I work at Twitter and I was thrilled when I was invited to New York in 2022 after the lockdown had kept me grounded for so long! . I had the chance to break my trip with a layover in Dubai and since it has always been a dream to Skydive and shop, I decided to spend a weekend in the city that has transformed from a desert to one of the world’s most visited places.
- Dubai mall- ice rink - Musical fountain- burj khalifa - walking around the complex and visiting Cheesecake Factory
Day 1 : Dubai mall- ice rink - Musical fountain- burj khalifa - walking around the mall and visiting Cheesecake Factory
Having the luxury to transit through Dubai for the weekend, I realized that the first thing on my list is to get a local SIM card and data package so that I could make bookings on the go and stay in touch with my family. I discovered the best deals on data and mobile calling from https://www.kitmytrip.com/ and headed straight to their store which is very accessible at the airport, just as you exit immigration. I chose the Dubai Touristor that helped me get the the best deals, offers, and discounts in Dubai, including top tours, activities and attractions as well as a Zomato Pro Deal that I love because I am a true foodie! Kudos to the KMT team for solving all my communication worries at one shot. My friends picked me up from the airport, I went over to their place to take a shower and immediately wanted to head out to make the most of my time in Dubai. First Stop: The Dubai Mall Complex. I had always heard about how people get lost in the wonders of this mall and I know that it is totally possible. My friends were not exaggerating and I saw for myself, right from the metro entrance to the Souk Al Bahar Residences and Hotel, how beautiful and enchanting the complex is. We began with grabbing the customary Starbucks coffee to make sure we had the energy to explore everything I wanted to see and do! When I heard that there is an Ice Rink in the mall, in a desert city, I had to go explore it for sure. What I saw was a massive Olympic-sized skating rink that extends over two floors in the mall. This city in the desert offers one of the best skating experiences ever for people who haven’t been to a skating rink and I was blown away by the temperature controlled safe environment of the ice rink complete with the cutest kids in ice skating gear, laughing and falling and skating like pros! Only in Dubai can you have a skating rink AND aquarium in the mall. I decided to explore the aquarium while my friends went shopping and I saw the wonders of the underwater zoo which has such a large variety of species. There were Sharks, Giant Groupers and so many other aquatic animals I couldn’t even name. It was a truly visual feeling being in the aquarium and surrounded by these floating marvels that I could watch forever. My stomach began to growl and I realized I had to meet my friends for lunch. We headed over to another place on my list - The Cheesecake Factory. The menu is an assortment of dishes with influences from all over the world. A trip to Dubai must include having a meal at the cheesecake factory. The food was delicious, and the service was exceptional. I loved the place and so I hope to come back and try the drinks the next time. After a sumptuous lunch, we decided to stretch our legs and explore the shopping. It is a haven for shopaholics, with every famous brand showcasing clothes, shoes, makeup, the largest bookstore I have ever seen in such a luxury setting. The next thing to cross off the list was the Musical Fountain that is part of the mall complex. It is the perfect place to relax outside after the mall and I could feel the fresh air on stepping out. My friends and I grabbed a spot and watched the world’s tallest performing fountain create magic as the music began. Gallons and gallons of water gushed into the air transforming the space into a fairy tale. Smooth classical music was playing as I watched the visual spectrum of colours refracted by the sun and enjoyed a moment of bonding with friends and complete strangers as all eyes were on the display of light, sound and dancing water.This must be what it feels like to have a rainbow right in front of you. I was glued to the ground unable to tear my eyes away. Our last stop of the day was the Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s pride. A trip to Dubai would be incomplete without a visit to the world’s tallest building. We went to the 124th-floor observation deck. Below was a bird’s-eye view of Dubai’s panoramic skyline, a sight to behold. This was honestly mind-blowing. Past the city are stretches and stretches of golden desert, glass buildings and one of the most spectacular sky lines I had ever seen, so far!
Day 2 : Another one down my bucket list- Sky diving
I have always wanted to skydive. This is one of my dreams to come true and also one of the most popular attractions of Dubai. There is a long lead time to get a slot, so I made sure to pre-book my experience as I did not want to leave without jumping into the big blue sky. What is amazing is that they also make your jump more memorable by giving you various choices of professional photographs and videos of the entire skydiving experience for memorabilia.As a first timer, I had to choose a tandem jump and I was thrilled with the way the team guides you through the process and puts you at ease. We registered and filled out the necessary waiver forms as we checked in. Afterwards, they took our weight to calculate the BMI. We were then assigned to an instructor and a camera flyer who would film the experience. We received several safety instructions and tips on the best position to feel fall. Next was the harness strapping before we got escorted to the boarding area. After some pre-boarding checks, we were in the air. Palm Jumeirah looked absolutely stunning from 13,000 feet in the air. After one last check by the skydiving instructors, we were ready to jump. I exited the plane with my instructor and we freefall for about a minute. The blood rush when you drop off a plane is incomparable. When the parachute was launched, we flew over Dubai’s skyline. Birds must truly enjoy life because the feeling of flying in the air over everything was surreal. My heart was beating so hard I couldn’t even hear anything. The adrenaline rush stays with you when you land. There is a brief interview with the cameraman who wanted to capture the reaction after the exhilarating fall. We were escorted to the main building to wait for our photos and videos. We waited at a cafe. We also did some merchandise shopping as well. The entire process takes 3 hours but is SO worth it. After the skydive, I just wanted my feet on solid ground, so we spent a fun evening driving around the city and enjoying the beautiful motorways of Dubai. Having had a hectic day, we decided to wrap up for the day as I had to fly out of Dubai the next morning to begin work meetings in New York. Stay tuned for my NYC trip stories!