Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Writing this post is a little bitter sweet for me. I am excited to go home, but sad to leave this beautiful and most importantly, WARM country! Today was easy going, as we didn't have much to do and see, which was fine with all of us. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Dubai, but I am all toured out.
We didn't start until 2pm today, so a couple of girls and I ordered Chili's to our hotel so we could chill in our room and save money on an Uber. Our day started with a tour of the Crowne Plaza, the oldest hotel in Dubai. We saw their banquet halls, meeting rooms, hotel rooms, and diplomat suite. This was the first hotel tour that we actually got to see inside the rooms, which was cool! Not super different from the U.S, but still cool to see.
Our second stop was the aquarium in the Atlantis Resort on the Palm. There wasn't a guided tour since we just bought tickets to the aquarium. It was very cool to see the amount of sea life they had. There was tanks where sharks, stingrays, and different schools of fish were coexisting (so not a total blood bath!). I also think stingrays are super cool and LOVE the faces they make! There was a giant one that kept coming back to us and showing it's face through the glass. The aquarium was really cool, but kind of small. We finished walking through it in twenty minutes when we had a whole hour to explore. We explored the other shops around the area in the resort and found a place that made necklaces with your name in Arabic. I was interested in one, but knew I could live without it. The merchant tried to sell me the necklace for $350 dirhams, but after me walking away SEVERAL times and being super indifferent, he finally got it down to my counteroffer, $110 dirhams. HA! My haggling has improved. Even Rawya, our UAE leader was impressed.
Finally our last stop was back at the Festival City Mall for our goodbye dinner with a traditional Emirati cuisine. During dinner a few tears were shed as we were saying goodbye to our leaders. We then all decided we were going to get desert at the Cheesecake Factory (yes, they have one of those here!). After, we headed back to our hotel. Outside our hotel, Rawya said her last goodbyes with hugs for all of us. She told us we were the BEST group she has ever hosted in the UAE! So yeah, we represented Iowa State well if I do say so myself.
This trip has been so much fun and so educational. I can 100% recommend this trip to anyone and everyone. Dubai should be on everyone's bucket list for sure! There's so much to do and see here and everyone is SUPER nice! I don't think I had one horrible, scaring experience here. Sure, a lot of things wrong happened, but that comes with life. Like I've said before, it's not about the destination, but the journey. We all have so many memories to take back to the U.S with us and I can't wait to share them all in person with you! Although my bible studying and daily journaling about God's word has taken a backseat, I know he is with me watching over my shoulder with my adventures. I know he is with me while I'm writing this post. Everyday I experience the Lord with the adventures I have and beauty I see. Words cannot truly describe how grateful I am that God has given me this wonderful, crazy, beautiful opportunity to see the world he created and learn more about the world around me. Here are some pictures from today (sorry most of them are of the aquarium)!