Dubai-The City of Dreams
Many of our members are well-travelled and have visited several places in the world, however, no one truly expected to be blown away by this phenomenal place called Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an Arabian Peninsula nation settled mainly along the Persian Gulf. The UAE is a federation of 7 emirates, one of which is Abu Dhabi, the island capital and the ultra-modern city of Dubai. The UAE borders Oman to the East and Saudi Arabia to the South, and has maritime borders with Iran.
Just hearing the names of some of these countries may instil a certain level of trepidation, but ninety (90) adventurous members conquered these thoughts and embarked on the journey from little Trinidad and Tobago to the gargantuan Middle East in November last year.
It took eight hours to get to London on British Airways, a couple hours layover at the Gatwick International Airport before boarding another eight hours flight on Emirates Airways to Dubai Airport. This may seem long and tedious but with ninety fun-seeking members you would be surprise how quickly the time flew by.
The major turning point in the history and fortunes of Dubai was the discovery of oil in 1966, however due to a lot of unrest in that part of the world, and the rise and fall of various economies and wars, it will be fair to say that their distinctiveness only became evident about ten years ago.
Our interaction with the Emirati people was extremely friendly and welcoming. They are business minded people and know the value of tourism for their economy, with statistics of 15.8million visitors last year. However, be warned that one should still exercise caution, and be aware of speech, clothing, voice levels, physical interaction, littering etc etc when in Public. In other words, we Trinis needed to be on our best behaviour to keep on the right side of the law.
The ruling Emir Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, believes in conquering challenges in a race for excellence, and this can be seen in the UAE’s mimics of World renowned Landmarks, for instance:
– The leaning tower of Pisa in Italy was built in the year 1173 and tilts at 4 degrees, however he commissioned the construction 2010, The Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi which tilts at 18 degrees.
– The Burj Kalifa, gained the title of the World’s tallest building when it was completed in 2010 standing at 828metres, surpassing the Shanghai Towers at 632m and The One Trade Centre in NY at 541m.
– The vastly popular London Eye was opened in 2000 and is known as the world’s tallest ferris wheel at 135m holding 800 persons. Next year in 2018, the Ain Dubai will be completed and will usurp that title with its 210m structure with a capacity to hold 1,400 persons.
It is difficult to explain in words the magnificence of the sights, the Buildings, the History, the exceptionally spicy flavoured foods, the people , the dress codes, the heat from being in the middle of a luxurious desert when outdoors, the camel rides, the Miracle Garden, the Marina Dhow Cruise, The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, The Ferrari World, our amazingly funny tour guides and the general experience.
On our return journey, most members elected to spend a few extra days in London – tolerating the extreme change in temperature – from very hot to very cold, but nonetheless enjoying their time to shop, visit with family and friends, and to do some more sightseeing.
Without a doubt, this was definitely one of TTARP’s most successful trips.