On December 25th, 2014 my entire social media was buzzing about a glitch fare to Dubai. The glitch fair offered flights from the US to Abu Dhabi for $187, nonstop, taxes and fees included. It was a no brainer to buy a ticket right….well I called every traveling friend I had, but could find no one to commit, so I missed out. In hindsight I wish that I would have just bought a ticket and went by myself, but alas I still made it to Dubai in 2015 I just spent much more than $187! Disappointed that I missed out on this opportunity I began looking for opportunities to get to Dubai and then a friend sent me an all-inclusive package for a New Year’s trip! I immediately jumped on board and the rest is history.


Vising Dubai in December/January was great because it’s considered their ‘winter’. Coming from a cold and snowy Cleveland the 70-80 degree weather felt like paradise! Dubai felt like a dream! My 7 days there were filled with nothing but sunshine and happiness. My hotel, Hilton Dubai Creek, offered shuttle service to and from their private beach every day and I took full advantage of this.

I booked my trip in March needless to say I spent a lot of time researching the culture, attire, weather, etc. before setting off. I did not pack one pair of shorts because I wanted to be respectful of the culture, however contrary to popular belief I was able to walk around freely with my arms and/or legs showing if I chose. The only time I was required to be fully covered was when visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. I have actually visited many mosques in my life, but this one was the absolute most beautifully constructed mosque that I have ever seen. There is no other way to describe the Grand Mosque other than to call it an architectural masterpiece!

The most stunning thing about the modern city, Dubai, has to be the amazing skyline. From a tour guide I learned that Dubai was constructed to be a commercial city that would appeal to businesses and tourist, one of the reasons for the extravagant and tall buildings. The city is home to some of the tallest buildings including, the largest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. Visiting Burj Khalifa was an incredible experience, the panoramic view of the city, ocean, and dessert were just breath taking.

My New Year’s Eve plans were altered due to the hotel fire that occurred in the 9th tallest building in the city. The location that my hotel was in was locked down due to the fire however the hotel had a rooftop celebration so it was still a great night all around. The crazy thing is that even though I was in Dubai I had not heard about the fire until friends from home began texting me to make sure I was ok, the wonders of social media!

The most exciting part of the trip was running into one of my best friends and her mother at the Burj Khalifa, which is located in Dubai Mall. While heading to grab a bite to eat from the food court, I saw my friend’s mom and ran over to greet them. We knew that we would both be in Dubai and had tried to make time to see each other, but we could not figure out how to work it in to our full schedules. So, to run into them accidentally at the mall was amazing! 7000 miles from home and we run in to each other at a mall of all places!

Dubai is an incredibly diverse place that feels similar to many US states. I think it’s important to visit both of the UAE states because Dubai is so commercial that you really miss out on the Arabic culture, whereas Abu Dhabi is much more traditional and rooted in cultural history. My time in the two states was wonderful and I would recommend both Dubai and Abu Dhabi as amazing places to visit.