Spring Break in Dubai
Article by Jeff Lue (Q16)
Seeing as how it was my last spring break ever ( 🙁 ), I felt it was fitting to go out with a bang. So I packed my bags and embarked on what will be the trip of a lifetime. Now I want preface this article and show you the mindset I had going into the trip. I have wanted to go to Dubai for four years: I even presented my COMM107 report on all the buildings they were building in Dubai. I had very high expectations going into this trip. As I would learn soon enough, this trip would meet my expectations, and then skyrocket above them.
For those of you who have seen the movie Inception, Dubai is a dream where anything is possible and architects can build structures that seem to defy the laws of physics. The UAE as a whole is just full of “–est in the world”, and we got to see all of them. The Burj al Arab is the most expensive hotel in the world. After a tour of a suite on the 25th floor, we learned that the particular room we toured cost $20,000 for ONE NIGHT. When we went to Abu Dhabi, we stayed in the only 5-star hotel (or any hotel for that matter) that was built over a formula one race track. While we were there, we rode the fastest roller coaster in the world, hitting speeds of up to 149 mph. We also visited the most expensive hotel ever built, the Emirates Palace. This hotel cost $3 billion to build, has over 1000 Swarovski chandeliers, and even has an ATM where you can buy gold. We went to the Sheikh Zayed (creator of the UAE) Mosque, the 8th largest mosque in the world boasting the largest single piece of carpet (it was very plush, I might add). Most of us ascended the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and then walked around the Dubai Mall (the largest mall)after we came down. The lavish, mind-blowing attractions are the Dubai that everyone knows about.
There is a Dubai that most people do not know about until they go there and experience it themselves. I think the most rewarding part of my trip was what I learned about the country and the Muslim culture in general. After a trip to the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, I had a completely different view than before. My group was also fortunate to meet a Crown Prince of the Ras al Khaimah Emirate, where he shared his experiences of the growth and development of the UAE from his perspective. We also attended Arabian Nights, which was a celebration for the Dubai World Cup, the largest horse race in the world. Here, there were performances and kiosks set up to exhibit more about the Dubai culture. While we were there, we even saw Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai! I never thought I would learn so much about Dubai and the UAE on this trip.
Dubai turned out to be so much more than just a Spring Break trip. Yes, I went to all the attractions that have given Dubai its worldwide reputation, but I was also taught about the Dubai and Muslim culture, things I could not fully appreciate unless I was there. For those who are able to go on this trip, do it. I couldn’t fit everything I did into this article, so I only included a few highlights. I could rave about Dubai forever, but I have class to go to. Looking back, I’m going to go and say that I made a good choice going to Dubai. I’ll leave you with my Facebook status when I got back: There aren’t enough words that can capture what was Spring Break 2011 in the UAE. Salaam Alaykum!