Candice DeVille of Vintage Current was naturally philosophical when describing her visit to Dubai as part of her Dubai Dreams trip with Nuffnang Australia’s Blogeratti team. At Nuffnang’s Dubai Dreams Melbourne Meetup over the weekend, she described her blogging life with the parallels of a night she spent out in the desert. As her feet sank into the fine, soft sand she witnessed the sun setting to one side of her while the moon rose at her other side. It was at that moment she realised the blogging world is “expansive and small all at the same time”, and riddled with opportunities to make valuable connections.
Travellers will unearth similar sentiment about their world during their travels and experience seminal moments like this. It’s these experiences that leave us travellers with an urgent sense of wanderlust and these are the experiences that also leave us side-swiped in our preconceptions of a destination or culture. At this point in our travels, we realise that we know very little about our surroundings but also how small we are in the context of the world we live in. It’s therefore likely that without these experiences, travellers are unable to make true connections with others around them.
Over canapés and cocktails at Doc Martin’s of Collins Quarter, 40 bloggers (including me!), listened intently to a handful of Nuffnang’s Blogeratti bloggers as they instilled the ideal that travel is a sensory experience. They guided us through their journey to Dubai late last year; a magic carpet ride through bustling souqs, across desert dunes, and up high-rise buildings. They returned with backpacks filled with travel stories that would inspire anyone to make their own Dubai dreams come true.
Dubai has been on my travel list for some time. It was actually during my journey to Syria, Jordan and Egypt in 2010 that I decided I wanted to experience as many Middle Eastern countries as possible – United Arab Emirates included. With renewed inspiration from Nuffnang’s Blogeratti team, I’ve decided to compile my very own dreamy Dubai list.
Eat my way through a Friday brunch buffet
I’ve read about these legendary Friday buffet sessions in Dubai, where Middle East meets West. These buffets can be found in many of Dubai's glamourous hotels and the idea is to start early then gradually eat your way through until the wee hours of the afternoon. The buffet held at Al Qasr Madinat Jumeirah at Jumeirah Beach boasts a multicultural buffet including Arabic dishes. I wonder if they can cater for this food-crazy vegan!
Take on the adventure of a desert wildlife safari
A four-wheeled drive out into the desert plains is where my adventurous streak could only turn to. I took a journey out into the desert of Jordan’s south and relished in it. I’m sure a trip through the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve to spot Arabian oryx, gazelles and sand cats will be just as thrilling.
Take in a hammam at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
After a big day of scaling desert dunes, I would love to luxuriate in a full body scrub and steam that only a hammam, or Turkish bath, can offer. It’s the ultimate body cleansing experience!
Visit Ayyam Gallery
After word broke out about the crises in Syria, I began to hear about stories of artists who had fled the country. The works of some of these artists now feature in this gallery, telling the stories of displaced Syrians, and Syrians still living in the middle of the conflict. Ayyam Gallery also hosts the works of artists from other countries within the region.
Discover a richer side of Dubai
Beyond the skyscrapers and buffet stands, there’s the traditional Dubai that I really want to experience. An underlying Bedouin, Islamic and Emirati culture awaits me here which I yearn to discover. I’ll be hard pressed to decide between Al Fahidi Fort, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, or the courtyards of Bastakiya. However, there would be no stopping me from taking a wooden water taxi to Deira to wander the frankincense-scented walkways of its Spice Souq and sip tea while bartering for presents back home.
Have you been to Dubai? Tell me about a Dubai dream that you made a reality.
Thank you very much to Nuffnang Australia and We Are Dubai for hosting me at this lovely Melbourne meetup!