A view of the Burj Khalifa from the outskirts of Dubai Mall
I was in Dubai over the long-weekend and now, I’m relaxing at home. I’ve also started on my packing for going back to Aussie Land. So much to do!
My stay in Dubai was short. I wish it was longer, but that was not possible. Nevertheless, I had a great time. I survived without the Internet for 4-5 days =P I truly miss Dubai. That place is my third home in the Middle East and it was very refreshing to finally step out into the city that I once used to roam around in with friends. The shopping and dining experience in Dubai is like no other. I absolutely love it and after having moved to Sydney, I truly value the experience, though limited, that Dubai has to offer in terms of this. Higher quality and cheaper prices…what more could you ask for in a shopping and dining experience?
A bouquet of flowers at the hotel
When traveling to Dubai, I remembered that the duration of the flight would be short. It was nice to to take off and land within an hour. However, the timing of our flight was late. So, by the time we reached Dubai, it was already early morning. By this, I mean around 2 A.M.
The weather in Dubai was chilly so I made sure that I wore something warm. I felt like it was more cold in Sydney last winter in comparison to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. this winter.
Speaking of this, living in two different hemispheres means that I get to experience either two summer seasons or two winter seasons within a year =P I like summers more as I get to wear all my bright and colorful clothes, particularly those with floral patterns.
On the way to the hotel, there was a car that drove by at full speed. We didn’t even realize it until the person in the car deliberately drove near our car and our entire car shook! It was SO dangerous. This is one of the things that I don’t like….when cars end up being in the hands of irresponsible people that not only put their own life in danger, but put other people’s life in danger as well. Never in my life have I experienced a car shake to the side by the force of another car driving at full speed. The guy, who was driving, was deliberately doing that to every car he passed by. It was scary. Such people need to be punished for their dangerous actions.
I clearly had forgotten that people love to have races and drift at times on the roads of U.A.E. All I could say after that small incident was, “Welcome to the U.A.E.”
Keeping myself semi-warm
After arriving at the hotel, I received a bouquet of flowers from a stranger. Hahaha…just kidding. My dad ordered the bouquet of flowers to be delivered to the room for my mum since it was their anniversary, mA ^^.
I had to wake up early morning as I needed to get something done at my university, so I immediately went to sleep. When arriving at my university in the morning, a lot of memories of the four years that I spent there came rushing in. I thought, “so much has changed since then…” Life is strange and funny like that. While we drove our car near the staircase to our university, we saw several students from the Class of Fall 2012 in their graduation gowns ready to have their group photo taken with the main university building in the background. I suddenly remembered my graduation day and how we posed for a group photo. All I could say while passing by in the car was, “Good luck…” I say this from experience.
When students graduate, they have a lot of expectations from life. However, most of us realize over time that we need to reduce our expectations once we step out into the real world. What I’m trying to say is that you have to work really hard to get what you want and be thankful for whatever you have (except I don’t know about some of the lovely kids in U.A.E. Some of them seem to take things for granted. For example, some of the guys from my university are given a Lamborghini or Porsche on their birthdays by their father and are not afraid to have a street race and damage their car or cause injury as a result… When I compare them to kids in countries like Australia, who work part-time at McDonald’s to earn money and save up to purchase things, I see a HUGE difference).
One of many palm treems on my university campus
After getting my work done at university, I took a few pictures on campus. My parents and I discussed how beautiful the campus was. My university has amazing architecture. There is no doubt about it. Architect. students from universities around the world, such as those in France, visit the place just to observe it as well.
While taking photos, I was enjoying the weather and I even spotted a parrot and a few colorful birds in the palm trees. After that, my parents and I left the university campus and decided to have lunch and tea at a nearby place. Then it was time to head back to the hotel so I could get ready for the alumni dinner at my university.
I got ready and then called up one of my friends, who was also visiting Dubai. We had planned to go to the alumni dinner together. She was staying at a nearby hotel, so my parents dropped me off there. I waited in the lobby for a while and decided to take some pics. before sitting down on some of the couches nearby.
