MHG Brand Manager Stephanie Amos and Account Executive Jamie Wright traveled to Dubai earlier this year. We sat down with the recent jet-setters who shared their experience after visiting one of the most rapidly developing cities in the world.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION UPON LANDING IN DUBAI?
Jamie: Wow, it’s really warm. Traveling from New York where a high of 39 degrees is cause for a celebration, landing in a new country with a low of 92 degrees was an adjustment that I had to get used to. I landed in Abu Dhabi, so everything there was very old looking. After a 35-minute cab to Dubai, it was like night and day. It felt like every single building reached the sky. It was very similar to the tall buildings in NYC, but they were twice as tall, and they were a lot more spaced out. The people were remarkably friendly and respectful. Everything was “yes sir” and “yes ma’am.”
Stephanie: IT’S SO CLEAN! Dubai is literally the cleanest place I have ever visited before. Although, there is still a lot of construction since it is still such a new city, the streets and sidewalks are kept pristine. It is very rare that there is garbage or litter found on the ground. The landscaping was also incredible, very well maintained.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES YOU TOOK PART IN?
Jamie: Sky Diving at Skydive Dubai, shopping at the Mall of Emirates and The Dubai Mall. We rode ATV’s through the desert. We went to the Burj Khalifa, and swam at the resort at the Burj Al-Arab and at Jumeirah Beach. We also went to the Wild Wadi Water Park and visited the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Stephanie: We went on a desert safari which included sand duning, a camel ride, sand boarding (similar to snowboarding, except with sand), a belly dancer who also drew henna on the ladies, an authentic Indian buffet and the famous drink and snack: Nescafé and dates. We also went to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. We were 1,500 feet up! When the weather is clear, there is a group of islands that is shaped like the continents, we were able to see part of them!
WHAT WAS THE COOLEST THING YOU SAW?
Jamie: The coolest thing I saw was in the Dubai Mall called Dubai Dino. A Dinosaur in the mall standing 25-feet tall. The second coolest thing was the Cayan Tower, which sounds pretty ordinary, but it wasn’t. It had a twist to it, literally. Known as the Infinity Tower, it twists in a clockwise direction from its foundation. It literally looks like something out of the movie Inception.
Stephanie: Funny enough, one of the coolest things we saw was the Dubai Mall. It was incredible! And as a woman who grew up in New Jersey with all the malls I could possibly want, that’s saying a lot! Inside of the mall there was an ice rink, as well as an aquarium and underwater zoo! Outside of the Dubai Mall were the Dubai fountains, the world’s largest dancing fountains! Played in tune to classical, pop and Arab music, the fountains sprayed up to 500 feet and played every half hour!
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP?
Jamie: My favorite part of the trip had to be skydiving. I have been skydiving before but the view from 15,000 feet over Downtown Dubai, the World and Palm Islands, and the Burj was mind blowing. Plus there’s no better rush than falling 130 mph over one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
Stephanie: My favorite part of the trip was definitely the Desert Safari. It was then that I truly realized I was half way across the world in Asia. We had dinner on Arabian carpets and pillows right on the desert. After dinner and the other activities had concluded, all of the lights were turned off so we could look up and see the stars. It was breath taking.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Jamie: I would’ve never been open to the concept of traveling the world prior my experience here at MHG. A business owner who recently traveled there told me of all the attractions, and when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to capitalize on it.
Stephanie: As I was sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane back home, I realized how lucky I was to have the opportunity to visit Dubai. After being out of the U.S. for a week and being immersed within so many different cultures, I realized how sheltered I have been these past 27 years. I stumbled upon this quote by F Scott Fitzgerald and made up my mind that night that I would make a conscious effort to live my life by the following quote. “For what it’s worth…it’s never too late, or in my case, too early, to be whoever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over.”
DUBAI FUN FACTS
Dubai boasts the tallest skyline in the world including the tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which measures half a mile high.
The city also features the manmade Palm Islands that required 94 million cubic meters of sand to construct.
The seven-star hotel Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah costs $20,000 per night and is decorated with approximately 1,790 square meters of 24-karat gold leaf.
Dubai is currently building a $64 billion entertainment complex called Dubailand, which is twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort and will have the largest collection of theme parks in the world.
The Dubai police force uses super cars to impress tourists including cars like the Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador, and the Aston Martin One-77.