My current visa for Saudi is a business visa. This means that I must leave the country once every 30 days. I like to think of it is a forced holiday…otherwise I would still be working.
I chose to go to Dubai. Oh my, Dubai! Decadent. Lavish. Hot. Beautiful. Unique. Incredible architecture. Shopping. Amazing. That’s just off the top of my head. Definitely hot though. 44-47 degrees celsius and then add on the humidity and the evenings do not cool off much. No one walks a great distance here. Cars, taxis, etc. are used.
The few beaches I saw had plenty of people sunning and swimming. Shops along the boardwalk fill your every need but, not being a sun worshiper, I didn’t not spend much time there. My hotel had a roof-top pool and bar. I did spend some time there LOL.
First things first. I had a massage at the hotel spa. Just because I could! Then I visited the Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world! It has an aquarium, full size ice rink, waterfall and who knows how many stores. The one food court is the size of most other malls I’ve been to. The very top names are here but the best surprise was discovering a Tim Horton’s!!! I had to stop and have my regular steeped tea with one milk and an everything bagel, toasted with cream cheese. For about 15 minutes it was like being back home!
The world’s tallest building, the Barj Khalifa, is next door so that was my next stop. The elevator ride was great. A full multi-media show on the walls and such a smooth ride you barely felt like you were moving. The view is, as you would expect, awesome! The city, the skyscrapers, the Persian Sea all far down below you.
Later in the day I went to a desert safari. 4×4 Land Rovers tooling around the desert. Yes, the real desert!! Sand dunes as far as you can see. It’s amazing how beautiful the desert is when you know you’re not lost in it.
We made our way to bedouin-like compound for and surprisingly great supper for the middle of the desert and a bit of entertainment. It was all topped of with a belly dancer. That was quite the sight after one month in Saudi.
The next day I hired a driver to take me around the city and show be as much as he could. He was very knowledgable and friendly. The tour was supposed to be 4 hours but we were out there for 6.5 hours. Museums, beaches, The Palm Island Resort, the incredible Dubai skyline, Burj Al Arab, little nooks and crannies tucked away in old Dubai. All very beautiful.
Below are some pictures of my stay. I hope you enjoy them half as much as I did taking them.