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Deborah Sanchez

Goodbye Dubai (for now), we’ll meet again soon!

By Dubai

Hey readers!

Three days have gone by since I got back from Dubai and I am already having withdrawals. I remember a couple of days before we left for Dubai, I was so scared to travel to the other side of the world without my family or closest friends. I feared traveling to an unfamiliar place with a culture that I was not accustomed to. But after this trip, I realized that breaking out of my familiar shell was exactly what I needed. The memories and experiences that I lived, knowledge I gained, and friends that I made on this trip to Dubai will always hold a special place in my heart.

One of my favorite educational visits was the time we went to the World Expo 2020 Dubai information meeting. Those who presented the layout and blueprints of the World Exposition that is taking place in Dubai in the year 2020 were very informed and knowledgeable about their upcoming project. The information that they presented to us was fascinating; such as the Expo’s theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and their three sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility, Sustainability.

We could tell that the presenters had done their background research prior to the presentation because they answered all of the students’ questions, such as questions concerning how the location of the Expo would accommodate so many visitors, how the Expo would affect the flowing traffic of the city, the price of the entrance into the Expo, and so much more.

The hosts were not only knowledgeable but also very hospitable. They greeted and treated all of us very kindly and invited us into a room after the presentation was finished; where we were given complimentary treats and drinks. Overall, the experience was great and it made me want to buy a ticket to the expo right then and there because the presentation was so convincing that the World Expo at Dubai in 2020 was going to be nothing but amazing.

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My absolute FAVORITE attraction however, would have to be the Desert Safari and Dinner Show. I absolutely loved this part of the trip for many reasons. First of all, I have never been to a desert so I was loved the fact that I was able to visit an earth climate that I was not familiar with before. Being able to run and roll around in the sand made me feel as if I was little girl again when I used to play on the beach. Not to mention, being able to see the sunset was breathtaking, and I wish I could relive that moment over and over again.

Second, I have never ridden a camel, so I was thrilled about that first time experience as well. Riding a camel was different from riding a horse as I am used to, but I nonetheless enjoyed it so much and the camel was so adorable! Also, I loved the camp-out area that we were taken to after we were done seeing the sunset in the desert. The area was not only beautiful, but visitors were able to get hennas and smoke hookah. The food was also delicious, and at the end of the night, we were able to stargaze at the sky. The whole experience was just simply magical and I feel that attending this attraction should be a must-do to every tourist who visits Dubai; it really makes you feel like you’re getting the full experience!

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I dreaded writing this post because I knew that this would be the part when I realized that the trip is really over. I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss Dubai. I miss it so much, from the weather to the friendly faces everywhere you go, how everyday was fun-packed, all of our sight and educational presentations, and most of all, my Dubai Mom, Mozhgan. I would do anything to go back and relive those amazing eleven days all over again. I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I am so planning on visiting again in two years if the study abroad trip opportunity is again offered!

Dubai: its not a goodbye but a “I’ll see you soon.” Thank you for all of the amazing memories! Xoxo

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Mid-trip Blog Post: Dubai

By Dubai

Hi readers!

Today is December 17th, 2015, its my third day in Dubai and so far it has been nothing but an amazing time. I am honestly so glad I made the choice in attending this study abroad trip because I have gained so much knowledge, made so many wonderful memories, and experienced so many new things I have never experienced before.

Although all of the educational visits have been wonderful, so far my favorite educational site visit would have to be the Nakheel presentation the Nakheel Sales Centre.

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I really enjoyed this presentation because I was truly amazed to see how far Dubai has progressed and developed within the recent decades from a desolate desert to one of the world’s fastest growing tourism cities. All of the future projects that are currently under construction for the World Expo 2020 Dubai are absolutely mind-blowing. I was honestly in shock through out the whole presentation because I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that Dubai is planning to expand and improve their city in so many different aspects when it is already a wonderful tourist destination! Learning about Dubai’s history’s and near future was an awesome and interesting experience and I was really engaged throughout the presentation.

Just like the educational site visits, the attractions at Dubai have been fantastic as well. My favorite attraction so far however has been the tour at the Atlantis Hotel in Palm IslandScreen Shot 2015-12-18 at 12.04.06 AMIt has always been my dream to vacation at an Atlantis Hotel, and although we didn’t stay at the Atlantis property, today on our tour, it sure felt as if I got the whole experience. Not only was the tour very informational and detailed, but it was great to know that all three tour guides were FIU Alumni. It was awesome to see people who used to study the same courses as me, at the same university, live their dream jobs. My favorite part about the tour was the Royal Bridge Suite, which I never even knew existed. We were able to observe the rooms and step out on the balcony, which had the most gorgeous view of Palm Island. Afterwards we had an informational meeting about Kerzner, which was also very enriching. The tour of Atlantis was my favorite attraction on the trip so far, and it made me feel secure that I picked the right university for my career because I saw how successful the FIU Alumni employees are with their career.

I cannot wait for the remainder of the trip! Dubai has really been a life-changing experience so far 🙂

Pre-Departure Dubai Post

By Dubai

Hey readers! My name is Deborah Sanchez and I am currently a freshman at FIU. I am beyond excited for this upcoming study abroad trip because I know it is going to be full of a lot of first-time experiences. For example, it will be the first time I travel alone (and by alone I mean without my family), first time I travel to the other side of the world, first time traveling for educational purposes, and first time traveling with a group of students from school! However, I am nonetheless thrilled for this experience and I cannot wait to see what knowledge and memories I will gain and make of this trip.

Since I am completely foreign to Dubai, the Middle East, and in general just any other country that is not the United States, I have many different expectations. My first expectation is that I will experience culture shock, a lot of it. I have only traveled to two different countries besides the United States and those are Venezuela and Canada. However I really did not experience culture shock when I traveled to these two countries. The reason for that is because all of my family is Venezuelan, I speak Spanish, have eaten Spanish food, and just basically have been surrounded by Spanish culture my entire life.

When it comes to Canada, it really is not that much different than the United States besides the fact that it smells like maple everywhere, moose are seen often, and the weather is a lot colder than I am used to here in South Florida! Therefore I know upon my arrival to Dubai, I will experience culture shock (and jet lag) because I will be exposed to a lot of new practices, ways of living, food, clothing, morals etc. However I am prepared to take on these new experiences and make the best out of it!

What I plan to gain out of our educational site visit at the World Expo 2020 Dubai is to hopefully increase my knowledge in Dubai’s culture diversity and their technological advances. From the Snow Park at Ski Dubai attraction, I expect to also learn how to ski better and have a great time playing with artificial snow and drinking hot chocolate. These two experiences and the many others I will encounter when I study in Dubai will enhance my global citizenship and enable me to become a more successful industry professional by allowing me the chance to personally experience and become more knowledgeable of some of the biggest tourist attractions in the world’s largest and fastest growing tourist city! Dubai, I am so ready for you 🙂

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