Adventure Time: Dubai

Lately, traveling to different places became popular. And, this has been my dream ever since a long time ago.

A friend of mine said that it has something to do with my star sign but I don’t really think so. Everyone loves to travel and everyone wants to experience something new. And, I am no different.

Way back in the middle of the year, I had planned to go to Dubai. I searched for things to do, planned my own itinerary, and saved up my money to make it work.

And on 05th December 2015, I made it happen.

I originally planned on going alone. I didn’t expect some of my friends to have planned on going as well (Thank goodness, tho! I would have been lonely all by myself). When I heard about their plan on going in order to watch something regarding badminton, I got excited. “I’m traveling with my friends!” is what I thought.

The preparation for our short trip was fun and exciting. Being that we’re all first time travelers, booking a hotel, booking our plane ticket, getting our visas approved, and filing our leave became fun for us. That’s why when the time came and we pulled our luggage towards the check-in counter,  we were so happy and couldn’t wait for our adventure to start.

♥ Day 1: Airport – Eureka Hotel – Deira City Centre

Our first day of the trip was a day full of excitement and glitches.

Excitement due to the feeling of traveling without any guardian and gaining the feeling of independence and freedom. And, glitches because of some technical minor issues.

First, we found out that our seats were not next to each other and we were not able to realize this before the gate opened for boarding. Second, one of my friends bought tea which did not taste nice. Now that I mentioned it, I forgot to ask what it was. Hopefully, I won’t be able to order the same one in the future. Third, my other friend’s seat was changed and it created confusion for her and the crew.

These things were nothing major but it was a bit of a mood killer for us.

Forty five minutes later, we reached the Dubai airport! Our excitement came back and we couldn’t wait to get out of the place and explore. However, another glitch came. My friend got a lecture from one of the personnel at the immigration (although I don’t understand why) but she was able to get inside just fine. (another mood killer)

Note: Please don’t take photos at the immigration. Or, to be at the safer side, don’t take photos just yet until you’re sure that it’s fine to take one inside the airport.

Fast forward to the time when we got out of the airport, we headed straight to our hotel to drop our luggage.

We stayed at the Eureka Hotel — a two star hotel in Deira. We decided to book at a budget hotel since we’ll only use it during the night when we want to rest and sleep and get ready for the next day.

It was fine for us. However, we did not expect that when we reach there, the facilities of the room wouldn’t work properly at all. The tv, phone, sockets, and side lights were not working. The water hose in the washroom was broken. The room was hot. The room looked gloomy. All in all, if I would describe it, it looked like someone died in there.

Joking aside, we were not happy with the room which they originally provided us. Therefore, we asked the hotel to change the room for us and, thank heavens, they gave us another room which looked a lot better.

After the hotel, we went out to do what we can do. We learned where the nearest metro station was, we scouted the area for places we can visit during our free time, and we rode the metro and went to the nearest mall which was the Deira City Centre!

Now, what did we do in the mall?

No, we didn’t go shopping. We ate at Chowking and made our mouths water at the sight of Dunkin Donuts. We went to shop at Carrefour for toiletries and snacks. And, we walked around and was amazed how big their malls were compared to our malls in Bahrain.

♥ Day 2:  Ikea (Festival City) – Desert Safari

When you say Ikea, first thing which comes to mind are home furniture. Of course, we looked around, but, how about the Ikea breakfast?

Let me tell you, it was heaven on a plate! It was worth the AED 36 I paid for and I wasn’t even able to finish it all.

The ambiance of the place was lovely as well. I could feel the winter morning and Christmas feel inside that place. The setting made me so happy and gave me good vibes! (Well, the food gave me good vibes even more.)

Staying at that place and not thinking about work and any worries made me feel light. I was just there munching my food, drinking coffee and it felt like “ah, this is how life should be.” Get what I mean?

In the afternoon, we were picked up from our hotel to head to the desert safari.

Thank goodness, we haven’t confirmed our online booking for this trip or else we would have spent AED 200 more. At the online booking, we were being charged AED 420 per person (or something around AED 400) inclusive of the sand boarding and quad bike.

When we checked on an agent, who was based at our hotel, for the cost of their desert safari trip, we were able to get it for only AED 200 inclusive of the quad bike and received sand boarding as a complimentary!

Lucky that we reached Dubai late and no one from the online booking was picking up for us to confirm.

Desert Safari was beautiful! The sand was very fine and it was very soft.

Trust me, I know. I tripped and fell. I laid down the sand. I sat on it. And, it didn’t hurt at all and it felt like a fluffy cushion chair.

Dune bashing made us go “whoooooaaa!” and “wheeee!” while on a 4×4 land cruiser. We drove along the highs and lows of the sand which felt like we’re on a roller coaster. We felt the car sliding on the sand. We saw the sunset paint the horizon and enhanced the orange-y color of the sand. We enjoyed the ride while listening to Arabian music.

