Dubai and Abu Dhabi are hugely popular travel locations with rich histories, stunning cultures, beautiful buildings and friendly people. These cities are filled with brilliant architecture and majestic scenery built in a desert landscape. The area offers everything from high-end shopping, luxury hotels, incredible restaurants and plenty of adventures to keep you busy. We caught up with Lakiya, a Gate 1 Travel employee, who recently enjoyed a trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and we got the inside scoop on her trip.
Why did you choose this trip and what had you heard about these places that made you decide on it?
I have 2 brothers that are Muslim. They speak highly about the religion and I was intrigued to say the least. I wanted to know more about the religion and how it’s practiced in Dubai vs. how the religion is practiced here in the states. In addition to wanting to know more about the religion, I was told that they were very strict and that everything was bigger and better in Dubai; I needed to see this for myself.
Dubai & Abu Dhabi are becoming some of the most popular international travel destinations, how was that reflected in your trip?
There were several tour buses and various companies. Some places were very crowded like the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the malls, and other tourist locations. There was a lot traffic in Dubai and it almost seemed as if the city never slept. However, the restaurants weren’t overcrowded and the bars/lounges housed a comfortable crowd.
What were of the highlights of your trip?
The highlight of my trip was the Desert Safari! Dune driving was a lot fun and the scenery was to die for! We were able to enjoy a traditional dinner at the camp site that included every aspect of their culture. We enjoyed watching the Falcon show, riding camels, getting henna tattoos, dressing in garbs and even enjoyed free hookah (Shisha).
How was the shopping and did you visit anywhere specifically great for shopping?
We visited the Dubai Mall. I wish we had more time to visit the Mall of the Emirates. The Dubai Mall had every store that you could imagine. The malls stayed open until midnight, which was surprising to me, I’m not use to malls staying open that late in the states. The souks were awesome too! It was fun to negotiate prices and talk the sellers down to a lower price.
What travel tips would you give to someone preparing to go on this trip?
Do your own research! It’s not as strict as everyone told me it was. So I wasn’t prepared to hang in lounges or let loose. All of my outfits were pretty loose fitting or conservative. I had to buy clothing to fit it when we decided to enjoy the nightlife that I didn’t think they had. Nightlife in Dubai was awesome!
How did you prepare for this trip?
I prepared by packing loose fitting/conservative attire.
Would you go back?
Absolutely! I plan on going back in for Expo 2020!
How was your tour manager and what were they like? In what ways did they effect your trip? My tour manager was absolutely FANTASTIC! She did everything from providing history about the 7 Emirates, to providing over-garments for the visit to the mosque, to providing converter boxes for us to charge our electronics. She made reservations for us to have lunch at restaurants on our leisure time and even told us about all of the lounges to party at on Thursday nights! She was very knowledgeable, extremely patient and I honestly don’t think that the experience would have been the same without her.
Would you recommend this trip to family/friends?
Most definitely! …………I already have! See you in 2020, Dubai!