One of the reasons we decided to move to the other side of the world, were the endless opportunities to explore and vacation to other countries, that are hardly practical to reach from the United States. It costs thousands of dollars to travel from North America to other continents, and sometimes days to reach your destination. One of the draws to moving to the Middle East, was the close proximity and affordibility to so many cool places in Europe, Africa, and Asia. We are so excited to be taking our first vacation, since moving to Kuwait, next week during Eid break!
You’re probably wondering . . . “What is Eid break?” Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure either. All I knew was that it was a Muslim holiday, and we got 9 days off of work! Therefore, I did a quick “google” search, and here is what I found:
Eid-al-Adha is the second and final Eid celebration of the year. It commemorates the completion of the Hajj, (pilgrimage to Mecca). Although only the people who take pilgrimage participate in the Hajj fully, Muslims around the world join them in celebrating Eid Al-Adha. For more information on Eid Al-Adha, click here.
Since we signed our employment contracts last winter, we have been looking forward to taking advantage of this week-long break in the school calendar. However we weren’t able to book a trip until about a week ago, because we didn’t have our passports! The minute we arrived to Kuwait about a month and a half ago, School Administrators had to collect everyone’s passports at the airport so they could finalize the visa process and apply for everyone’s Civilian IDs. They told us they were going to try their best to speed the application process up, however they couldn’t guarantee that they would be back in time for Eid. Thus they told everyone not to book a trip because they probably wouldn’t be back in time. We were bummed, but knew we had to respect the process, and just kept our fingers crossed.
We were super surprised last week when we got an email from the school informing us they had our passports back! We were so excited, however we suddenly felt panicked, because we only had a week to book a trip! We frantically searched for flights to just about everywhere in the world. We were totally open to going anywhere new, that was reasonably priced. Unfortunately though, because it was so last minute, our options were limited due to high prices for flights. After an exhaustive day of searching, we found a great deal on airfare to Dubai!
Photo courtesy of hdwallpaperfresh.com
Dubai is a futuristic city and perhaps one of the flashiest. It is home to the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa) and the largest mall in the world (Dubai Mall). I’m sorry my fellow Minnesotans, but Mall of America is nowhere near the size. The Dubai Mall is 12.1 million square feet compared to the Mall of America that is 5.62 million square feet, so its more than double the size! Dubai also features amazing artificial islands and some of the best beaches around.
Photo courtesy of Dave Anthony
Dubai is home to some of the most incredible (and expensive) resorts in the world. For our accommodations, we actually decided to rent an apartment right in the heart of Dubai, near the marina. We used a website called AirBnB.com (click here for a free $25 credit on airbnb.com) which is a website where you can rent a couch, a bedroom, or an entire house. Since we are going with a few friends from Kuwait, we decided to rent an entire apartment.
Dubai has a ton of fun things to do! We have been spending the last few days putting an itinerary together, and here’s what we have planned thus far:
- Atlantis the Palm Aquaventure Waterpark
This waterpark has been named one of the top waterparks in the whole world, and has been featured on multiple TV shows, magazines, etc. We are super excited to go on their slide called The Tower of Neptune. You fall over 9 stories in a mere second before you find yourself speeding through a clear acrylic tube surrounded by Great White Sharks and sting rays!
Photo courtesy of atlantisthepalm.com
We have fun evening planned with a tour company where we go on a baja ride through the sand dunes of Dubai in a 4×4 jeep.
Photo courtesy of arabizhorizons.com
As I mentioned earlier, Dubai is home of the Burq Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. We are excited to take a tour to the top of the 2,722 ft. building (163 floors). This building is twice the size of the Empire State Building!
Photo courtesy of blogs.atrapalo.com
We have also decided to spend a few nights in Abu Dhabi next week, which is only about an hour or two from Dubai. Abu Dhabi is also a very futuristic and flashy city. As part of her research for this trip Rachel decided that this week was the perfect time to rewatch Sex and the City 2!
Photo courtesy of theguardian.com
We’ll be in Abu Dhabi on my birthday and found something super fun to do . . . . . we are going to an international soccer game between Australia & United Arab Emirates! I’m a sports junky who loves visiting professional stadiums, so I’m super pumped to go. I’ve never been to one before and can’t wait to experience the excitement, the crowds, the chants, and everything that an international soccer match has to offer! Definitely fulfilling an item on my “Bucket List.”
We also plan on taking a tour of the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, which is said to be the most expensive hotel ever built at over 3 billion dollars!
Photo courtesy of proudlyarabian.com
Since we are going to be on vacation all of next week, I’m not sure if we are going to be able to post any new blogs. We will try to post a quick update, otherwise you can follow along with us on Twitter: @mightaswellers. When we return from our trip, we’ll be sure to post a bunch of photos.
Cheers & Eid Mubarak!