Dazzling Dubai

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Mar 2018 10:45:53


 

By VANASHREE CHILKAPURE,

 

When my husband first disclosed the destination of our first foreign travel, the first thing that crossed my mind, orrather what crosses each lady’s mind was shopping, and I knew I will find ample opportunity to dig into my favourite pastime as it was Dubai calling. There was excitement and jitters at the same time as we headed towards airport with a lot of expectations. Dubai is one destination which rarely disappoints.

Air Arabia flight to Sharjah took off at its appointed time of 4.30 am and within no time we reached our destination. The standard time of Dubai is one and half hour behind the Indian Standard Time. The cool breeze welcomed us at the Sharjah airport as we got ready for a rock and roll trip. After havingahot breakfast, we boarded a bus for Dubai and our six-day tour began with a guide in tow for a general briefing.

After reaching Dubai, we checked in a three-star hotel. The first destination to visit on our list was the Global Village. Day 1: Global Village is Dubai’s leading family entertainment and cultural centre with a unique shopping experience at 30 pavilions, each representing different countries. It also offers a variety of dining options from different cuisines of the world and you can fancy the chance of experiencing a great variety at the same platter.

It also had thrill rides at carnival funfair for the adventure seekers. Day 2: After taking breakfast in the morning, we headed straight towards the much anticipated Dubai Museum. Established in 18th century, it has exhibitsthat depictsthe history and culture of the region. Later, we visited Jumeirah Mosque that is a rare example of a mix of Islamic and modern architecture.

The sandstone mosque features a pair of slender minarets and a roofline crowned with domes decorated with intricate carvings, the hallmark of Islamic architecture. Next in line was the visit to Burj Al Arab the sail-shaped hotel, which is a must visit spot in every traveller’s itinerary. The hotel holds the distinction of being the world’s only seven-star hotel which added to the excitement and we were not disappointed.

It takes the accepted standards of luxury to a newer level. Guests have access to service at par with royalty and fine dining gets a new meaning here. Gold interiors, lush suites, the finest delicacies – Burj Al Arab’s long list of superlatives is just unending. In the evening, we visited the Burj Khalifa, the magnificent steel structure, towering up to a height of 825 meters.

It is the world’s tallest building, We visited the observation Deck of Burj Khalifa located on the 124th floorto getabird’s eye view of the city, which I can simple put in one word - stunning. We reached the 124th floor by elavator in flat 57 seconds! Binoculars were also provided to the visitors for a better view. Later, we enjoyed the mesmerising fountain show in the evening, which was simply astonishing. Next in line was the famous 150 metre high Dubai frame building. It is the latest addition to the architectural landmarks of the city offering panaromic view of the skyline.

The unique building allows you to enjoy 360 degrees views of both old and new Dubai. After reaching the visitor’s deck, we walked on glass floor, which was a thrilling experience. The tourists were later shown a documentary on how Dubai looked like 30 years ago and how it appears now, which was beyond our imagination. Day 3: The third day of the tour was dedicated to Desert Safari. We had a spectacular experience of dune bashing in 4x4 by an expert driver. Moreover, sunset photography was an added opportunity. We enjoyed camel riding, henna designing and Arabic dress photography.

Belly dance show was also an unforgettable experience and a crowd puller to say the least. It was the day to experience a different culture inadifferent nation. Day 4: After having breakfast, we had a full day tour of Abu Dhabi and we boarded the bus with much anticipation. It was time to visit the world famous Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which was an overwhelming experience. This architectural work of art is one the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers.

The calm and tranquil atmosphere can certainly prove to be a good stressbuster from the hectic city life. The grand mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007. Day 5: It was the last day of our stay in UAE. After having our food at 11 am, we headed straight towards the Miracle Garden, which is on the wishlist of each tourist visiting Dubai. The park is home to the region’s biggest flower garden with more than 45 million blooming flowers across 72,000 sq/m, all showcased in a variety of sculptures and designs. It is difficult to take your eyes off the blooming pyramids, stars, igloos and hearts. Filled with vibrant displays everywhere, the park feels more like an art exhibition than a tourist attraction.

It isreally surprising how they managed to create a garden in the middle of a desert. A perfect example of a man made marvel! It was time to bid good-bye to the city with a heavy heart asalot was still left unexplored. We reached Sharjah Airport at 11 pm and boarded the flight for Nagpur and reached here at 3.30 am. With wonderful memories to cherish forever and of course a lot of shopping, we returned to Nagpur. The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, from November to April. January and February sees heavy tourist rush, because of the Dubai Shopping Festival, which makes the city come alive. Overall, the trip was a novel experience for us as it enabled us to get closer to a new culture,anew world!