Last November, Eira and I traveled to Dubai. It wasn't our original plan-we'd thought of traveling to Morroco-but flight tickets were so cheap to the Arab Emirates, we took the leap! So, how was it? What type of things can you do there?
Obviously, Dubai is kind of fake. I mean, it was built on the desert without a prior already existing city. It is very easy to navigate, specially since English is widely spoken there. If I remember the numbers correctly, there are about 10% of locals, 70% Asians, over 15% Iranian, and around 3% are considered "western".
First of all: groupon groupon groupon! There are so many deals you can get to visit and do things in Dubai. We booked our Desert safari through it and the price was unbeatable. You can usually also get offers for Burj Khalifa (the tallest building on the planet). We got the sunrise morning ticket with breakfast included. And, unless you are very keen on seeing the morning sun, I wouldn't recommend it. Breakfast starts much later in the lobby downstairs and consists of a croissant, juice, and coffee or tea: prioritize your ZzzzZZs.
Second, taxis and über are very cheap. If I ever go back, I think I'll rent a car. The price of gas is good and from the people that I got to meet there and talked to, renting a car looked like a good option. Another good tip is: double check the area where you are staying at. Eira and I stayed at an airbandb, good place and price; but we were far away from everything.
Food? Oh, you can find anything! From Ladurée, to the Cheesecake Factory and back to Tim Hortons. We found the price of food to be very similar to that in Spain, alcohol (where served, difficult to find in general-except night clubs) is quite expensive. For instance, you would only find 0% beer at the Carrefour supermarket. As a rule of thumb, malls are crazy, crazy big and luxurious. You can find ones with a place to ski, swim with sharks or an ice skating rink. Ah! And did I mention that bus stops have AC?
During our time there, I also got my PADI scuba diver permit with Nemo Diving school. It consisted on completing a set of online studying + tests, and then three afternoon/evenings of dives and learning the safety procedures. I'm quite excited to be able to dive at futures travel destinations. As yogi, with all the breath work that I practice, it felt easier to be relaxed underwater (which can make people a little anxious) and keeping my breath slow and deep.
We also made a visit to Abu Dhabi and visited the Mosque. Although it is a new building, it is an amazing jewel. The access is free of charge ;) The best time to visit is probably in the evening, so you can see it both with sun and during sunset.
The cherry on top was to do skydiving. It was something Eira and I had talked about for a while, and we were like "let's do it!". Although it is quite expensive, I've got to say that they were very professional, I felt very safe, and had a blast. One of the best experiences of my life (and not as scary as I thought)!