Only wonderful memories of Dubai for this Malaysian family

The view from the Burj Khalifa. — Photos: HARINI ALAGESAN

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Travelling has always been a way for my family to spend more time together but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we were stripped of that luxury. So you can imagine how elated we were when we finally managed to go on a family holiday recently, this time to the United Arab Emirates.

Our first city was Dubai, which had always been on the top of my bucket list. I just love all the beautiful architecture there and how everything looks so luxurious. Even during the car ride from the airport to our hotel, I was already so amazed by the gorgeous city. With flickering lights everywhere, it looked like the skyscrapers were the night sky, dotted with twinkling stars.

After a good night’s sleep, we got ready for our first day of exploring Dubai. We started off with a visit to the Gold Souq, which featured a multiple row of shops selling gold and silver items. There were also lots of spices and perfumes sold there, and the aroma you get from all this mix made the experience all the more interesting.

My mother, being the amazing cook that she is, bought many types of spices from a shop, and the owner later brought us to his other business, a silk shop. There were stacks of silk cloths and scarves in every colour possible in that shop.

We also went to the Dubai Mall, said to be the biggest shopping mall in the world. I was really excited about that as I love fashion and I like seeing the lifestyles of “A-listers” on social media. When we entered the mall and we saw all the collections from luxury brands I have only ever seen online.

This was definitely one of my favourite places in Dubai.

We had lunch at the enormous food court and then headed to the famous Burj Khalifa, which is connected to the mall. The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, and I don’t really have the words to describe just how breathtaking the view was from high above. The building itself is a work of art.

Later, we went back to the mall to check out the aquarium – yes, there’s lot of things to do and see at this huge mall. We ended our day with a scrumptious dinner, while watching a fountain show outside.

On the second day we went to Abu Dhabi. The first half of the day went by real quick as we visited a palace and some beautiful mosques. And then we went to the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park, and that’s where things got real exciting for me! I had started watching Formula 1 racing recently, and Ferrari is my favourite team, so visiting the theme park was like a dream come true for me.

We rode the fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rossa, and a few other Formula 1-themed rides. There was also a “mini Italy” there, where we walked around for a bit until it was time to head back to Dubai.

The writer (centre) and her family at the Sky Views Dubai, before trying out the glass slide.The writer (centre) and her family at the Sky Views Dubai, before trying out the glass slide.

The next day, we went to Sky Views Dubai and tried the glass slide, a short slide made from glass located 219m above ground. We didn’t have much on our schedule so we just returned to our hotel to watch movies, eat shawarmas and enjoy each other’s company. This is the true reason why my family goes on holidays – for us to bond. After lunch, we went on a desert safari, the highlight of the whole trip for all of us. We tried dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding and rode on ATVs in the desert, and every activity was just so fun.

At night we had dinner under the stars while watching belly dancing and flame throwing performances.

The writer at the Miracle Garden in Dubai. — Photos: HARINI ALAGESANThe writer at the Miracle Garden in Dubai. — Photos: HARINI ALAGESAN

On the next day, we visited the Dubai Frame and Miracle Garden. The garden really awed me because everywhere I turned there were colourful flowers. At night we checked out the Global Village, which was kind of like a carnival. There were lots of food, handicrafts and games from all over the world there. A rush of pride hit me when I saw the Malaysian stalls.

Our last day started late. We went on a last shopping trip to look for souvenirs and since we were already craving Indian food by then, we went to an Indian restaurant for lunch.

We also visited the Museum of Future. From the outside I was already at a loss for words when I saw the doughnut-like building. This place is perfect for folks who love science and technology.

We managed to go on a dinner cruise to end our trip on a wonderful note.

As we boarded our plane back to Malaysia, I thought about how much fun my family and I had the past few days, and decided that I would one day return to the city of wonderful memories.

The views expressed are entirely the reader’s own.

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