United Arab Emirates

We visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a layover stop to London from Bangkok. Of all the time of the year I chose to come here, I decided to visit in the middle of the summer during Ramaddan. Well I thought it’ll be like Turkey! I knew it would be hot, but didn’t know it’ll be 45c++. I didn’t want to go out at all. No wonder the night live here is so vibrant and the malls are open way into the am. Its the only time of day that the heat is bareable. Plus, people can feast after their day of fasting.

And thats another matter I need to warn my fellow travelers. Unless you enjoy fasting or eating only in the hotels, don’t visit during Ramaddan. Its nothing like Turkey that still have restaurants open and people (who are not fasting) can still eat publicly. In the UAE, you CANNOT! I even seen some tourists eating in the bathroom in the mall. 

So Ramaddan and the heat aside, Dubai is a skyscrapper heaven. Its another city that never sleeps. I actually enjoyed chilling in the malls, Atlantis and on top of Burj Khalifa more than going on the desert jeep tour. Although the roller coaster ride in the Hummer on the sand dune was epic, the desert itself wasn’t as fascinating. For beautiful desert sceneries, I prefer the Sahara or Gobi. 

Abu Dhabi, the capital city, is lovelier and quieter. Its main attractions are the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates palace, and Ferrari World. I didn’t visit the Ferrari world due to the lack of time and interest. The mosque was the highlight of my visit to Abu Dhabi. Girls beware that you do need to cover up head-to-toe. The guards are strict about dress code! The beauty of the mosque made all the hassle worth it though. Also, a definite plus is the air conditioning. I didn’t want to leave.

I would love to visit Dubai again. The shopping is great, the food is good. And the party scene as well. Alcohol strictly sold in hotels though. My favorite eatery is probably the Cheesecake Factory. I would totally fly in just to pickup a red velvet cheesecake. Its easier to fly here than to Boston.

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