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Rebecca Merek

Happy Holidays from the USA

By Dubai

Happy Holidays from the Atlanta Airport!

As we are delayed from our original departure time of 5:00 pm to our new time of 7:30 pm, I’ve had time to go back through my photos from our trip. Dubai was amazing and filled with unforgettable experiences that not only made us all more global citizens, but challenged us to be better in the Hospitality and Tourism industry.

Ferrari World is a very interesting attraction located just outside of Dubai in Abu Dubai (specifically Yas Island). We noticed similar rides to ones they would have in the United States in terms of structure and style. All of the attractions were in English. (English was present throughout the entire trip. I never felt uncomfortable because I did not speak Arabic.)
Prior to this experience, I have never been in an indoor theme park. The roller coasters were outside but you started/boarded inside. There were shows (which I did not have time to attend) and they were building two more rides. Even though we had the gold pass, which has unlimited fast pass, I was not able to do everything because we were only there for about 4-5 hours. In addition to the rides and shows, there was also experiences. For example if you wanted to drive a Ferrari, you could for an additional fee.

I was so impressed with the Expo 2020 and DTCM presentations! Hearing about all that Dubai is planning and has achieved so far is so motivational. I found it extremely interesting that both of these divisions are funded by the government. Pictured below is the model of the facility that they are building for the expo.

The expo will run from October 20th to April 10th, 2020. The theme is “connecting minds, creating the future.” From this theme there will be three main branches: opportunity, mobility, and sustainability. After the expo is over, they plan to continue to use the space for events and concerts and a legacy aspect. During the expo there will be an expo village, which is where the employees and volunteers will live; after the expo that will be residential housing. The office looked like a young and fun yet challenging environment. They were all very welcoming and very interested in our experiences while in Dubai.

I felt really safe for the duration of the trip and loved the city. It was so beautiful and so open to ideas and growth possibilities (they just want to be the best they possibly can). I would love to go back in 2020 to see all the changes! image

Loving Dubai

By Dubai
Hello Again!
We have been in DubaiBoats for 4 full days and we have 5 more. I am surprised by how hospitable everyone has been and how much English there is on signs and being spoken. In the Metro, first there would be a recording in Arabic and then one in English. On most of the street signs and advertisements there is also both languages.
In terms of hospitality, Dubai is doing it right. They are so friendly and willing to help in any situation. So far we have had some pretty amazing experiences, Burj al Arab, Burj Kalifa, the souk, the Dubai Museum, a traditional abra ride on the Dubai river (pictured to the right) and presentations from Nakheel, Kernzer and Byblos.
I really enjoyed stopping by the malls because who doesn’t love shopping? No, but seriously I consider these malls to be attractions. The two malls we have visited are also connected to the Metro, which makes the transportation very convenient. The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world according to sq km and is attached to the Burj Kalifa. There is also an aquarium, an underwater zoo, a souk (pictured below)Mall, a waterfall, and a skating rink located at Dubai Mall.  The variety of stores and restaurants is impressive and makes the experience more enjoyable than visiting a traditional mall in the United States. The Mall of Emirates also has attractions such as Ski Dubai and the cinema (if you want to consider that as an attraction- I do because it creates another reason for visitors and locals to come). Both malls’ architecture and attention to detail makes it stunning to walk around.
The presentation I found most enjoyable and beneficial was the Kernzer Presentation at Atlantis, The Palm. There are 1,539 rooms, 166 of those are suites and 7 are signature rooms (1 is the Royal Bridge Suite). Three FIU alums greeted us when we entered and preceded to be our tour guidesAtlantis throughout the resort! Two are currently in the Manager in Training Program and one graduated from the program and is now working there.
We were able to see the Royal Bridge Suite! This was truly a once in a lifetime experience, unless I become a millionaire. We saw the zero entry pool, the east and west towers, and a model for phase two (800 hotel rooms and 250 apartments). Then we went into a meeting room and had a presentation by two recruiters for the MIT program. This was extremely helpful in learning about the company’s culture and what to expect in an internship of this caliber. The Panther Pride continued to escalate when we were informed that the current CEO is also an FIU alum. Kernzer’s vision is to ‘create amazing experiences and everlasting memories.’ Atlantis is achieving this through their own vision ‘checking into another world.’
I am excited to see what the next couple days has in store for us. Some of things we will doing over the next 5 days includes Ski Dubai, Ferrari World, and a desert safari.


Pre-Departure Post for Dubai! Yay!

By Dubai

Hello! My name is Becca, and I am a senior at FIU. In just 4 days we will be leaving for Dubai. Since the first thing I will be seeing is the hotel, I figured I would post a picture of it! We are staying at the DoubleTree.

I am very excited for our trip because we will be seeing many sights from the Burj Khalifa to Ferrari World. I have mixed emotions about Burj Khalifa because I have experienced similar structures in various locations; New York City (Empire State Building), Chicago (Willis Tower), Vancouver (Harbour Center) and Seattle (Space Needle). I am curious to see if the tallest building in the world feels different from the tallest building in the United States and other tall city structures.

We are also getting presentations from Nakheel on Wednesday, Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing on Sunday, and many more in between. Nakheel is a real estate developer in Dubai and creator of several land reclamation projects, including the Palm Islands, the Dubai Waterfront, The World and The Universe Islands. As a seasonal cast member for the Walt Disney Company and a frequent park goer, I love a nice monorail ride, and we will be experiencing monorail ride through the Palm Island after the Nakheel presentation.

I am just adding the final touches on my packing list and double checking that I have everything I think I will need. I am a little nervous but mostly just excited. I have talked to a lot of people about my trip and some of my friends have warned me of the culture shock (which is to be expected to a certain degree in every place that you travel). One of my friends who visited Dubai last May said the desert safari was her favorite, and based on the itinerary/description, I think it might be mine too! But we will just have to see!!

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