Finally, a day to relax. I used my last day in the UAE to actually unwind. We went downstairs to the 19th floor to have lunch and a dip in the pool. We ended up staying there longer than planned. There was so much going on. The jets from the day before were now flying high in the sky, spinning, flipping and leaving colorful contrails that resembled the UAE flag. We were warned not to take photographs of what we were seeing or else our phones would be confiscated. That’s just how exclusive Abu Dhabi is.
From the pool, we went straight to the Guggenheim Museum on Saadiyat Island for an afternoon of art and culture. The Seeing Through the Light Exhibit was on display and it absolutely blew my mind. There was a lot of artwork that represented this idea of infinity. Celestial infinity. In this broad world, where do we fit? Ghada Amer’s, “Reflected Light” artwork was one of my favorites. It was a ball, with light-reflecting inside, enclosed with words in Arabic that describes love. The emptiness on the inside where the light reflects illustrates the void that we have when we choose to fall in love (especially when we fall out of it). Finally, one of the best exhibits I went to was the “Infinity Mirror Room” by Yayoi Kusama. The room is surrounded by mirrors and colorful LED light bulbs; as you walk along the rectangular panels, which is surrounded by water, the colors of the lights change. It gives off an element of space, time and infinity.
I ended my trip to the UAE with a visit to the spice souqs and the Yas Mall to check out Ferrari World. All in all, this trip changed my life.
I woke up bright and early to head to the Dubai mall to purchase a selfie stick. I know, very vain, but it seemed like we were the only tourists in Dubai without one. Besides, it would be useful for our desert safari. This selfie stick was kind of a big deal.
Addicted to the art of negotiation, we went back to the Deira Gold Souqs for more souvenirs. We would soon learn, Dubai is the best place to negotiate because, in my experience, shops in Abu Dhabi were more expensive and not as willing to. I searched for the Arab scent. It’s a scent that you cannot help but smell when passing some of the men in Dubai. Someone told me Musk and Rose were the ingredients. Yet, the guy trying to sell me this scent was a crook, so I left the souq without it!
Dubai is infamous for its traffic. We were going to be late for our pick up to the desert, which was scheduled for 3:30PM. We were stuck in traffic for about 30-minutes and arrived back at the hotel at 4PM. The driver, who picked us up was so nice. We thought we would be the only ones on the safari but he then drove to a residential area of Dubai to pick up an older Irish couple and their granddaughter. The minute I saw we would be on this desert safari with gramps and granny, I knew we were in for trouble. They would probably warn the driver not to go so fast and blah, blah, blah.
For about an hour we drove on a highway until it gradually turned into the desert. The brown sand was beautiful. We got out of our jeep to meet with the other group of jeeps that would be traveling with us to our secret location in the desert.
As we were zooming through the high sand dunes like a roller coaster, up-down, to the side and around, granny asked the driver if he could slow down for her granddaughter who was getting car sick. I nudged Myllz and rolled my eyes. Really? Did I pay to go slow on the sand dunes? Who goes slow over sand dunes? I guess we do. I was so annoyed!
I couldn’t wait to get to our secret desert camp. The first thing I did was ride the camels. They were so cute. Scary but cute. I almost wanted them to spit so I could see it in person but their mouths were covered.
The scary part of riding a camel is when they come up and come down. It’s sort of like levels. Some of the camels have no sense of space and will be all in your face. Camels are very treasured by the people in Dubai. It’s a serious crime to harm them.