The United Arab Emirates was not among my top two Easter vacation choices. When plans fell through for other locations, I had to make do with Dubai. I was not initially keen on the trip, I mean it’s like the 37th State of Nigeria. It feels like a cliché saying you are going to Dubai for a holiday.
I saw several Dubai deals but that of Socialprefect tours stood out, mostly because it wasn’t just for U.A.E (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) but the itinerary also included a trip to another country – Oman.
First activity on arriving Dubai (of course after checking into the hotel and settling in) was the desert safari where we had options of quad biking, Carmel riding and dune bashing.
First, I had to get the Arab scarf (Ghutra) to complete my look.
The major activity was the dune bashing. It was so scary, yet thrilling. The way the SUVs meandered through the desert mounds, sometimes sharp turns got us thinking the vehicle was going to tumble.
Small piece of advice, don’t eat any meal hours before taking the ride, else you’ll most likely throw up. Most of us alighted from the vehicle feeling nauseous.
After the ride, we retreated to the camp where we did Carmel ride and then had a dinner buffet. During the dinner, we were entertained by a belly dancer, tanura show and fire show.
Second day, we were off to explore Abu Dhabi. It’s like the Abu Dhabi is on a mission to have the tallest everything in the world – mall, building, hotel, residential houses e.tc. The buildings stand tall in all their glory showing off intimidating architectural prowess.
Frist stop we made in Abu Dhabi was the visit to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007 at a cost of 2 Billion dihrams ($545 million). Starting from the outside to the underground pathway leading into the main mosque, you’ll be wowed by the structures.
Best part for me was the lights, the Chandeliers were everything. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers from the company Faustig in Munich, Germany that incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world.
We had a city tour of the Abu Dhabi and a quick stop at the Abu Dhabi mall and detour to the Ferrari world before heading back to the hotel.
The following day we had a city tour of Dubai city. Our tour guide gave a rundown of the history of the city while the bus drove through the residential areas.
We had a stopover at the Jumeirah beach, after which headed to the Dubai mall before heading to the IMG world of adventure.
The world of adventure was another highlight of my visit to Dubai. It felt like a world of its own. The biggest indoor theme park in the world. The first activity we did was the Avengers Battle of Ultron, where we wore 3D glasses while seated in a circular cinema like hall of sort, watching the avengers save the world till the theater started to rotate and vibrate violently…the moving hall and vibrations took me by surprise.
From there we went to the Thor’s Thunder spin. This one was the ‘baba’ of them all. It didn’t help I had just seen Final Destination movie part 5 a week before the trip, Boy! I thought about all the possible freak accidents that could happen while we were being spun around.
After recovering we went for some more crazy stuff, some were plain PG13, like Predator and Ben 10. The Amazing ride of Gumball was enjoyable till well, my competitive spirit which I thought I had tamed showed up. I remember enjoying the ride and shooting at the walls as the cable car drove from door to door. My instincts made me check everyone’s gun score on and mehn I was the 2nd least scorer. That was where the fun ended for me. I became so serious with my aim and shots, I left there fulfilled when the ride ended and I had thrashed everyone’s score with a good margin. I guess some things really never change. Lool
I did several other rides, my head began turningoninown…the velociraptor ride was the craziest and scariest of them all (had the track going out of the building, straight up into the sky and then back to the ground surface in full speed). The forbidden territory ride was another remarkably scary one.
The next day was the trip to the second country – Oman. This happened to be a milestone for me. My 10th country visited, yay!!
To get to Oman, we had to travel through all the provinces in the United Arab Emirates, and of course Dubai and Abu Dhabi stood out in terms of development. After clearing at the border, we made our way to the ocean side where we had a boat cruise and chilled by the beach.
The brave ones went for banana ride, which closely resembles white water rafting just that here, the banana shaped boat is tied to a bigger boat and pulled across the ocean. There is no raft or need of paddles, but just as in white water rafting, the boat tumbles and throws everyone into the ocean. I didn’t come to drown in Oman, so I sat this one out.
A friend told me you can’t go to Dubai and not go on a shopping spree. I pride myself as a disciplined shopper but thankfully I listened and took my dollar debit card as back up. Boy! Maybe it was because I went shopping with two renowned impulse buyers, or maybe I got lost in the shopping craze, I never for once thought I would spend a whole day shopping! From morning till evening, we were dragging big bags across shops and malls buying everything.
I had to tell the cashier to announce the names of my co-shoppers twice at the last mall, so we didn’t miss our flight back.
Once again, Socialprefecttours delivered on an amazing trip. Not only did I leave with great memories but I made new awesome friends.
And if you know me, you’ll know by now traveling affords me a chance to explore landscape photography…