“Though this exam wasn’t that great Sam, I am happy for the long awaited vacation that has just begun. Trust me mate, we all are going to have a ball of a time”. I was expressing my overwhelming happiness to my college friend Sam, right after our exams, sitting at our own spot inside the college campus we all were sipping cup filled with tea. We had just completed our final semester for the third year of Mechanical Engineering and though we all had a not-so-good exam, we were delighted as it was about time we start gearing up for our Dubai trip.
A few months before our exam had begun, we all had made a kind-of resolution that no matter what, we are flying to Dubai after our exams. The so-called resolution was very imperative because we all had made many plans in the past for Goa, Gokarna or a similar trip, but Alas! we could hardly find any success. I think every student of our generation can relate to this, making numerous plans and finally ending up spending our vacation at a cinema hall watching even the worst of movies and regretting for being not-so decisive about our plans. But this time it was a bit different. This time we were more than determined to break this fictitious ‘jinx’ and for all intents and purposes we ended up going to Dubai. YES! Not Goa, not Gokarna and not any local destination. Miles away – DUBAI.
The very first thing we did was got our visas done. We had applied for Dubai tourist visa for Indians with one of the good visa agents in our city. The Dubai visa process wasn’t really tough. We required documents like a scanned copy of our valid passport -front & backside, a scanned photograph, confirmed flight tickets etc. Even we found the Dubai tourist visa fees for Indian citizens really reasonable. The next thing I remember is sitting on a plane to Dubai with four of my friends – Raj, Sameer, John and Rohit.
DUBAI YOU BEAUTY! Here we come.
Once we landed in Dubai by a morning flight, we headed straight to our hotel. The next moment, we got ready for the day, filled our tummies with a king-sized breakfast and reached our first tourist spot. It had to be the Burj Khalifa. An 829.8 meter high skyscraper, I was awed to see the Burj Khalifa for the first time in my life. It has 163 floors which can be termed as nothing short of a wonder. We went to the observation deck (also called ‘At The Top’) in the Burj Khalifa to enjoy a complete view of the city. The view of the city of Dubai from that height was mesmerizing in every way.
There were so many things that we did in Dubai and every single place we visited or every single experience we had, was better than the previous one. We went to The Dubai Mall. Shopping was the last thing I did there because this Dubai mall had so much to offer. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo were just amazing there as we walked through the tunnel in the aquarium, completely mesmerized by the view of underwater life so close to us. We enjoyed having our meal at the Rainforest Café in the Dubai mall. The rainforest café looks like a jungle lit up with lights. This café has various cuisines to offer and with its interior were falling short of words.
Dubai is also not limited to the skyscrapers and modern-day architecture. We found pleasure walking on the streets of Old Dubai. We also visited a museum on the Al-Fahidi street. This museum showcases the antics of the Emirati world. Taking about various breathtaking sights in Dubai, Jumeriah Mosque definitely comes as one of the most beautiful mosque’s in Dubai. Some of our fellow travelers told to visit this mosque and witness the beauty of its architecture. Burj Al-Arab, the most expensive hotel ever, was our next destination. Although we never went inside this hotel, we did what many of the travelers opted for, taking as many photographs as possible with Burj Al-Arab hotel in the background. Then the other day we visited what is called clear water and a white sand beach, Jumeirah Beach. We kept it simple there. We relaxed and enjoyed the view.
We tried to cover at least a few important places which were in our to-do list. One of the places highlighted on our list was the Palm Jumeirah. To my opinion, this is the best man-made wonder. An artificial archipelago, it is home to the Atlantis Hotel besides various other beautiful hotels, restaurants, Nakheel Mall, and Golden Mile Galleria to name a few. It is connected by a monorail system from the top, the Atlantis hotel to the entrance of the Palm Jumeirah, the Gateway Towers. We enjoyed each and every part of the Palm Jumeirah, and doing something as simple as walking around at Palm Jumeirah, with my friends late in the evening was nothing less than fascinating. The next priority on our to-do list was the 2 activities that can make your adrenaline levels go crazy – sky diving and parasailing. I enjoyed parasailing, because parasailing was to be done at a height of 200-250 meters above the seawater level. Sam is the individual in our group, perhaps the only individual I know who has been sky-diving since the past few years. We started shopping only 2 days before our flight back to India and did pretty much of shopping for ourselves and our family members.
Today as I write this, I am a day away from going on a Goa trip with my buddies. I think that this particular Dubai trip helped us strengthen the bond of friendship between us, a bit more. Post that Dubai trip, this will be our 3rd trip together. I believe from canceling almost every single trip to regularly going for new trips, we all have come a long way.