I’m a little devastated to say that our trip has come to an end and none of my peers nor I wanted to leave Dubai. However, after the long plane rides and delayed hours at the airport, all we were thinking about was still being able to make it home for Noche Buena/ Christmas Eve to be with our friends and family. Aside from the holidays, there is no doubt that we all intend to return to Dubai for the World Expo in 2020.
One of the presentations I really enjoyed while being in Dubai was the Kerzner Presentation and tour of Atlantis, The Palm. We were first greeted by three FIU alums, who gave us the tour around the property. They informed us that there are 1,539 rooms; 166 of them are suites and 7 are signature rooms. One of the signature rooms is the Royal Bridge Suite which we were able to go in and see! They also showed us around the many restaurants and shopping areas, the zero entry pool, and let us see a model for phase two which will be 800 hotel rooms and 250 apartments.
Next, we had a presentation by recruiters for their MIT program. Two of the FIU alums are currently in the program and the other graduated from the program and is now working there. Here, we were able to get a better understanding of the company’s culture and more information about the MIT program. Kerzner’s vision is to “create amazing experiences and everlasting memories”. From the experiences that the MIT students have had thus far, they said that they never say no to a guest, even if the request sounds impossible they always find a way to accommodate the guest.
The Desert Safari was an experience like no other! The drive to the camp site was amazing! We had a crazy drive through the dunes, where we noted that several cars had to do minor stops due to motion sickness. We saw a falcon show where we learned how fast and smart they are, and I was able to hold one later. We even got to ride a camel and get henna tattoos done. As our tattoos were drying, the class decided to get together to smoke hookah and it was nice to see all of us spending time together before leaving. Soon after, we had dinner and enjoyed watching the stars together. The only disappointing thing about that night was that it was a holiday, so there was no drinking allowed. There really was no partying either, so we missed out on the belly dancing show.
These experiences have enhanced my global citizenship because I’ve been able to see first hand the truth about who the Emirati people are. Before coming on this trip, I would mostly hear negative things about them due to them being in the Middle East. I’m definitely more interested in learning about different cultures and seeing other misconceptions throughout the world. Another person who influenced me was our tour guide; she was very informative and willing to help us with anything at any time. She always demonstrated her professionalism and anyone in the industry should have that drive to always be there for their guests.
I will definitely miss Dubai and all of the new friends I’ve acquired along the way. Hopefully, we’ll all be here again for 2020 and see what new things Dubai has to offer us.