Our wonderful tour guide, Mounir, from Knight Tours was a key factor in making this trip so spectacular. Not only was he flexible and easy going but passionate and knowledgeable too. He offered us insight we would have never had and took us to places we would never have seen. And the fact that he was tall, dark and handsome certainly didn’t hurt! If you ever take a trip to Dubai make sure to contact Knight Tours and request Mounir. A great guide makes all the difference!

IMG_0510.JPGIn the Gold Souks with our tour guide and new friend, Mounir, and my travel buddy, Karen.

So, thank you Dubai. For everything. My time with you was so much more than I imagined.

Your new friend,

Jen

P.S. – I have SO MUCH more to write about from my trip to Dubai so stay tuned!

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