Dubai’s charm is felt throughout the world; and as an avid traveller, Dubai was inevitably a part of my must-see list. Earlier this year, I decided to visit the magical country on my own. A colleague of mine recommended Thrillophilia to me, having taken a trip with them last year. I spent some time on the Internet, and finding only positive Thrillophilia Facebook reviews for the tour, decided to go ahead with the Six Day Dubai and Abu Dhabi Trip. The tour commenced as soon as I set foot at the Dubai International Airport- I was duly picked up by my scheduled driver and ferried to the hotel. I met the rest of the group at the hotel briefing session, and the six of us in total bonded quite quickly.
After spending the morning at the hotel, we headed out for a Dhow Cruise in the evening. For those unaware, the Dhow is a traditional Middle Eastern boat which was earlier used for trading. Today, the Dhow Cruise is one of the most exciting things to do here. We cruised the water of the Marina as the Dubai Skyline lit up all around us. The cruise tour was accompanied by a delicious traditional dinner as well. The next morning being free, some of us decided to explore the souks around the city on our own.
Traditional jewelry pieces and handicraft items are the main attractions of this market; we spent some time shopping for souvenirs, and then some sampling the street food around the souks. In the evening, we headed out for a desert safari. The safari was an extremely new experience for me; the group was loaded into 4×4 vehicles for dune bashing, an extreme desert sport that turned out to be super fun! After the dune bashing tour, we were taken to a traditional Bedouin tent, where we got to experience a traditional camelback ride as well. There was an unlimited supply of shisha at the tent, which we could help ourselves too.
There was a henna stall at the Tent as well, and those who wanted to get their hands painted could do so. The night, however, did not end here. The tour was followed up by a delicious spread of barbecue dinner, accompanied by a traditional Tanura dance performance. The excitement of the day melted away into the busy Abu Dhabi tour that formed the next bit of our itinerary. The next day, we ventured out for the city tour. Our first stop was the Grand Sheikh Mosque, who’s glittering white domes form an indomitable part of Abu Dhabi’s timeline.
After the mosque, we spent some time exploring the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Commanding unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf, this busy walkway is thronged by tourists throughout the day. Despite its business, however, several little stores, eateries and playgrounds scattered across the length makes exploring the Corniche worth it. The last stop at the tour was the Heritage Village. Designed to resemble a traditional Middle Eastern village, the Heritage Village offers an authentic taste of Bedouin Life.
We spent some time walking the streets of villages, occasionally stopping to take a picture or two. The next day, we visited some of Dubai’s most unique attractions. Our first stop in Dubai was the wonderful Miracle Gardens, home to wonderful flower gardens that I spent quite some time photographing. We headed over then to the Butterfly Museum and Garden, which is another spectacle to witness. That evening, we visited the Dubai Global Village, which for me was the highlight of the tour.
The Global Village can only be visited between October and March, and we were lucky enough to be on time for it. A cultural extravaganza, shopping, dining and an exciting array of funfair rides comprised our experience at the Global Village. We spent quite a bit of time at the amusement park in the Global Village, and visited as many zones as we could. Our last day of the tour was spent on a Dubai City Tour. We ventured out in our appointed car, and visited some of the city’s biggest attractions.
The Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai Museum and Palm Islands are only some of the places covered on the tour. The Palm Islands were especially interesting to me, and we made frequent stops at the local food trucks to sample their delights. In the evening, we witnessed the much spoken of Dubai fountain show which, as the Thrillophilia Twitter reviews had suggested, was truly magnificent. In fact, some in the group decided to watch the show from a boat, which was also an option here.
Apart from the well planned sightseeing tours, what really amazed me about the tour was how all encompassing it was. I didn’t have to bother myself with anything, including accommodation planning, travelling around the city or even the itineraries. The six day tour met all of my expectations, and I’m glad I chose Thrillophilia to help cancel Dubai off my bucket list!