After the desert adventure and a few selfies here and there, we reached the camp. There, we rode the camels, drove the quad bikes, chased the sunset, and made ourselves tired from climbing the heights of sand only to find out that we needed to take our sand boards first before climbing up.

At the desert camp, we got free henna, watched the performances of the Egyptian dance, fire dance and belly dancing, and also had our fill at the buffet.

It was a wonderful experience and I was happy that I got to do and witness all these.

♥ Day 3: Ski Dubai (Mall of Emirates) – Burj Al Arab – Burj Al Khalifa – Dancing Fountain – Dubai Aquarium

Snow! Inside a mall! On a desert!

How cool is that? It’s ironic how my first ever snow (it’s artificial, of course) experience is in a desert.

Everything looked white! It’s kind of calming for me. Sometimes, I would space out and freeze myself on that spot where I am sitting. Sometimes, I blow in the air just to see my breath and repeat it over and over. Sometimes, I touch the snow and play with it on my gloved palm. It did not give me all the excitement I imagined but it made me feel really peaceful.

However, I was kind of disappointed when I entered the place. Maybe, it’s because I expected a lot.

Snow was not falling from above. The artificial snow kind of felt similar to the ice forming on my fridge. I felt like I was inside a huge freezer (which probably is). The slides were too short. The places we can access were only a few. And, my snowman and my snow angel were not able to take shape.

Actually, it was the snowman which disappointed me most. I planned to build one, sing Disney Frozen’s “Do you wanna build a snowman?” and record it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do it. My snowman looked like poop. It’s either the snow was not good enough or I really suck at making a snowman. Heh.

After freezing ourselves in the huge freezer, we went sight seeing and took the mandatory selfies with the Burj Al Arab and Burj Al Khalifa. We then proceeded to watch the dancing fountain and visit the Dubai Mall aquarium.

At the fountain, I was at the front and I got a clear view of it (part of it, but still). While the fountain was dancing, I was thinking “This is an alternative for Giselle.” It felt like I was watching ballet and it looked absolutely beautiful! It left me mesmerized and speechless. And, I absolutely fell in love with it.

Would it be weird if I said that throughout my trip in Dubai, the dancing fountain was my favorite?

No. Hah!

I loved it so much to the point where it made me cry. It was that amazing!

♥ Day 6: Ferrari World (Abu Dhabi)

Our trip to Ferrari World was kind of messed up because we weren’t able to follow our schedule. Why? We were lazy to get up early, of course.

The previous day made us exhausted with all the walking, running, and standing. It made our feet hurt and made us want to crawl from where we were to where we needed to go. Thus, the result of being lazy the next day.

We planned to go early because of the duration of the bus ride and, also, so that we can explore Ferrari World as much as we can before going back to Dubai for their badminton game.

Unfortunately, we arrived at Ferrari World at around 1 PM. So, we decided to ride the Formula Rossa first and do whatever we can afterwards. Luckily, the line was not long and it was moving fast.

Looking at the roller coaster gave me butterflies and made me feel my heart sinking. I was so nervous!

Watching those people get inside the Formula Rossa, experience the ride, and see them get off the coaster with a huge smile, hair all over their faces, and release a huge sigh of relief, made me feel so excited!

My thoughts while waiting were “What did they feel? What was it like? Why were they clapping? What’s so special about this roller coaster? It’s my turn? Oh my gosh, It is my turn!

And next thing I knew, I have my goggles on, seatbelt was fastened, bar was down, and I was sitting on the second row from the front; dazed and was bracing myself for the experience that I was about to experience.

It’s just a roller coaster, you can handle this!

Then, it started to slowly move, stopped for a moment, and took off like it was chasing the light!

I was so not ready for it and it made me hold on for dear life! I was so terrified! The bar felt like it was going up. I couldn’t find any place to hold on to. And every time it slants and goes up and down, I felt like I was gonna fall!

I was actually checking if I was gonna hit the rails and poles during the ride. I checked how high it was and thought if I would survive the fall if ever I fell. I was screaming and tried my best to contain my soul inside my body. And, I wondered if the feeling of liquid I felt on my face was due to my own saliva escaping my mouth or if it was from the person in front of me.

Hmm…I’d like to think that it was from me. Ugh.

And then, it ended.

Congratulations! You have experienced the fastest roller coaster in the world!

I was running out of breath, my hair all got tangled, I was out of balance, I grinned, and laughed all the way to the exit!

Despite all the fear I felt, I felt so alive! It was so awesome! I have never felt so great in a while and it was so worth it!

Now, that’s what fun really means!

♥ Day 5: Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise

Due to some other activity that my friends wanted to do, I got separated from them. Meaning, I was alone during the morning.

It was okay for me since I wanted to meet my aunt. We haven’t seen each other in 12 years and, since I got the chance to visit Dubai, I made sure to meet her.

Me and my friends planned to meet back at the hotel at 5 PM because we will be picked up from there around that time for our Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise.

