Blogger: Lauren Lucy Crowley
I could barely contain my excitement… the day I had marked in my diary for weeks had finally come. I was headed for Cork airport with my bag packed to the brim (admittedly the world’s worst packer!), about to embark on a once in a lifetime trip around the world! My first stop was glamorous Dubai!
Upon arrival it was so warm it felt as though there was a hair- dryer blowing in my face! Only 8am and the temperature gauge already had a reading of 38’C! Thankfully our taxi driver was familiar with the area we were staying, so we arrived to our accommodation in no time at all!
We had a fantastic morning admiring the spectacular views from the rooftop pool and soaking up the glorious rays of sunshine! When it cooled down in the afternoon, we headed for Dubai Mall – (one of the largest shopping malls in the entire world – it even had an aquarium inside!). As we walked out the back entrance my jaw dropped; we had a crystal clear view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! We stood there enjoying a fountain display which is set on the 24 acre Burj Lake featuring jets as high as 140 metres (the equivalent to a 45 storey building). The display was designed by the same creator as the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas! The beam of light shining upwards from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, it’s even visible from space!!
We decided to have our dinner on a nearby Lebanese restaurant balcony called Burj Al Hamam so that we could continue to watch the shows every 30 mins! It was the perfect view as we enjoyed deliciously exotic cuisine and rich fruity red wine, what an ideal start to our trip!
On day two we woke up early and got the metro (which is remarkably easy to use) to the Emirates Mall; the biggest shopping mall in the world, which among many other things has an indoor ski- slope! No wonder we couldn’t find our way out!
We had an afternoon desert tour booked with a company called Symphony Tourism which we purchased at a very reasonable price on Groupon (OntheQT tip: be sure to check out groupon before you travel – some fantastic local deals!). I couldn’t recommend this particular tour enough! We were picked up in a lovely jeep which we shared with 4 other passengers and headed straight for the Arabian Desert, stopping only once to reduce the tyre pressure.
As soon as the jeep tyres hit the desert sand, we started an activity known as sand bashing! Our driver literally drove up, and over steep sand dunes and down the other side, it was like a rollercoaster on land! We arrived to the top of one of the largest dunes just on time to catch sunset, it was gorgeous!
We were then dropped to a camp where we enjoyed several other activities including: camel rides, quad biking, henna painting, shisha bars, traditional dress up booths, a belly dancing/ fire show and a tasty BBQ dinner! As we drove back towards Dubai in the dark across the desert I scanned through the days photos and thought to myself how lucky I really was!
On our last day in Dubai, we decided to chill out, relax and rejuvenate before our onward journey! In Dubai there is an abundance of swimming pools and beach bars to choose from to lounge at, mostly accessible to the public at a fee. We chose the lavish Sheraton hotel on Jumeriah Beach. (OntheQT tip – if you are female, entry is only 110AED before 11am, which you receive back in vouchers for food and drink). It was truly relaxing as we lay by the pool on comfy loungers soaking up the rays of sunshine. We strolled along the beach after lunch, and took a trip to the sauna and steam room when the sun went down!
That evening we took a trip to a place called Global Village – basically a mini theme park with a separate section for each country around the world! There were stalls, street food, traditional clothes and shows to match each country, it was a great cultural experience! I found myself making a brand new bucket list of countries to visit!
Sadly the time came to pack our bags and say goodbye to Dubai, it was an early morning 4am start for our onward flight to India!
I look forward to sharing more adventures with you! Be sure to follow us live on snapchat (username: ontheqtie), and our daily updates on Instagram and Facebook!
Over and out for now, Lauren x x