Before I start with my post today, let’s wish my friend and Feromina partner Subah a very Happy belated Birthday! She celebrated her 31st yesterday and I can only wish her immense happiness, great health and plenty of success this year! Make sure you read her amazing post about her reflection on life as she turned a year wiser.
It was day 5 of our trip in Dubai and off we went to Sharjah in the morning. Because of time contraints, we decided to only visit one landmark/ tourist attraction in Sharjah which was the Al Majaz Waterfront where the Al Noor Mosque is also based. Al Majaz Waterfront, located in the heart of Sharjah has become the centre of attention of the city in recent years. Most of the crowds gather around this area at night because of the daily musical fountain show that takes place there along with the fact that the restaurants also open at night. However, we had other plans for the two remaining nights so decided to take in the view during the day and to my surprise, we weren’t disappointed! We walked along the waterway, took some photos and crossed the Al Noor Mosque to walk towards the jogging track beautifully decorated with palm trees. The visit there was relaxing to say the least as the breeze from the Khaled Lagoon greatly helped us to beat the heat. We then met up with a family friend who took us elsewhere (I cannot remember the name of the place but it was a 10 minute drive away) for lunch and I had the delicious popular middle-eastern grilled sheri fish. From there, we took a taxi ride to the Miracle Garden in Dubai. This was the first place we visited during our last trip following which we had visited the Global Village (which we gave a miss this time, but if you’re planning a trip to Dubai, I would definitely recommend going there at night and I would also suggest you give Dubai Garden Glow a miss because it was not worth the time or money).
Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden consisting of 50 million flowers and 250 million plants. Last year, we spent half a day there, taking in its beauty and charm in its full glory and this time, we decided to visit the park at night. Of course, with this being our second visit, we were less awestruck than last time and were able to navigate our way around the park much quicker. The park features huge sculptures covered in flowers, and one thing we had noticed was that some of the sculptures were changed this year (for example, last year there were huge birds in front of one of the entrances, this time there were cats) but the castle and the Emirates A380 plane remained the same as they represent the main features of the park. The heart shaped gates provide a beautiful spot for creative photos so it was a right pain in the backside trying to take photos there last year but the process was much easier this year because it was much less crowded at night. Visiting the park is a treat to the eyes and nose because of all the fragrances coming off the flowers and it’s not unusual for you not to want to leave the place despite the fact that your feet must be dying after covering the entirety of the park. We headed back to Juice World for one last time and I had mango juice followed by avocado juice (which was really nice but mango still remains my favourite) to end the day.
It was our last proper day in Dubai and we were so not ready to leave this beautiful city! We had booked the safari trip and our driver was due to pick us up at about 2.30 pm so we rushed off to Dubai Mall to do some shopping and to take some day time photos in front of the Burj. We didn’t risk eating at the food court in the mall in case we couldn’t return on time so we headed back to our hotel, grabbed some lunch and the best spiced tea called kadak chai which we had been enjoying throughout our trip, and freshened up for the safari. Our driver picked us up in a 4×4 and off we were to a desert! This was my first ever trip to a desert so I was obviously very excited. Upon arrival, our driver got off and let the air out of the tires and what followed next was to be one of the best memories of my entire life! Our car led a pack of 6 as we started dune bashing. Dune bashing is when the driver increases and decreases the speed as he drives over sand dunes. The bumpy ride was very thrilling and lasted for about an hour, and though I did feel nauseous by the end of it, it was absolutely worth it! All the cars then stopped to allow us to take photos, and it was quite obvious that everyone felt slightly light headed but that didn’t stop anyone from taking in the beauty that surrounded us. We were then taken to the dessert camp where we took a camel ride (which was amazing by the way) and explored the camp which consisted of several huts where some sold food, one offered delicious dates and Arabian tea, another allowed people to dress up in traditional Arabian outfits to take photos in, a lady in one hut gave beautiful henna tattoos to people, and one hut offered soft drinks and tea and coffee. We then settled for the extravagant buffet dinner that was to follow on long rows of dining tables with cushions which were to be used instead of chairs placed over long carpets in the traditional Arabian manner. We were then invited to have the starters by the host so we, along with about 100 other guests lined up for the food and unlimited drinks and returned to our seats to enjoy the first performance of the night, the tanoura dance show. Tanoura is the traditional Egyptian form of Sufi whirling, a type of dance form where the performer wears a huge colourful skirt and swirls around magically while juggling around colourful disc shaped objects to create the most breath taking visual experience for the audience! I’d seen other forms of Sufi whirling before and those are mainly performed as a means of worshipping to God but the purpose behind the tanoura is to entertain the viewers, and OMG it was so good! Particularly the part where the skirt lighted up into various LED coloured lights as that presented the most beautiful effect of all! The host then announced that the main course buffet was ready and we made our way towards the hut that the food had been placed in. The buffet offered vegetarian options which included about 4 types of salad, falafels, beans, hummus, different types of bread, noodles, fritters, fried rice… and more! Those of us who were non vegetarians then proceeded to the barbeque counter where we were given a plate with lamb and chicken kebabs and dessert comprised of pieces of cake, baklava and an orange. The dinner was so hearty and delicious and there didn’t seem to be an end to the supply of food that was on offer! What I loved about this experience was that everyone around us was happy and cheerful; some were enjoying shisha whilst others were engulfed in the food and drinks. Shortly after began the second performance of the night which was the fire dance show. Here, the performer came with rods and other objects which were lit with fire and swirled away to the applause of the audience, and the night ended with a belly dance performance.
We arrived at our hotel at about 9.30 pm that night and we just couldn’t stop talking about what we had just experienced! Seriously though, what a way to end our holiday in Dubai! This entire trip had been amazing and we made memories to cherish for a lifetime but the dessert safari was definitely the highlight of our stay in Dubai! In fact, if any of you are planning a visit to Dubai, then I’d definitely recommend you go on a desert safari trip even if that means giving something else a miss!
As much as my heart didn’t want to leave Dubai, it was time to pack our suitcases again for the 2nd leg of our trip… any guesses for the next destination?
Bye for now!