Preparing for the UAE

As with any trip I take, research is very important to me. Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a very progressive country in the Middle East, there are still customs that one must abide by to be respectful. Westerners like myself, aren’t used to being told how to act, behave in public, and dress but these are all things one must keep in mind while traveling there. Middle Eastern culture is different. I wanted to learn more about it. I bought The Lonely Planet Abu Dhabi/Dubai travel book. It was quite helpful and it came with a map. I also liked DK Eyewitness Travel Guide, their pictures are bright and colorful and it outlines the top things to do while in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Some of the other ways I prepared was reading blogs and watching Youtube. For some reason I still felt as if I didn’t know enough; How could you really know what to expect? I cut my self some slack after a while; I would never really know until I was actually there.

All the information that I collected I put in a Google Doc so it could be shared among my travel partners. We collected valuable travel information. I also created a spreadsheet with our costs/budgets. We decided to get nice hotels out there since we really didn’t pay much for the flight. It was definitely worth it.

TravelNoire set up a spreadsheet for all the people who were traveling to Dubai at the same time as we were. When our group connected it was instant chemistry. I soon learned that their concerns were my concerns. Luckily for me, a few members of our little group were on our flight to Abu Dhabi as well. It was amazing. They were so cool and we even hitched a ride with them to Dubai.

Ways to Prepare:

If flying with Etihad make sure you get your confirmation and seat number because some of the flights were overbooked (just to be on the safe side). Etihad contact details below:


1 888 8 ETIHAD  or 1 (888) 838-4423

Does your flight need insurance? Insurance for Etihad/Orbitz booking flight below:

Allianz Global Assistance


Need a Free coach bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai for Etihad Passengers click the below link:

Register with the consulate general of the U.S so they are aware of your travel to Dubai:


Travel Style 101: Shopping

I did all my shopping before I left; it’s just too expensive to shop in Europe. Nevertheless, in this photo-driven world that we live in, it was important for me to look the part while in Europe. I wanted each of my outfits to be reflections of my personal style and the countries I was visiting. To start, I researched the traditional and/or stereotypical looks of each country. I then tried my best to imitate:

When I think of…

  • London, I think preppy, I needed a trench coat
  • Paris, I think romance, I needed a beret, soft colored outfits and black
  • Venice, I think nautical, I needed stripes like the Gondola guys
  • Rome, I think of a historical metropolis, I was thinking something along the line of gaudy Donatella Versace
  • Barcelona, I think excitement and liveliness, I needed bright colors
  • Amsterdam, I think Kydee all the way…Boho-hipster

Kydee style boardFor fashion inspiration, I resorted to magazines that illustrated European influenced styles, specifically Harper Bazaar magazine and clipped out tons of photos that fit the looks I was going for. Now I needed to shop:

  • Thrift Shopping: Thrifting was the best. I got a lot of European styled skirts and shoes that set the tone for some of my looks
  • The Fashion District: The garment/fashion district in NYC was my go-to spot for D.I.Y projects. I was attempting a tutu skirt and tassels on my heels
  • Zara: If you know me, then you know that my favorite store since I was 15-years old has always been Zara. I found some really cute things including leopard pants that were expensive ($70) but cute.
  • Forever 21 + H&M: I got a lot of accessories, leggings, shirts, and sweaters from these stores. I also got my walking shoes.
  • Banana Republic: I found my trench coat and blazers here…perfect for the conservative looks.

Ky’s Style Tips:

  • Take pictures of your outfits before you pack them. It’s great for memory and keeping track of what you are actually taking
  • No pictures? No problem…just use an excel document or the reminders app on your iPhone as a checklist


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Kydee Williams Kydee Williams

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