After eight months of being here I finally had my first visitors from home! Months of planning and days of counting down, my sister and cousin arrived in the UAE on November 16 for 10 days!
It was a nice change to have time off work and spend it as a tourist in the country I now live in. What was even better, was that I got to experience that with my family.
I finished work on the Thursday evening and drove up to Dubai to wait for the arrival of Megan and Ryan in our hotel (I’m not quite nice enough to pick them up from the airport). Our timing was perfect, I barely had to wait any time before they walked through the front doors of the hotel into my open arms – how nice it was to see familiar faces from home!! After some freshening up and playing around on SnapChat (obviously) we headed to walk around Deira, the area where we were staying. More of the “old” part of Dubai Deira has a lot of narrow streets and little business, but more pedestrian friendly than most parts of the city. We found a mall and had dinner, followed by ice cream. Megan and Ryan were total troopers and managed to stay up late despite the day (or in Ryan’s case, 30 hours of travel including car and plane after a night shift) of travel.
It’s a fun experience if you have the patience to go through many items and inspect things closely, and if you have the bartering skills required. Buying more than any of us needed, we ventured back to the hotel to drop off our goods and headed into the city to Dubai Mall for some lunch (and more shopping) before we traveled vertical up the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world).
Up to level 148 we went to get the views of Dubai. We made our way down to level 125 and 124 and then back to ground to have dinner with the nighttime views of the Burj Khalifa and the fountain show out front.
Day 2 : We checked out of the hotel and made our venture to Abu Dhabi, but made a couple of stops along the way. We had breakfast at Cafe Rouge at the Madinat Jumeirah with the views of the Burj Al Arab in the back. We took a look around the souk and went for a tour around the hotel and souk on a traditional Abra boat. Made the one hour drive back to Abu Dhabi and settled into my apartment before heading out to Yas mall to experience ThEATre by Rhodes, AKA a 5-star movie experience where you pre-order food and it is delivered to you while you enjoy the movie from your leather recliner chair and satin duvet.
We stopped at the grocery store to get some food for breakfast the next morning & headed home to bed!
As every morning of the rest of the trip worked out to be, Ryan was awake by 7:30am and ready for the day to begin! Made breakfast at mine and headed to the pool for some Vitamin D. Left the pool mid afternoon (there’s only so much laying around those two can do — unlike myself) and got ready to head to the mosque for sunset. It was as beautiful as I remembered it to be from the first time I was there back in March. We came back to mine and made tacos and watched a movie.
The next morning we woke and just relaxed, headed to the pool for some sun and then came back to get ready before heading out to check out downtown Abu Dhabi. We parked along the corniche and walked in the heat (it was very hot) to Emirates Palace. We had our 24 karat gold cappuccinos in the luxurious 7 star hotel. I dragged Megan and Ryan to my work because I had my arabic lesson in the evening for one hour (lol). Fortunately, it was a nice evening and my work is like a hotel and attached to a mall so there was no lack of things for them to do. We had dinner outside facing the water and made our way back to mine since it was a work night for me 🙁
While I worked on Sunday, Megan and Ryan were left to their own devices. They snooped around the mall for a little while and managed to get to and from there without getting lost – and after Ryan had to turn his data on to get my address… Woops, forgot to share that important information with them.
The following day I took off and we had a nice breakfast at my newly discovered favourite restaurant, Tawa Bakery. With views of the beach and waters on a nice morning, it’s the perfect place to take guests. We went for a walk along the paths and went to see the murals painted along some local roads. We got picked up at 3:45 for our desert safari!! Dune bashing (talk about car-sickness), camel riding, sand boarding, henna, belly dancing and star gazing. The desert fun ended around 9pm and back into the city we went.
Again, there were another couple of days where Megan and Ryan were left on their own because I was working. They went to Ferrari world to ride the worlds fastest roller coaster (trying to do/see “the worlds…” this trip!!), among many other rides. **Please note the wrap around Megan’s waist – she talked about this for the rest of the trip as they made her cover up half of her tattoos – insert eye-roll emoji**. I met them at the mall after their thrilling day for dinner.
The final two days and two nights of the visit was more relaxed and leisurely with no itinerary. We spent a day at Saadiyat beach with Tammy (whom they couldn’t get enough of *insert Tammy joke here*). We went to ‘Beats on the Beach’ party with live music, including Big Sean LOL. After an hour long taxi ride home, Megan and Ryan headed to bed for a little rest before getting up to head to Dubai for their 7:00AM flight 🙁
It was an incredible 10 days, and looking back, it went by quickly, but every day was as fun as the last! I was able to see things in Abu Dhabi and Dubai I had never seen or done & it was so fun to do it with Megan and Ryan, who ensure there is never a dull moment. Memories from this trip will last a lifetime and I will NOT forget the fun they brought to me on their visit!!
p.s. “It’s a cat fight” 😛