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Hospitality Adventures in Dubai

Dubai - Fall 2015
FIU’s study abroad experience in Dubai offers exploration and familiarization of a major international tourism destination.

Pre-departure Blog- Dubai, are you ready for us?

By Dubai

After months of planning, the day is about to come! But to be completely honest, it does not feel like we are even leaving anywhere. My mind still cannot believe we are going to the other side of the world where everything is the most luxurious of everything, tallest of the world, biggest of the world, fanciest of the world, fastest of the world…

Dubai is in every tourism junkie’s bucket list and career goals! Nope, it still cannot sink in my mind. I am crazy excited to see the world expo! This is absolutely the first time I will be informed about one, and I cannot wait. I have never heard of this world expo, so learning about it will be pretty amazing. I searched their website and it looks like it will be a huge event where they will be presenting the global theme of Mobility, Sustainability & Opportunity. Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract 25 million visits, 70 percent of which will be from overseas, so this will be a great informational session on how they have been preparing for this big event which will be held in just 4 more years.

I am very excited about all of the activities that we will be doing, but one that popped while searching for which to talk about was the Desert Safari and Dinner show. This is the #1 activity in trip advisor! What better way to learn from a new culture than actually living it, drinking it, and dining it. I am a very picky person, specially when it comes to unknown smells, so my mom actually asked me: “Are you really going to see camels up close?” My answer was “this is once in a lifetime opportunity, why not enjoy it to the fullest?”  Smelly or not, I am willing to enjoy every single thing about this trip.

The experiences we will be having for the next 10 days are something that no one will take from us.  It’s an experience to see the world in a completely different way; to understand tourism and the different cultures outside of what we see in our day to day basis. It will give us a new topic to talk about in adult conversations and have a voice in. All of what we are doing in this trip will be an experience to see everything in the tourist’s eyes and that, for sure, will help us in taking care of our guests. We will apply it to our day to day operations as hoteliers and provide more luxurious assistance to our guests.


4 More Days Until We Leave!

By Dubai

dubai photo

The time has finally come! I will be leaving for Dubai on Sunday and I’m so ecstatic! This course is filled with things I have always wanted to do. We’ll be visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, World Expo 2020 Dubai, Ferrari World, Burj Khalifa and plenty more.  I believe this experience will enhance my global citizenship because it’ll help me be more diverse and learn about other cultures.

The best way to learn and understand something is by experiencing it yourself. U.A.E. recently celebrated their 44th birthday and the president listed a very interesting and unique 10 point plan that I think will also help the U.S. After participating in the Dubai Study Abroad program, my mom furthered her hospitality career and relocated.  This proved to me that with these experiences you can become a more successful industry professional.

EDUCATIONAL SITE VISIT/PRESENTATION: Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTMC)

While we are on our trip, I am looking forward to the presentation from the Department of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Its mission is “to position Dubai as the leading tourism destination and commercial hub in the world.” I looked on their website and it is filled with information. They are responsible for the licensing of all of the tourism services and it has a vision for 2020 which includes welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020. It has 20 offices worldwide to promote and educate people about Dubai.

They have really made it easy for someone that is interested in visiting Dubai or someone that lives in Dubai to find events that interest them.  There is a Dubai Tourism app that visitors can download and a Travel Planner to help you create a list of things to do and places to visit.

Visit Dubai


Dubai is home to Burj Khalifa; it holds the records for:

– Tallest building in the world
– Tallest free-standing structure in the world
– Highest number of stories in the world
– Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
– Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
– Tallest service elevator in the world

It took six years from the beginning of the construction until it opened on January 4, 2010. It has offices, residences, Armani Hotel Dubai, fitness centers, and pools. It looks like a thin sculpture rising above all of the buildings around it. It is incredible to think how it was built – how there was so much planning involved to make sure that it can withstand the wind and the other factors that go into building skyscrapers.  The architecture was done so that it could look like art but also so it could structurally stable. The design was inspired by the Hymenocallis flower (Spider Lily). The Y-shaped floor plan was done to see the Arabian Gulf and from the base or from the air, it is like the onion domes that is seen in Islamic architecture. It has high-intensity xenon lights outside to prevent air-traffic collisions.

Level 122: There is a restaurant and lounge called At.mosphere. For the lounge, seating is every two hours and there is a minimum of AED 200 per person for lunch and AED 250 per person for dinner.
Level 124:  At the Top Observation Deck and souvenirs
Level 123:  Dubai – A Falcon’s Eye View attraction
Level 148:  The world’s highest outdoor observation desk and lounges

 Spider Lily

Hymenocallis flower (Spider Lily)

 Burj Khalifa




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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