Being young wild and free is what should be expected in your 20’s, so when my girlfriend Sanga suggested we take an impromptu trip to Dubai I could not pass it up. As I’m suffering from jet lag on a 4am train back to NYC from DC, I thought it was only right that I give you an inside look at one of the best trips I’ve ever been on in my life. Here's a quick recap of my trip and of course my outfits.
DAY 1: Washington DC —> Amsterdam
Instead of doing a direct flight to Dubai, we decided to take long layovers to get a chance to explore 2 new cities we’ve never been to. The first being Amsterdam.
After a 20 minute train ride into the city center, we had breakfast at a pancake house where we ate authentic crepe style pancakes with mandarins, honey and powdered sugar. We then walked through the narrow streets and canals to the Anne Frank House. Even at 8am, the line to get into the museum was down the block, but we were lucky enough to find Anne’s actual front door before other tourists staked it out.
DAY 2: First Day in Dubai
After a 7.5 hour flight from Amsterdam, we arrived in Dubai at midnight but didn’t get out of the airport until close to 2am! For being such a large airport, going through customs was an absolute nightmare. It seemed as if there were thousands of people arriving at the same time and instead of having organized lines, it was a free for all. I would have taken a photo, but we heard and saw a tourist get yelled at by an airport security person dressed in the traditional dishdasha and agal for taking a picture of him. Which is an understandable reaction. I think being a westerner, we don’t really take into consideration that their garments that we may see in the media aren’t costumes but are actual staples in every day life. You wouldn’t take a picture of a New Yorker because they primarily only wear black right? Lets just say, I was not going to take a chance of photographing anything in the airport.
My girlfriends and I were lucky enough to already have connections in Dubai. We stayed with our friend Eddie who’s lived in Dubai for 2 years already. If it wasn’t for him, I think we would have been a bit all over the place when it came to choosing attractions, foods, and overall just fun amazing experiences on our trip. He for sure was the plug of a lifetime—LOVE YOU EDDIE!
Day 3: BRUNCH AT THE PALMS
Knowing Eddie, we expected the turn up was going to be beyond real every day of our trip. So, it was not a surprise that our first official day would start off with the most extravagant brunch I’ve ever been to. The Saffron Brunch located at the Palms Atlantis did not disappoint. 4 hours of unlimited food and drink, plus great music made even my favorite brunch spots in NYC look like child’s play. My favorite food had to be the braised lamb (I literally think I went back for more 5 times, that’s how good it was). The alcohol choices were beyond as well. From a Jack Daniels station to an Absolute snow cone machine, there was nothing you couldn’t get if you didn’t want it. From brunch, there is a shuttle that takes you directly to Indulge, a club also at the palms. As most people where continuing their brunch turn up, the crew and I were winding down a little—the time difference is definitely a bit of a killer, but we were determined to push through.
DINNER AND A VIEW
From Indulge, we took a pit stop for about an hour break and then headed to dinner at Reem Al Bawadi. The food and the sheesha (hookah) was great, but what made this place that more fantastic was the VIEW—I have to capitalize it because you just won’t ever understand how sublime it really was. As we ate and smoked on cushioned couches in perfect 70 degree weather with the Burj Khalifa directly behind us, I could only imagine how amazing our trip was going to be. And what took this dinner over the edge, was the $30 price tag. Yes, we spent probably a max of $30 each for dinner sitting directly next to the tallest building in the world.
Fun fact, we went to the top of the Burj on Day 5! It's definitely gorgeous up there. Just knowing how many thousands of people worked on this beautiful building really puts yourself into perspective. Even the model display was taller than me!
If you plan on going to the Burj, plan to go ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP! Yes it's a bit steep in price, but the view, the experience and freedom is well worth it. By going to "The Top," you get to go on an observation deck without the huge crowds, a longer visiting time, AND macaroons! And who can say no to macaroons and fresh cucumber drinks while literally standing at the top of the world?
DAY 3: In the Dunes
I have to say Day 3 was the best day of my entire trip. We took a trip to the desert and had the time of our lives. We got picked up from Eddie's in a 4x4 and traveled about 45 minutes into the desert. After making a "10 minute" pitstop, our driver let out a little air from our tires (I know it freaked me out to) and we started our wild adventure through the desert. This ride was absolutely exilherating. Even though half of the time I thought I was going to pass out and die, (especially when the car was driving completely on its side!) this ride was better than any rollercoaster I've ever been on. We ended with a picturesque view in the middle of the desert. AND I finally got to ride a camel! This is probably the one event I will never forget.
Even though we were exhausted, we ended our third night at 360°. Located in the middle of the ocean, we relaxed, smoked hookah and enjoyed each others company. The view was so spectacular as we were between the Wave and the Sail of Jumeirah.
I wore a fitted midi dress from H&M that had thumb cutouts and cognac Steve Madden heels. This dress was perfect for 360 as it was pretty windy.
DAY 4: Abu Dhabi
Day 5, we traveled to the capital city Abu Dhabi and visited the Grand Mosque. This marble place of worship was absolutely breathtaking.
DAY 5: Last Day in Dubai
Our last day in Dubai took us to the Gold Souks. My girlfriend had gone to Dubai a few weeks prior and told me she found great deals in the Souks. Although I decided against purchasing anything, I thought it was interesting getting too look somewhat into Dubai's past.
DAY 6: Bonjour Paris
AAAAAAHHHHH!!! I finally made it to Paris! This has literally been one on my dream destinations since I could remember. Although we only had enough time to visit the Eiffel Tower, it was definitely worth while.
Reflecting on this adventure that I was so blessed to take with 2 of my best friends and sisters, I can say that moments like these really put into perspective of what is important in life. I'm grateful I got to experience this with great people and really disconnect for a while. And as I'm now sitting at my desk, all I can think about is where I'm going next.