Skip to main content
All Posts By

Malika Laurenceau

Since We’ve Parted

By Dubai

Visiting Dubai has truly been an experience I will never forget. Studying abroad with the Hospitality Management students has given me insight to new levels. We got the opportunity to hear about behind the scene productions of what makes Dubai such an amazing country from presentations by Kerzner, Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and Nakheel as well as having fun at different attractions such as Ferrari World, Ski Dubai, and the Desert Safari.

The Nakheel and 2020 Expo presentations have definitely been the most inspiring of the entire trip. Since I’ve reached home, all I’ve been discussing is how unified and innovative Dubai is. The Nakheel real estate developing company is responsible for many of Dubai’s greatest landmarks such as Palm Island and World Island, just two of the many man-made island that shows their ingenuity working towards a vision to be the most influential place in the world, in addition to their residential and retail projects. It was amazing to be able to hear about their future endeavors to become of Dubai. I’ve never heard of the 2020 Expo before entering this class, so to be able to hear from the creators themselves, the plan, and theme of the exposition “Connecting Minds, Creating The Future,” as it’s being created is truly a blessing. As the spoke about the different aspects of opportunity, mobility, and sustainability being the three main concepts, it showed how unified the country is and that everyone has the same common goal to be forever growing towards a better Dubai.

I believe Dubai should be the ambassador of the world. It sounds crazy but they truly understand the need to be great as a society, we must all stand together as a force.



The Nakheel building


Model of Palm Island in the Nakheel office


Model of the 2020 Exposition

Of all the attractions, the Desert Safari was definitely was the most thrilling, surpassing riding the fastest roller coaster in the world at Ferrari World and visiting the tallest building in the world.  Our driver Siraj definitely made the ride through the dunes an adventure I will be able to talk about forever. I’ve never been so excited yet scared in my life from doing nose dives and driving sideways in the truck through the dunes. It’s so beautiful to be in the middle of the desert and feel such peace with God’s masterpiece.



The fact that Dubai is being newly built off of western ideas with so many different nationalities living there yet they still can see the greater value in working together as a unit is something extremely admirable. I truly believe that simple value of standing as a unit is something that I will take with me anywhere I go. It’s as simple as the saying “there’s no I in Team” and it’s the ultimate truth. With a team of strong individuals there no reason for one to not be successful in this life. This trip has truly helped me see that there is more to life than what we see in our every day routines. I’ve always known that but when you see the breakdown of every aspect of a country’s workmanship/government from its tourism to its real estate developers it is not the same picture you depict in your head.

I can say that as a professional I will take the value of unity and stress it everywhere I go. I want to thank all of you for making this experience one that I will forever be grateful for! It was truly amazing meeting all of you, and I hope to see you soon!

Adventures in Dubai

By Dubai

Hello My Beautiful people!!!  I’m truly grateful to be experiencing this growing country with so many different and amazing individuals!

Within the past four days of exploring Dubai we have been able to absorb so much of the cultural aspect of living  and working in Dubai. Being that I’m a Criminal Justice major and studying amongst all Hospitality students has also given me a different perspective of the world that we live in. It’s an incredible feeling to see the passion in the productions of the hotels that we’ve visited so far.

We had the opportunity to visit the Burj Al Arab, which is the hotel famously known for being built in the shape of a sail boat, in addition to visiting the Burj Khalifa; but my favorite attraction of all so far has to be Atlantis at The Palm, Dubai, which is run by the Kerzner company.   From hearing about the obligations and work put in, one truly has to live to serve to enjoy working within the hospitality field.

The Kerzner company wants all of their properties to give the feel that their guest “check into another world,” and you truly get that feel within Atlantis. We were given a tour of the entire facility, which took about four years to construct, starting in 2003. The hotel consist of 1,539 rooms including the extraordinary Royal Bridge Suite, which is located in the bridge of the hotel combing the two towers. The suite was beautifully decorated completely with gold embellishment and consisted of 3 bedrooms and bathrooms and a living room that included a bar and had a view overlooking the entire Palm Island and ocean view; I could’ve died there and been happy. It was exquisitely, yet simply decorated. The little things are what excite me and they truly touched every square inch of that suite with love. We were not able to photograph throughout the suite to maintain the exclusivity of it, being that clientele that normally visits have celebrity status. It was an experience I won’t ever forget.


This is a model of Atlantis at The Palm, Dubai


This picture was taken on the balcony of the Royal Bridge Suite


This is a view of the entire Palm Island from the Royal Bridge Suite

In addition to the attractions, we’ve been given the chance to go to different presentations given by different people/companies working here in Dubai. We went to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), located in wind tower house in the historic Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai. We had the pleasure of having an authentic Arabian dinner with Kasif Kayed, a cultural expert, who spoke on all aspects of the culture of Dubai comparing it to our traditional American culture.

When one is able to provide you with information from an unbiased view, it gives you assurance that our society has a chance at survival apart from social propaganda going on everyday telling us who to be and how to live as people. It allows you to see that there are people who see the strife that our society deals with on a daily and that we’re not in it alone. The dinner alone was also an experience because I’ve never tried authentic Arabian food, and even though majority of the dishes contained meat, I was able to enjoy a small portion of the dinner including the delicious dessert!



Kasif Kayed and I



Arabian family style set up of dinner

In this day in age, no matter where you live in the world, we are all connected, and being a active global  citizen should be something one should always be concerned about. I believe these experiences have enhanced my global citizenship because I now can say I know the basics of working within the hospitality field and understanding the amount of time and energy put into making others’ lives simpler while visiting their establishment. I feel it’ll  make me appreciate everything more when traveling and staying at hotels/resorts.

One will never truly know what happens behind the scenes until you cross to the other side. In addition to the tourism aspect, I get a better understanding of the culture of the Islamic world. My father is Muslim and growing up as a young girl I’ve always been raised to cover myself, and I never truly understood it as a child; but as I got older, I came to understand it was all about setting a standard of respect for myself and letting others know to respect me. That was all it was to my father, yet speaking with Kasif he gave me other reasons as to why woman go to the extent of covering themselves. It could be for the sake of security purposes say if one’s husband holds a certain status within the government or his community, no one could come for their wife because she wouldn’t be recognizable. We all as people just have to accept the fact that we are all created the same and how one chooses to express themselves’ through their beliefs or dress doesn’t define them as a person in totality.

I truly can’t wait to see what the rest of Dubai has to offer!!


By Dubai

Good Evening Everybody!!

We’re leaving in three days.  Can you believe how quickly time has passed?! I don’t know about everyone else, but I truly feel overwhelmed! I haven’t been outside of the country for quite some time, approximately 15 years, so I’m truly ecstatic to be venturing with all of you. I’m a lover of culture and all things food, so I’m overly excited about the Culinary Experience at L’altelier des Chefs of Dubai. I am a true foodie; I literally cook everyday and have turned my roommates into my lab rats to test out all the food I create when experimenting. I expect to obtain the knowledge of the world renowned chefs of the French conceptual food through this presentation.

In addition to that, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the many attractions that I’m most thrilled to see. Growing up, being that my father is Muslim, he would always take us to the mosque, and I would always admire the architecture throughout the building. I’m a visual person, so I always feel different energies from the images that are brought to me.


Skip to toolbar