They say ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Well, who am I to disagree? So, after a grand event like Frankfurt Book Fair, a small vacation was at #1 spot on my to-do list. And for this vacation, I decided to take a trip to United Arab Emirates. Mostly I visit this country for business purpose, but this time it was a vacation with my wife. And since this time I took in the city as a tourist, I thought why not put down a detailed account of it.
So, here it is. United Arab Emirates comprises of seven emirates; out of which we covered six: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimh. In this trip, we majorly stayed in three emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah.
Whenever I am on move, I make it a point to book Oberoi hotel only. And, luckily Oberoi has recently opened in Dubai near Business Bay Center which is on Sheikh Zayed Road, 5 minutes drive from Dubai Mall (The reason why my wife was so ecstatic ;)). Also, this hotel provides you a beautiful view of Burj Khalifa. Meanwhile, during our stay the entire cast of the movie ‘Boss’ was also staying there and luckily we got an opportunity to meet Akshay Kumar. All in all, if you look at it, Oberoi Hotel is indeed a place of choice for staying whether you are out on business or a holiday… not to miss the Indian food they serve at their restaurant, ANANTA. I would definitely rate this hotel 5 out of 5.
Dubai as a city is an awesome place to live in. This ‘Shopping Capital of the Middle East’ has more than 70 shopping malls, including the world’s largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. Most boutiques, some electronics shops, department stores and supermarkets operate on a fixed-price basis; other outlets do allow negotiation. Dubai is also known for souk districts located on either side of the creek. It is known as ‘the City of Gold’ and Gold Souk in Deira houses nearly 250 gold retail shops.
Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Burjuman Shopping Centre, Deira City Centre, Mirdiff & Wafi and Meena Bazaar are the prominent places for shopping. Dubai has one of the finest restaurants in the world. And, I think I’ve visited almost every Indian vegetarian restaurant. To name a few, the must-visit restaurants are Asha’s (in Wafi centre), Khana Khazana by Sanjeev Kapoor, Gazebo (must-visit for Dum Biryanis), Kamat (a pure vegetarian restaurant for all sorts of Indian flavours), Chhatori Gali for Rajasthani food and Rangoli in Meena Bazaar for chaat. Out of all, Asha’s Restaurant is the best and must-try for those who are fond of Indian food.
As a matter of fact, it was my twentieth visit to this city. We stayed in Dubai for around five nights and then we took off to Fujairah, the only one of the seven emirates that has a coastline solely on the Gulf of Oman and none on the Persian Gulf.
Here we decided to stay at Radisson Blu Resort for two nights. The drive from Dubai to Fujairah is around 90 minutes. And, I must say it was one of the most beautiful drives of UAE. The hotel offered private beach with rooms facing the Arabian Sea. Not to forget the finest services of SPA ZEN and the after-work cocktail at the Heatwave Bar. My only disappointment was the limited choice of vegetarian food they provide in their restaurants.
From Fujairah we moved to Abu Dhabi which is around 250 km away from Fujairah. Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. One of the most important architectural landmarks, here stands the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
We stayed at Abu Dhabi for a night at Hilton, Abu Dhabi located in the heart of the city at corniche.
The hotel is set along the beautiful waters of the Arabian Gulf. Marina Mall and Heritage Village are also close by. The hotel offers a private beach club with extensive water sports… Quite a place to stay in Abu Dhabi! The hotel has got around 15 restaurants out of which Royal Orchid is our favourite for Chinese cuisine.
Before coming to Delhi we revisited Dubai for two nights. While I handled some of the pending work in Dubai office, my wife did some serious shopping!
It was quite an escape from the busy life and a break from the incessant work. Well deserved and well spent…