Unfortunately, due to some reason, my friends weren’t able to reach the hotel in time (they tried to catch the dhow cruise tho but they were a few minutes late) and I was alone during the cruise to have a romantic dinner with myself.

Hm? Did I say romantic dinner?

Yes, I did. Or, at least, that’s what the flyer said so.

Yes, I was alone in a cruise having a romantic dinner with myself in the middle of couples. Joy!

Actually, it was okay for me. However, the couples who were sitting in front of me were taking pictures together while doing the “nose-to-nose” thing, shared their food on the same plate, held hands, and kissed their partners on the cheek.

Did they really need to do that in front of me? I felt like I was intruding in their privacy. No, actually, I felt like I was third wheeling. It made me think that I’m actually alone and it made me feel a little bit lonely.

Since I felt awkward, I stood up and looked at the water as well as the pretty lights. Hold on. Did I mention that I was sitting on the upper deck? No? Well, now I did.

I was standing by the wooden rails of the dhow and I was able to get the best view during the whole cruise.

The lights and buildings looked beautiful and the sound and movement of water was very calming. The cold air felt good on my cheeks and I enjoyed the feeling of the wind blowing my hair.

I closed my eyes for a brief moment to take it all in. It was a time to be with myself. To think of what I have done. To think of what I was doing. To think where I was at that moment. I was contemplating about my life. I was trying to find myself. And, was I able to do it?


It was the first time in a long while where I was alone. Alone in an unknown place while doing something different. I was a little bit proud of myself.

After a short while, my thoughts went to Blue. I thought, “It would be nice if he was here. I want him to see these pretty lights.” I imagined him there, standing with me, while looking at the beautiful view. I imagined him there smiling at  me, telling me stories about random things, and I imagined him laugh.

I missed him and so I took pictures and sent it to him.

Anyway, moving on, everything was going well until the time to return to our transport and depart came. To make it short, I tripped and fell!

Yep! You read it right. I TRIPPED and FELL! (Caps lock to emphasize it) There was a reason for that and, during that time, I was pissed. I got bruises and a sprain.

It was actually because of my friends who tried to catch up but weren’t able to. But since I didn’t want to spoil my mood even more and since I want to make our stay in Dubai fun and enjoyable, I let it pass and made fun of the situation.

I was able to make them laugh and lighten up the mood. But, damn it. Up to this day, I can still feel it and it still hurts whenever I touch it.

Now that I think about it, it’s okay. It’s one heck of a memory to remember, at least.

♥ Day 6: Dubai Miracle Garden

Miracle garden? We went there to see flowers, flowers, and more flowers!

There were different structures made of, well, flowers and oranges. It was so pretty and colorful! I wonder how they keep the flowers alive.

The colors of this place are making me happy~! So pretty!❤️

A post shared by ©Maya Dela Cruz (@maeionnaise) on

We actually planned to visit the Global Village on the 6th Day after Miracle Garden but we ran out of time. And since we still had some time left, we did our shopping for our friends and relatives and ate somewhere a little bit fancy.

We were on a tight budget and kept eating cheap food for the past days; eating once or twice a day. So, why not enjoy the food on the last day, right?

♥ Day 7: Dubai Airport

Funniest, most epic day of our stay in Dubai. We should be pissed, actually.

You see, this day was our last day in Dubai. We planned to wake up at 5 AM to get ready and then head to the airport to check in. AT 08:15 AM, our plane departs from the airport. But, we had some glitch again.

I set my alarm at 5 AM. Or, at least, I thought it was set that way. Turns out, I set it at 5 PM. Great job, am I right?

But, I didn’t expect that my friends did not set their alarm. No, actually, one of them did but turned it off and forgot to snooze it.

I was woken up by my friend when I heard her say, “Guys, 7:08 AM na. Tama ba?” (“Guys, it’s 7:08 AM already. Am I right?”)

I grabbed my phone and checked the time. She was right! It was 7:08 AM and the way she said it was very calm.

My eyes widened and I jumped out of bed. Not just me, actually. One of my friends jumped out of bed too! We were in such hurry, we all looked like we just got out of bed when we reached the airport (We literally just got out of bed that time tho).

And, yes, we missed our plane and had to buy another ticket back to Bahrain.

Did we get bummed? Maybe.

Did we get angry and blamed each other for this blunder? No.

Did we laugh? Yes! We laughed so hard on what had happened to us and concluded that this day was the best day of our travel.

We seriously didn’t feel that bad at all. Sure, it was a waste of money, but for me, making this blunder and creating a memory out of it was better. It is something to remember and laugh about.

Of course, I wouldn’t do the same thing in the future.


And, that concludes our adventure in Dubai! I crossed off so many things on my bucket list and I’m so proud of myself for doing this on my own without depending on my parents.

This is just the beginning of so many adventures and creating more memorable events in my life!

Anyway, this post is too long, I might as well end it now. Haha!

Alright! See you again next time, Dubai!






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