I recently found myself living it up in Dubai all thanks to Edelman and Dubai Tourism. Good food, VIP treatment and blisters on my feet – I experienced it all. Now let me tell you about #MyDubai experience.
It was my first time visiting the United Arab Emirates and I must say it was a great experience that deserves a 2nd and a 3rd visit because there is a lot to do and experience. I will have two articles about my experience this time. I don’t want you falling asleep from reading a long article. Lol
For obvious reasons, Emirates was our Airline from Johannesburg, South Africa to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. One can never go wrong with Emirates. Very comfortable, spacious, friendly cabin crew, good food and of course Wi-Fi. You can stay connected throughout your trip and not miss out on what’s happening. It’s the BEST! There is nothing worse than an uncomfortable long flight. I will one day share with you my opinions on all the flights/airlines I have used.
Anyway, we arrived to a warm welcome at the Rove Hotel – Rove City Centre. The staff welcomed us with wide smiles and their hotness. Yeah, the men there are hot hey. I even asked them if hotness is part of the standard requirements to be hired at Rove. Trust me when I tell you, ALL the men at Rove Hotel are hot, including their Lifeguards by the pool. It’s shocking. Lol
This was my room. So welcoming! The view was not bad at all. Yeah, I got a gift. Mmmmmh!
I felt at home already. With that printed on the wall, why wouldn’t I?
The tour began and our first stop was the Old Souks. This is where you find anything and everything. The good thing about this market is that you can negotiate prices and get the best deal for yourself. Those are spices. You can find any type and kind. Ja neh!
Look at all this beautiful art. I couldn’t get enough. I also had a chat with one of the gentleman. I watched him work, the passion, the dedication and the perfection was beyond amazing.
Walking through the Gold market was something else. I had NEVER been surrounded by so much gold in my whole entire life. There was Jewellery everywhere with not even security which got me thinking about the stress Jewellery shops go through here in South Africa. They have all kinds of security and they still have to remove the jewellery from displays to avoid losing it to tsotsis. Well, nobody steals in Arab countries that’s for sure. They are so free and safe. You can walk around with the most expensive chain or ring and no one will kill you for it. I forgot my purse on top of a flower pot outside our hotel (we were busy taking photos), I only realised about 5minutes later that I had left my purse outside – guess what? I found my purse still untouched. I deserve that free and safe life shem.
This is the world’s heaviest gold ring. Sorry the picture is not that clear because of reflection on the mirror. This ring is in the Guinness World Records. The ring is mounted with 5.17 kg of precious stones, and set on 58.686 kg 21 carat gold ring. It has a total weight of 63.856 kg. Imagine that. OMG!!
I spotted an African clothing store and I felt a deep connection. That Dashiki shirt. LIFE!!
We also got to experience crossing the Dubai Creek using an Abra. It was one of the best experiences ever.
Posing for pics with Laraib from Edelman Dubai, Sharon Preston from Nubian Bride Magazine in South Africa, and Islam our Tour guide from Dubai.
On our way to lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), we spotted a few places like the Dubai Museum. Not sure what’s in there, would have loved to see that.
A perfect spot for pics. The buildings were too inviting for one to ignore the urge to pose. Lol
We arrived at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for a good schooling on the Arab culture, rules, marriage, religion, food, you name it.
Lunch…….we were fed! The food was so yummy and it was a lot. We were told to eat as much as we can and pack skaftin to eat later.
That’s me with Susan Wong from Kenya, Sharon Preson from South Africa and Laraib from Edelman Dubai. Let me tell you something about the food there. You eat, feel full, and then after 10mins you feel hungry again, and then eat….the just cycle continues. The food is just too good.
We were then driven to the Desert Safari. I had never experienced any type of desert life in my existence. I’m an Island girl so all this was a first for me. The dune bashing was an experience for sure. If you are a motion sickness person please DO NOT TRY IT at all. I get car sick most of the times if I’m not driving so I have mastered the trick of sitting in front, and this time it helped a lot during the Dune Bashing ride. I survived.
Myself sitting high up there with Carole from Kenya. Told y’all there were a lot of firsts for me right? After the Dune Bashing it was time to ride the camels. What a lot of admin. It’s really fun and I’d do it again but damn…..the moments when the Camel gets up and when it kneels down is not really cool.
It’s a lot of work for the Camels and it made me feel sorry for them. It’s like they are being abused. Camels are so ‘quiet’ and look harmless maybe that’s why I kinda got emotional. I am used to horses. Hehehe
After the Camel rides it was sunset time and that meant dinner in the desert. We were treated like VIPs y’all. Our waiter was not impressed with me for getting up and going to pour myself hot water. I am used to doing things on my own so I got up and helped myself with no intention to offend. But ke VIPs must act like VIPs and just sit and be served. Food was brought to us whilst other people had to go and queue for food. The looks we were getting from other tourists? I am sure they thought we were some rich people. Lol, I guess that’s what happens when Dubai Tourism hosts you. Royal treatment.
Let me tell you this, Arab men spoil women. The few days I was there, men did ALL the work for us. Even when we were at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre of Cultural Understanding, we were served by men. As a black African woman, that was new to me. We don’t get to experience that kind of treatment from men because we do most of the domestic work if not all. We cook, serve and feed all the men in our lives – from our Grandpas to our Fathers, Uncles, Brothers and Husbands. So being spoiled like that by men 24/7 made me understand why Arab men can marry up to 4 wives. Who wouldn’t want to be treated like a Queen?
I also decided to give my hand a treat and allow it to be spoiled too. Got the hand Henna touch nyana. So cool.
I will end part 1 of #MyDubai experience here for now. Click HERE for Part Two if you wanna know how this story ends. 🙂