Dubai, an oil-rich city in the United Arab Emirates, was my next stop after Egypt. Despite their close proximity, Egypt and Dubai’s differences were striking. Egypt’s alluring history and mysterious aura hypnotized me, while Dubai’s luxurious energy and ultra-modern architecture gave me a sensory overload.
In Dubai, I was able to experience various extremes from the dry hot desert to snow. Yes, snow! In Dubai, I had my first experience seeing, touching, and even eating snow. Amazingly, in this scorching desert, there is an artificial ski resort. Located in the Mall of the Emirates is Sky Dubai, a huge 22,500 sq meter mountain complex with five different runs for skiing and snowboarding. Snowboarding down these slopes quickly became a fun and simultaneously absurd obsession in this swelteringly hot desert metropolis.
Another trip highlight was visiting “the world’s only seven star hotel”, the Burj Al Arab, which is the sailboat looking hotel you see in the picture above. I checked out the hotel and had lunch in the Skyview bar where I could see Dubai’s famous artificial islands “Palm Island” and “The World”. Service there was amazing and they treat you like a billionaire. I definitely lived in the moment and pretended to be a money master in my head during my visit.
I toured most of the city via a hop on/off bus, and made my way out to the desert. I went on an excursion that included dune bashing, sand-boarding, a BBQ feast, camel rides, hookah, henna tattoos, and belly dancers. The day trip was over the top, just like Dubai is!