Deserted in Dubai

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.

IMG_0372 IMG_0373 IMG_0375 IMG_0379 IMG_0380 Kydee Williams

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.

IMG_0512Kydee Williams

IMG_0394As 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.

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Where Art Thou Burj Khalifa?

We headed out to explore Dubai on foot. We soon learned Dubai is a city where everyone drives. Getting anywhere on foot is the worst mistake you can make. Our target for our first journey in Dubai was to find the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. One of the many disparities of Dubai is that in the midst of its divine architecture, there’s a lot of development going on. We walked along an unpaved path filled with cranes and construction in search of the Burj. Finally, we found what seemed like civilization along the Sheikh Zayed Road but lost sight of the Burj Khalifa.

Where was this building?

We continued walking until we heard music. “How Low Can You Go” by Ludacris was blasting from an unknown location and we followed the sweet sounds of hip hop until we were at brunch in the Al Murroj Hotel. The party was filled with drunk people, smoking shisha, and having a blast (an unusual sight to see in the broad daylight, especially in a country that emphasizes its zero tolerance for alcohol in public), so we did what anyone would do and crashed the party. IMG_9789 IMG_9794 IMG_9802 IMG_9821 IMG_9824Across the street from the brunch was the Dubai Mall. We headed towards the mall and noticed that the Burj Khalifa was right in front of us. How to get inside was still a mystery. The landscape of this city was bewildering; nothing made sense. When we thought we found the entrance to the Burj Khalifa, we were stopped by security telling us we were trespassing on private property. We decided to go to the Dubai Mall and see what we could find there. Once again, the entrance for the Dubai Mall was hard to find. We had to walk along a beautiful lake for about ten minutes before discovering a sea of people, many with selfie sticks, relaxing in front of the mall. Once inside we headed straight to the currency exchange and ATMs. We then grabbed a bite to eat and discovered that the entrance to the Burj Khalifa was actually inside the mall. Go Figure. After all that walking we were exhausted.

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