You might have noticed from my Instagram account that I made a recent trip to the UAE. I’ve been fantasising about Dubai for the past 5 years. I know some of you might ask what’s there so much to fantasise about, a city without any history and culture where everything is artificial and imported? But then wait a minute, you are a woman, you probably want to go shopping. Well….
My idea of having a good time is not really spending a day in an artificially lighted space where there are thousands of things I can’t afford. But I also can’t spend a day frying my bikini *ss on the beach (I don’t mind taking a short swim in the body warm temperature water of the hotel swimming pool though).
What I am passionate about though is encountering a new culture. I love adventures (I love
desserts deserts) and having time for myself (a lazy stroll along the beach having a conversation with a good friend or a breakfast ritual in bed). I like to try out different foods and check on traditional markets (souk). I like to meet new people and just ask them about their lives, learning about what it feels like being 20 and working in a foreign country just to earn some money and invest into your dreams. Imagine a young Italian girl who came to Abu Dhabi to work in a restaurant, oops, Italian restaurant. A couple shows up, dressed in the traditional black abaya and white kandura. They have ordered food on the phone so it is ready by the time they arrive (what are they saving time for? They have all the money in the world?), then eating it in the next 20 minutes (without having even a glass of wine, but a fresh juice instead…) and getting up almost immediately to leave. The girl must have been in a total shock. What about sorbet and limoncello? What about La Dolce Far Niente? Well that’s for eating Italian in Abu Dhabi.
Back to my adventure, my hubby and I went to a lovely resort in the Arabian Desert, I know that SPA and Resorts don’t really count for an adventure, but at least it was close to what we wanted to experience: watching the sunset from the rooftop of the restaurant tower with a coconut drink and date syrup, falcon training, camel ride on the dunes, chatting with a few locals and the staff, imported mostly from Malaysia, Nigeria, China and South Africa. I could finally take private yoga classes and meditate in complete silence. We could ride a bike around the resort as the villas were quite remote.
The resort has their own horse stables as well and offers beside the camel ride a horse ride too. When I went to visit the stables I was stunned by how impeccably clean they were. I’ve seen quite a few horse stables all over the world, but I must admit these were perfectly clean and absolutely spotless.
I have to say I was very pleased with the modern Arabian interior design of our villas and later hotel rooms as well. It is very much about luxury, comfort and celebrating opulence. It is extremely pleasing and spoiling to all the senses: The lightning, the mix of patterns, the feel of fabrics and wood, even the water in your private pool is heated to your body temperature. The incense and perfumes you can smell everywhere you go stay with you for days. All that mixture somehow creates a sense of magic and mystery around you and enfolds you in a fairy world.
I am far away from thinking that this is where the Arabian Nights (One thousand and one nights) was started but at least this is what we Europeans can easily experience first from the rich Arabian culture and traditions.
Then last but not least Dubai and Abu Dhabi really offer a great mix of people, cultures and traditions, food and styles, which somehow co-exist in complete harmony and abundance. This is a place where everyone comes to fulfil a dream or make some money so they can again achieve their dream.
Someone dared to create a space, which looks open to the possibility of miracles, reflecting fairy tales, unleashing human desire to dream without limits and giving a free reign to the human skills and imagination. All am I asking is Why not?!