(Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
In February of 2014, I was invited to teach a course in Dubai. In keeping with our “why not” philosophy, we decided to stay the weekend and visit with some friends in the area.
Dubai is a quick (ha) 14 hour (7,251 miles / 11,669 km) flight from Melbourne. Arrival could not have been easier or more efficient – no lines, no questions, no visas, bags on the belt by the time we got to baggage claim.
Dubai is pretty spread out but there are a few main areas. We stayed at the Hilton Jumeirah Beach Resort, which is right on the beach in the “City Walk” area of Dubai. The hotel was right on the beach and had a very nice executive lounge. My course was at The Address hotel in Dubai Marina, seemingly close to the Hilton yet often a lengthy cab ride due to road construction and traffic.
- Dinner at the Souk Medinat – great view of the Burj Al Arab (the fancy hotel that looks like a sail), but not really a traditional souk. Think traditional souk meets Disney 🙂
- The Saudi German Hospital – yep – had to get Andy’s sinus infection checked out. The good news is that our corporate international assistance plan totally rocks. Gave us the name of the nearest “approved” medical facility, called ahead so they knew we were coming, and arranged payment for the entire thing. The hospital (like most of Dubai was brand new, and the doctor was trained in… Houston. Yep.
- An absolutely awesome day with Mike and Tracy – quick tour of the city to see the Royal Palace, camel racing, and a white peacock and LOTS of flamingos. After that, we were off to the dunes to see a peregrine falcon hunt and drive through some seriously steep dunes. Two vehicles got stuck, but our driver was a pro (and provided a not-so-authentic sound track that included Flo Rida’s “Low”). We hiked to the top of some dunes to watch a gorgeous sunset, and then headed to the “camp” for camel rides, henna tattoos, shisha (of course), stargazing, bellydancing, and a giant buffet dinner.
- The Dubai Mall – totally and completely overwhelming. Learned that you can dive the aquarium and that you need to make reservations for the Burj Al Khalifa several days in advance. Oh well, something for next time.