Are you are a business traveler like me? If you are then you probably end up going to amazing countries but with only limited time to look around. So if you were in Dubai for a night what would you do? Unfortunately, my trip was a bit of a fail, but I hope you can learn from my mistakes! Here are some of my tips if you are heading down that way.
The Burj Khalifa Dubai
TIP 1: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR TRIP TO SEE NEW PLACES
I recently was invited to go to London by Lenovo as part of my ambassador responsibilities to witness the launch of the new YOGA 3 pro laptop series. I will write separately on London in a day and here is more on the Lenovo situation. Lenovo asked me who I wanted to fly with and as I live in Australia I wanted to fly Qantas, to get some points, and because they fly via Dubai. In my previous corporate travel life, I was a massive Singapore Airlines flyer and spent many overnights in Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian destination. This time, I thought let’s check out the UAE. I only had 24 hours and didn’t have much time to research or prepare so I just had to wing it.
TIP 2: DO SOME EXERCISE AFTER A LONG PLANE TRIP
I got in early in the morning and it was HOT! I live in the driest continent in the world, Australia, but I live in the south which is reasonable, this was hot like central Australia or some part of the sun. Of course my room wasn’t ready so I went to the pool and had a quick swim which was awesome.
After sitting still on a plane for a long time I like to get out and about so went for a walk. Remember I said it was hot? Well I just ignored this, got a map and off I went. This is how I like to do things, just wander with the locals and see what I can find. I like to get amongst it and away from the tourist spots.
The first few kilometers was okay, I’m tough and the air conditioned bus stops were a good rest. But then I realised that no one walks in Dubai, like no one. The city isn't built for walkers. No parks, no nice little stores hidden away like in London or Melbourne. You drive to somewhere and go there. Not wanting to admit defeat to my plan, I kept going until I found some shops and had a rest, then some guy started touching me! Well ok, it was a barber’s chair and I did need a haircut. I love doing ordinary things overseas to see what's it like, hence the cut.
I must say the local hairdresser was a bit shocked to see a strange white guy coming in for a $10 haircut. He put on quite a show and was a great break for me!
TIP 3: EAT WHAT THE LOCALS TELL YOU TOO
I then found a restaurant offering traditional Aussie food so had to go look at that! Too funny to have a pie and beer in Dubai, check out the pics on Pinterest. After a tall beer and pie, I relented and walked back to the hotel to check in and see what else I could do. There was a beach trip on offer but it’s much too hot for that so I thought I would check out the largest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa . Now for the advice – book in advance! The only time I could get in was 11:30pm so I took it. The tour was a stuff up but that aside, the Burge was amazing. You can have a full day there as they have a huge mall, water fountains and of course a trip 124 floors to the top. Check out my Pinterest board for more pics.
So was my trip a fail or success? I didn’t even make it to the beach are which is supposed to be amazing, but it is mostly high end hotels and I can go anywhere in the world and see them. My highest values are on people, which is why I have focused my career on Personal Branding, so of course that’s what I want to see. I got to see the local people of Dubai doing their thing and one thing I couldn’t see anywhere else, so for me it was a win. Lucky I wasn’t with anyone else as they would have hated it!
So the point is travel and live your life your way. I had fun even with all the mistakes, I saw a different angle of Dubai, one most would miss on the tour bus to the hotels. We are all unique and individual so I encourage you to get out and experience Dubai your way.
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