The lobby area at my friend’s hotel
A few minutes later my friend appeared and we gave each other a hug. We then waited for her car to appear at the entrance of the hotel and then drove off to our university.
There was a lot of traffic on the way, so it took a while to get to the alumni dinner. However, it was great to finally be back on the roads of Dubai and observe everything that was once all too familiar to me.
I gave everyone a surprise and shock at the alumni dinner. It was an out-of-the-blue decision to attend it, as I had no idea that there was going to be an alumni dinner around the time I was visiting Dubai until one of my friends mentioned it. No one had expected to see me there except for two of my friends that I informed last-minute before leaving for my flight to Dubai.
It has been 1.5 years since I’ve seen my friends from university and it was just wonderful to catch up with everyone. We were all so excited that we didn’t even know how we should begin our conversation! So much has changed in our life. There were some people from my batch that have already gotten married and have kids! Then there were many, who have started working as well. Everyone has become so beautiful and handsome! I was really surprised by how mature and well-groomed the guys have become ever since they have started work. I was no longer seeing them in jeans and t-shirts but in suits. It was great seeing everyone look stunning.
I also forgot how close-knit the community in my undergrad. university was that everyone apparently knows everything about each other no matter how many years have passed by. I was surprised to know that both guys and girls knew that I was in Australia and knew that I was doing my Masters and that I’ve been traveling around a lot.
I’m really glad that I attended the alumni dinner. It was well-organized and I had a great time catching up with everyone and knowing that everyone is doing well in life, though we all know that life is not perfect. We wished that we could have all sat at a nice cafe and catch up over some coffee, as three hours at the alumni dinner were definitely not enough.
As for the dinner, itself, I was only able to get five bites out of my food because I was too busy meeting friends and catching up with everyone =P
Yummy food, which I wasn’t able to eat properly, at the alumni dinner >_<
When it was time to leave, my friends and I spotted a poster board of PSY and decided to take a pic. with it. Then we said goodbye and I decided to meet up with my other two friends and visit the dorms. I saw some of my dorm supervisors and they were really surprised to see us. We spent a bit of time talking to them and then decided to head back to the city. My friend, who I traveled with to the alumni dinner, drove me to Sheikh Zayed Road where my parents were waiting for me.
After getting back to the hotel, I ordered dinner for myself, since I hardly ate anything at the alumni dinner, and then I went to sleep =)
I slept in a bit late, since I was tired from all the out-and-about activity from the previous day. My family and I enjoyed our time having delicious breakfast delivered to our room before heading out to Dubai Mall, where would later meet up with my uncle and his family.
There were a lot of people from all over the world at Dubai Mall due to the Dubai Shopping Festival. I did a bit of shopping and then my uncle and his family met up with us. We proceeded to have dinner and spent time just relaxing and talking. Most of us had fish and chips, whereas my mum had tom yum noodle soup. I tried the soup and it tasted really nice. The next time I go there, I shall buy it, iA.
Before we knew it, it was already close to 11 P.M., so we said goodbye to my uncle and his family and then went to one of the small supermarkets in the mall to buy some snacks. I bought myself laban, a yoghurt drink, that is very tasty and is mainly found in the Middle East. I haven’t seen laban in any of the grocery stores nearby my place in Sydney, so I was very happy to finally be able to buy some.
We then headed back to the hotel and started packing everything away for our flight on the next day. Like I said, our trip to Dubai was very short.
Here are some other pics. that I took. I’ve only selected a few to put up here due to time and space.
You know, I would love to stay at Dubai Mall from morning ’til night just taking photos of various things. Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world and there is just so much to see! The mall is a good place for exploring. Maybe next time, iA.
I have A LOT more pics. of Dubai, due to the fact that I used to live in the U.A.E. for four years, but I’ll probably have to save that for next time.
Also, if any of you ever get the chance to visit Dubai, don’t miss out on it! =)