Goway Marketing Coordinator Taleen Nalbandian recently returned from Dubai where she helped lead a women’s only Tour. Here, she shares her experiences during this recent trip along with tips for travel to the United Arab Emirates.
Where did you travel in the United Arab Emirates?
What did you see and do on your trip?
I saw many things on my trip. I visited the Dubai Museum as well as the largest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa, where I had the opportunity to go up to the 125th floor and experience the magnificent views of Dubai from the top. I also got the chance to visit Sheikh Zayd Mosque in Abu Dhabi and do a small tour of it. The highlight of my trip was seeing and experiencing the sand dunes on a desert safari and enjoying a nice traditional meal afterwards.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the United Arab Emirates?
I don’t think there is one to be honest, but I would have to say people think the Emirates is a Middle Eastern country, which it is, but amongst all the countries I have been to in the Middle East, it’s the most versatile, modern, and westernized place, where you have so much freedom and are free to do what you wish.
What was your favorite highlight of the trip?
I would say my entire trip was the highlight. The way this tour was laid out was very good, not too cramped with too many activities. There was quite a bit of free time as well as some touring. Our guide was extremely fun and knowledgeable and made the trip even more fun and we looked forward to seeing him every morning. If I have to pick a favourite activity, it would have to be the Sunset Desert Safari trip. It was very well organized, with experienced drivers and the food was delicious.
Was there anything that surprised you?
What surprised me is that Dubai is a very safe city compared to other large cities around the world. The group and I went for a walk late one evening and we were very comfortable to take a taxi back and be out so late without any issues.
What area would you recommend if clients wanted to extend into another country?
I would suggest Maldives or Jordan as both are a short flight away and great options depending on what your clients would prefer to do.
Are there any tips about travelling to the United Arab Emirates that agents might share with their clients to make their trip even more enjoyable?
- Bring comfortable shoes as you do tend to do a bit of walking, especially if you plan to shop as their malls are huge and you could spend long hours seeing everything there is to see!
- Tipping is essential. This time around I noticed it becoming more of a trend, whereas on my previous visits it wasn’t as common.
- Do exchange some dollars into Emirati, as we found that most places prefer that over US dollars.
- In my opinion, January is the best month to travel as the weather is beautiful.
Do you have a favorite local dish?
Yes, it would have to be their pizza-style flatbread meals that are covered with Manakish and labneh and Shawarma.