Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Hello, hello, hello friends! I'm writing to you at about 10am here in Dubai! The past couple days have been sort of crazy, but amazing at the same time. It feels like I've been here for about a week when in reality it has been three days. Although I'm a day late, I'm going to write about my second day in Dubai (New Year's Eve)!
Our scheduled New Year's Eve Dinner didn't start until 5pm, so we had the entire first half of the day to do whatever we wanted. Some of us decided to go to La Mer Beach about fifteen minutes away. Let me tell you what, that beach is absolutely beautiful. Probably the most beautiful beach I've ever seen. The waters were clear, no rocks, just soft sand that didn't burn your feet to walk on. Palm trees everywhere, full showers and feet showers everywhere, and NO BUGS! I wasn't getting eaten alive while trying to tan and it was amazing. La Mer Beach also had a lot of cute shops, wall art, and restaurants along the beach, which was great when we were done swimming and hanging out on the beach. For lunch, we ate at Texas Roadhouse (yes, they have one of those)! We were all craving American food, so yeah, we ate at Texas Roadhouse. We sat outside on their patio which gave us a great view of the beach and ocean. The temperature was a comfortable 75 to 80 degrees, so not too hot, not too cold. Because of New Year's Eve traffic, we were told to be back at the hotel by at least 2pm.
After taking a Netflix break, we all met back up in the hotel lobby at 5pm to leave for Festival City to celebrate the new year. Our trip organizer thought it would take a lot longer to get to Festival City due to traffic, but instead of it taking three hours, it only took twenty minutes. Our estimated time to get there was about 8pm, so we had about three hours to kill before we could get into our restaurant reservation. Luckily Festival City is a mall, so we just window shopped until our restaurant could take us. We were certainly a sight to see though. We were dressed up in our New Year's Eve outfits wondering through the mall with people wearing t-shirts and shorts.
We were all blown away when we saw the view we had due to our seats at the restaurant. We were outside sitting by the railing of the patio (since we were on a higher floor), so we had an unblocked view of the light show and fireworks! We had unlimited food and drinks until 12:30am! There were fireworks and a light show every hour at 10, 11, and 12, each more amazing than the last. I've never seen so many fireworks fired off which made for a spectacular show.
Now getting back to the hotel was a journey in itself. Unfortunately, the bus was not allowed to come to the restaurant we were at, so we had to take taxis and Ubers. What I learned is that you have to be very assertive when getting a taxi. If you don't run to the taxi, someone will literally steal if from you. Everyone was trying to leave, so even finding an open taxi was rare. We went in groups of four, but I ended up drawing the short stick to take the last taxi with the professors (which wasn't bad at all, but I just had to wait an extra hour compared to everyone else). It was about 2am when we finally got into our Uber (when we started looking for rides at about 12:30am). I got into bed at about 2:30am that night. It was definitely a new years to remember!