Many of us have the opportunity to go to places because of work. Anyone who can relate to this knows that a work trip has nothing to do to a “regular vacation”. You are conditioned to be in a hotel, to work more than the usual 8 hours [as you have to do whatever you got to do in the destination but also what you are supposed to do in your daily basis] – so not easy task there!
Still, it gives you the chance to go to a new place, to “pin” a new city/country in The Map… and you got a chance to try new food, get to know new people – so it is a win-win thing after all!
In October I got the chance to go to Abu Dhabi for 4 days for work, and then I took ONE day to go around Dubai. The time in Abu Dhabi was quite hectic: I was teaching a class to some peers, so at 5pm I was exhausted…But, I also wanted to see a little bit of the city!
The first stop was Ferrari World and first thing was to check out the webpage and get to know what this was about! Got a feeling that this was going to be fun as the theme park has a variety of activities, rides, shows, restaurants – it’s quite a great place to go with families and small children. When we got there my first impression was “Wow”, I was impressed by the design of the building, and about the concept of “Ferrari” was immersed in every little detail!.. I went with a co-worker and we had quite a great time… But, be careful with the rides! The first ride we got in was Fiorao GT Challenge and it was a great ride, really enjoy the velocity and the curves, you can definitely feel the power. Then, we got into Formula Rossa and I must say “respect!”… The first few seconds were great, the energy was amazing, but after a few seconds I was like “when does this end?”… Funny thing was when the ride finished: everybody was kinda holding themselves from the walls, walking all slowly, and I thought that my friend was going to faint!… (I felt I was going to faint too!!)… My friend looks quite strong, and tall and everything, but that doesn’t mean that this ride will not take everything inside of you and flip it! Lol … After the ride, we just walked around, eat and drink to get some energy back. We couldn’t stop saying “that was strong… that was quite a ride!” ..Overall, if you got a chance, don’t miss out Ferrari World, quite a different, interesting and entertaining theme park for everybody!
Another day after the class, we went to Sheikh Zayed Mosque. For afar you can tell how beautiful the mosque is, but going inside of it is something different.
The most minimal details were thought: the floors, the walls, the chandelier, the materials (marble, gold, crystals, ceramics, semi precious stones!). It took more than 3,000 workers to build the mosque, and +30 contracting companies. The most impressive part for me were the spectacularly amazing chandeliers. The first one was in a shape of flower that you could appreciate in its greatest splendor if you stand right below it.
The other ones, where located in one of the main halls, and they did not disappoint at all…
There are a true jewel in the dessert!. If you think about religious places, it is amazing as we human want to make the most beautiful places for God— For example, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City which is absolutely stunning!
After I finished the 4 days of training, I had to take what was left of my trip to go to Dubai: ONE day! It was not much at all, there were so many places and things I wanted to do that I didn’t get the chance of, i.e.: a trip to the desert! Saving it for next time! 😉 I took a taxi from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, it’s about an hour and a half away by car, so not such a bad ride. I arrived at The Steigenberger Hotel located at the Business Bay , which had an INCREDIBLE view of Burj Khalifa, and was the reason for choosing it!
Since I was just going to be in Dubai for a day, I decided to get into the Big Bus Tours as it was going to be the easiest and fastest way to go around the city. The main stop is located at Dubai Mall, and there they will provide you with the headphones and a map with all the main places of the city. The city is connected with three different lines, so you do get a chance to visit the different parts of the city. In the webpage you can find all the information about the routes, the prices and more. I think that by now you know that I don’t really go into specifics of hotels and/or tours prices (sorryyy!), but check out the webpage through the link ⬆️.
My first stop in the Big Bus was Jumeraih – quite a magnificient site! It was picture perfect, it was like looking it in a magazine, was not disappointed at all.
After this I took the bus again and went to Souk Madinat Jumeirah; full of shops, restaurants, and different passages that take you around the Souk.
I will say this is not precisely the most traditional Souk, but it gives you a main idea and feeling of being in the Emirates. Walking around the Souk, I found the back side of it, and the view was incredible! Also incredible, was the heat!! I was really feeling it, and I truly started to sweat like crazy! Hahaha, part of the journey!
From there, I took the bus to by following stop: The Marina! I loved this place, with the long beach and restaurants along the way! I truly wanted to stay and just relax sun tanning… BUT, there was more to see!
Then I took the bus that was going to the Atlantis, which is located a the famous Jumeirah Palm Island! While in the bus, Loved the design and architecture of the houses, the buildigs around the city, mostly all matching the colors and style of the dessert — pure style all along!
Got into the Atlantis Hotel and couldn’t see much as: 1. it was packed! There is The Aquaventure WaterPark , it was a Friday, and with that heat getting into a pool was kinda a necessity!. 2. There are restrictions for certain areas of the hotel, which are only for Hotel guests– understandable! So, I got the chance to have lunch here (a delicious Shawarma!) and charge the phone (quite important!).
Before leaving and continuing with my fast One-Day-Tour, I needed to take a picture with the Hotel, not my best picture tho!
After that, I went back to Dubai Mall, took a taxi from there to the hotel, and get a shower and get ready to go up to the tallest building in the World: The Burj Khalifa! **View from my room window!!
When I got back to Dubai Mall, from where you access the Burj Khalifa, the building is sooo tall that getting a selfie is quite a challenge — It’s amazingly tall!
The tickets have many different prices, and mostly depends on the time at which you are going up!. By coincidence, I got into a private tour that was cheaper than the regular price — To be honest, I don’t even know what I said to get into the tour!– Lost in Translation?
The private tour started with a traditional coffee and dessert (delicious by the way!), and having a tour guide providing facts of the building. After that, we skipped ALL the lines, and got into the elevator which will take us to The SKY Observation Deck at Floor 148, at 10 meters per second– that was fast!!!
The views from atop are absolutely stunning! Burj Khaliffa is quite a piece of art, and it is certainly the center piece of the city. The best time to go up is to watch the sunset, but I think that any time will leave you speechless either way! I truly enjoyed this time at the tallest building in the World, and I would totally recommend taking a trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi… I will certainly come back!
Don’t miss the spectacular fountain show from one of the amazing restaurants… I had an incredible dinner at Bice Mare !!
Cheers for a successful work trip!