We have been in Dubai 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), 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 guides 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.