Business travel can be a drag at times. Long stretches away from home and family take a toll on travelers both physically and emotionally, as The Economist highlighted recently.
Sometimes, however, you get to enjoy a rare treat that you never would have expected (just watch the video below), and that’s what happened to me on a recent trip to Dubai. A client engagement required a week-long journey to a part of the world I had never visited before.
Honestly, I wasn’t crazy about going. The timing got in the way of an opportunity for Amy & I to have a rare getaway without the kids, as they were on a trip of their own for a few days. And to top it off, I didn’t know the first thing about Dubai.
While I won’t go through all the details of my visit, what I can tell you is that I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable the city was for an American visitor. Everybody I ran into spoke excellent English, from the staff at the hotel (JW Marriott near the airport was terrific) to the taxi drivers, restaurant workers, etc. The streets were clean, and it felt very, very safe.
The city is full of spectacular sights and venues, but I’ll just share my moment with the most amazing of them all…
The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa
On our final evening in Dubai, we enjoyed a dinner at Bice Mare, an Italian restaurant near the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, also known as the Tallest Building In The World. As we waited for our food, the Dubai Fountain just outside exploded into water, light and song, which I captured on my phone from the balcony:
Cliches like “jaw-dropping”, “awe-inspiring” and “amazeballs” get thrown around a lot, but this was truly one of those moments which lived up to those lofty labels. Notice how the Burj Khalifa glittered with light during the show? There is a lighting system which allows them to basically use the entire building as a giant video display.
Personally, I’d love to hook up an arcade machine emulator and play the biggest game of Crazy Climber ever, but that’s just me.
Apparently those fountain shows run every 30 minutes in the evening, as there was one more during dinner that was every bit as impressive. I’ve been to places like London, Paris, Tokyo, etc., but have never seen anything quite like this.
Where Is Dubai?
Dubai is a city of nearly 3 million people in the United Arab Emirates, on the eastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a thriving hub for tourism, transportation and financial activity in the Persian Gulf region. If you ever have the chance to visit yourself, I can’t recommend it highly enough!