Some of you already know this, but we recently spent a week in the United Arab Emirates. Here’s some history, courtesy of Wikipedia, follow by a map, to start us all off on the right page:
Established on 2 December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates (equivalent to principalities). Each emirate is governed by a hereditary emir who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council, the highest legislative and executive body in the country. One of the emirs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah,Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.Sharia Law is a main source of its legislation.
This trip was a bit different from our other travel adventures, as it was strictly a business trip. Kevin and his colleagues had a variety of meetings to attend, so they did that while I worked on my computer in the hotel room.
Of course, we did have a bit of fun on the first day. We spent the first night in a hotel in Dubai, and Kevin and I spent the bulk of that day at the Dubai Mall. This is because when I packed our suitcase, I forgot all of Kevin’s dress shirts in our closet. As a result, we just had to go to the mall and get him some shirts, people watch, eat, see the world’s tallest building, etc. We event found a Tim Hortons’! Kevin’s phone wasn’t working quite right, but here are the limited photos that we did take that day:
After spending the day in Dubai, we went to a different emirate, Ras Al-Khaimah, where we spent the remainder of our trip. We stayed at the Acacia Hotel, which is in located in an industrial free-zone, so the view was rather Mars-esque:
We had to choose this hotel location, because it was the only one in Ras Al-Khaimah that we were certain wouldn’t require Kevin and I to present a marriage certificate in order to stay there. It had its faults, but overall the hotel was nice. The room was comfortable to work in, and they had a nice pool outback, though it was shaded by the building for the majority of the day, which was weird. Still, it was nice to sit outside and work by the pool.
Overall it was a quiet trip. It involved lots of work and lots of dinners at nice restaurants, the best of which were the Lexington Grille at the Waldorf Astoria, and Safran, a Thai restaurant at the Banyan Tree al Wadi. The latter was particularly special, because the Banyan Tree al Wadi is a hotel surrounded by a nature preserve maintained by the hotel. It was beautiful and tranquil.
On the last day, we went back to Dubai, and we got to see the Dubai Fountains, right in front of the Burj Khalifah. It’s likely that we’ll have to go back again in the near-ish future, so I’ll be sure to get more photos next time. The UAE was a nice place to visit, but it has too many highways and requires too much driving. I was very glad to be back in Phnom Penh where I can walk everywhere that I need to go.