It has been months since my family visited, and I am just now getting around to finishing up the posting about their time spent in the UAE. Life has been busy the past few months. Trying to plan a wedding from overseas, in addition to moving, has taken up a lot of my time.
After spending a little time in Abu Dhabi, we headed back to Al Ain for a day and then headed north to Ras Al Khaimah (about a 2.5 hour drive at most). I had never been to RAK before, but I am positive I will start going more often. It was absolutely gorgeous.
When Kassandra saw the beaches, she asked me why we fly out to other countries all the time when this place is as beautiful as any of the other places we have traveled to. To which I replied with giving her a “look” since she is the one who has been fighting me to come to RAK or Fujairah all this time. Apparently if she had known it was going to be this nice, she would have come sooner.
We stayed at The Cove in RAK. It is a beautiful hotel right on the water. My only complaint was that our rooms were not ready by check-in time. Because we were only staying one night, it really felt like it cramped our time to relax and enjoy the amenities. The food was delicious. Some of the best food that I have had at a UAE hotel buffet. We had a great time. Very relaxing. I am already dreaming of going again after the summer break with Clark and the boys. I will have to keep on the look out for another great Groupon deal.
The next day we headed to Dubai. We stayed at the Tamani hotel. It was a huge two bedroom apartment hotel. Honestly, I think it was more spacious than my real apartment. For dinner on our first night in Dubai, we went to Barasti Bar. I am not sure why I go there because every time I go, I remember that the food isn’t all that good and it is way over priced. I would like to say it is for the atmosphere, but it wasn’t all that good this time either.
The next morning a sand storm hit. A huge sand storm. Probably the worst that I have seen yet living in the UAE. It made it difficult to see even a few feet in front of you, and it turned everything a hazy orange color.
So, to escape from the sand, we cautiously made our way to Dubai Mall to hide indoors. What can I saw about Dubai Mall? It was crowded (as always). It was big and tiring (as always). It was fun to visit if for no other reason than to help my mom and brother fully understand what I have been talking about all along. Dubai Mall is one of a handful of reason why I am happy I don’t live in Dubai. It is just too overwhelming. But, on a positive note, it does have food choices that I don’t get in Al Ain – stupid things like Baja Fresh and IHOP make me happy.
That night, just because I was feeling a little crazy, I took my brother and Kassandra to the Mall of Emirates for a quick visit (my mom was smart and stayed in the hotel). Maybe this wasn’t the “Dubai” experience my brother was hoping for, but going to the mall really is the true Dubai experience.
The next day the sand had (mostly) cleared, and we went to Souk Madinat. I have always thought this is a beautiful little ‘fake’ souk. It makes for fun picture taking.
We also went to the Walk at JBR. I love this place. Not only does this street have an entirely different vibe to it than Al Ain, but there are so many food options. We ended up getting Mexican. Not great Mexican, but not horrible either. We walked a bit along the beach, but it was really crowded. Fun for people watching, not as much fun for relaxing.
Because of my increased paranoia of posting pictures that have people in them – even in the background, I am choosing not to post the pictures of the beach itself. Maybe my rationale behind this should be its own blog post, but I probably won’t because I am too nervous that I will get in trouble. Current event.
It gave my family a chance to see Dubai at night as we went around the Dubai Marina area. It was a good experience for tourists – at least I think they like it. Honestly, I think it wouldn’t have really mattered what I took them to do. They seemed like they enjoyed the whole trip. I can’t remember ever seeing either my mom or brother in such good spirits. I would like to take credit for that, but maybe, just maybe, it was the UAE that brought it out of them.
I never thought I would get visitors while living in the UAE, but I am thrilled that I did. Since being back in the States, my mom has been able to tell my grandfather, Kassandra’s dad, and others first hand about how the UAE is safe. Now she can better explain to people where I live. More importantly, she has a better understanding of where her daughter and granddaughter live. Now when I tell my mom and brother a story about my day, they can kind of get it, or at least they can visualize where it happened (hey Jake – remember the Megamac roundabout…..). Now who wants to visit me next? Keep in mind that now I have a full house, but my couch is always available!