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Desmond Bounds

My Amazing Trip Has Sadly Come To An End

By Dubai

Wow! I am completely speechless about my experiences in the past week and a half in Dubai! We did so much and learned so much – from touring Atlantis and riding the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, to meeting with the team at Nakheel, who were the masterminds behind many plans in Dubai like the Palm Island! If I could describe this trip in one word it would be “Unbelievable”!

Before I got to Dubai, I was a little uncertain about the trip for two reasons: One being was me being the only male with around 19-20 females; the other reason was being in a country that was so culturally different than what I was used to in America. I gained so many new friends on this trip which really helps me out since I have only spent one semester in Miami and at FIU, and I could definitely see myself living in Dubai! This place is not just great, it’s awesome and fun! Dubai is a city that you would never find in America, and it is a place that I will cherish forever. After visiting the company that is in charge of putting together the World Expo 2020 and going on the Desert Safari, I was 100% sold on this city. Both were experiences that I will never forget!

The World Expo is an expo that is held every five years and attracts tens of millions of participants from over 200 different countries over the span of 6 months. These countries who attend this event share common ideas, interests,  and even show off their own innovations that they have created. Its goal is to unite the countries so that we can make the world a better place.

In the year 2020, Dubai will host the World Expo 2020. This is major for Dubai since this is such a new city, and you can tell the city is definitely in gear for having everything ready by their deadline. Everywhere you look you see cranes or some type of building. When we went to visit the team who is behind all of this expo madness, we were all amazed on how much potential this expo is bringing to the city. The expo will be beautiful and will focus a lot on sustainability, since that is such a big topic among the world nowadays. I got to see the plans and layout of the expo building and I was blown away on how much they want to achieve in such a little time! Everything was so futuristic! I have no doubt that Expo 2020 will be the most popular and memorable expo of all time! The speakers who conducted the presentation, including the Senior VP, Khalid Sharif, and Abdulla Al Gergawi, were awesome, and they answered all of our questions with confidence and accuracy. You could definitely tell that they knew their material and were excited about Dubai’s future! I am very excited about the World Expo 2020 and hopefully I can make it to this amazing event!


Now onto the Desert Safari….I must say, the Desert Safari was the most fun I have had in a very long time!  I loved every aspect of it and wish I did not have to leave! It was something I have never experienced before! I loved the falcon show and was amazed at how smart and quick those animals are! The drive to the camp site was so fun! Going through the dunes and blaring loud music as our guide Siraj was scaring everybody in our SUV was amazing! I did not think is was going to be so crazy and fun.

Once we got to the campsite, I had a chance to ride a camel and sandboard before eating. I had never done either, so both were new to me, and I want to do them again! The dinner and hookah under the stars was a memorable experience. It also gave everybody in our group a chance to relax and get to know each other a little more before we had to part ways and go back home. It was definitely a fun experience and will definitely be doing it again when I come back to the UAE in the near future!


All good things must to come to an end, and this Study Abroad trip is one of them. You could not put a price on this trip. I gained so many friends, connections, and memories during the past 10 days. That is all priceless. I will miss this magnificent city, but the good thing is that I know that I will be back soon, and possibly for good because I would love to work in this thriving city! Dubai will always have a place in my heart.

Thank you so much and Happy Holidays,

Desmond C. Bounds

First Couple of Days in Dubai!

By Dubai

The first couple days for my very first trip to Dubai has been great! I love this city and have learned so much that I was so unaware of! This is really a remarkable city unlike anywhere else in the world. We have gone to many places, like the Burj Al Arab, Nakheel Properties, Byblos Group, and Atlantis just to name a few. It was great to visit each and every one of these places!

One company that really amazed me was Nakheel Properties. To see one business do so much for one city on the scale that they are doing it and actually making these properties a reality is something out of a fairy tale. It is literally unreal how they are able to do the things they are doing! Seeing their current work progress in person, like Palm Island and the Nakheel Mall was a great sight because it taught me that nothing is impossible.

“Making the impossible possible” is Dubai’s motto and they definitely live up to it! I also found it so crazy how everything is funded by the Dubai government, and if they want something, they will do whatever it takes to make it happen no matter the cost. I definitely would not mind working for Nakheel Properties in the near future!

If there was one motto I learned from this trip and will take with me back to the States, it would have to be “Open Doors. Open Minds.” This motto was taught to me by a great individual by the name of Nasif Kayed and what this motto means that no matter where you came from or what your background is, you are the same as everyone else, and nobody is better than you.

Mr. Nasif opened my eyes because before I heard him speak to our group, I knew very little about the people that lived in Dubai and the Middle East. The world is a mean place and people judge other people all the time over the little things, only because they know very little about the other group. That is not good by any means and only does harm to yourself. Before coming to Dubai, I had my uncertainties about some things, but after the trip to the mosque and dinner with Mr. Nasif, I feel at peace and calmer than ever being in this great city known as Dubai. I am so glad this happened on the first day of the trip because my whole perspective about the people and the lifestyle about Dubai has changed for the better, and I owe my thanks to Mr. Nasif. He is truly a remarkable individual and have impacted many people’s lives in a positive way.


Studying Abroad In Dubai!

By Dubai

First of all, I have to say that I can barely sleep because I am so excited to be in Dubai in 3 days! It has always been a dream of mine to go, and now it is finally becoming reality! I cannot wait to see such an amazing city and get to visit some of the most opulent and extravagant landmarks and buildings in the world like the Burj Al Arab, Palm Island, and Burj Khalifa. After going over the syllabus, I noticed that we are going to be doing a lot of things, and we are going to be very busy, but in a good way. I am very excited about attending the L’altelier des Chefs of Dubai and learning how to cook and create dishes! I am not the best cook, nor have I ever worked in the restaurant business, so this will definitely be a great learning experience, and I hope that I can take some things I learned from the cooking class back to the States. Maybe after attending L’altelier des Chefs of Dubai, I will lessen the chances of potentially burning my apartment down!

I am also so ready to go to Ski Dubai with the class and have some fun! I have only been skiing a handful of times in my life, and the thought of being able to ski in the middle of the desert and with temperatures in the 80’s makes it even more fun! You will never have a dull moment skiing, especially if you do it with your fellow classmates. Many of us never have the chance to even experience snow being from Miami, so this ski trip will definitely be one to remember!

I am so excited to go to Dubai. It will definitely be an eye opener and an unforgettable experience. This trip will also help me improve my skills in my progressing hospitality career and that is something that will stay with me forever.  Let’s hurry up and get there already and make it a trip to remember!

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