Wow! I am completely speechless about my experiences in the past week and a half in Dubai! We did so much and learned so much – from touring Atlantis and riding the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, to meeting with the team at Nakheel, who were the masterminds behind many plans in Dubai like the Palm Island! If I could describe this trip in one word it would be “Unbelievable”!
Before I got to Dubai, I was a little uncertain about the trip for two reasons: One being was me being the only male with around 19-20 females; the other reason was being in a country that was so culturally different than what I was used to in America. I gained so many new friends on this trip which really helps me out since I have only spent one semester in Miami and at FIU, and I could definitely see myself living in Dubai! This place is not just great, it’s awesome and fun! Dubai is a city that you would never find in America, and it is a place that I will cherish forever. After visiting the company that is in charge of putting together the World Expo 2020 and going on the Desert Safari, I was 100% sold on this city. Both were experiences that I will never forget!
The World Expo is an expo that is held every five years and attracts tens of millions of participants from over 200 different countries over the span of 6 months. These countries who attend this event share common ideas, interests, and even show off their own innovations that they have created. Its goal is to unite the countries so that we can make the world a better place.
In the year 2020, Dubai will host the World Expo 2020. This is major for Dubai since this is such a new city, and you can tell the city is definitely in gear for having everything ready by their deadline. Everywhere you look you see cranes or some type of building. When we went to visit the team who is behind all of this expo madness, we were all amazed on how much potential this expo is bringing to the city. The expo will be beautiful and will focus a lot on sustainability, since that is such a big topic among the world nowadays. I got to see the plans and layout of the expo building and I was blown away on how much they want to achieve in such a little time! Everything was so futuristic! I have no doubt that Expo 2020 will be the most popular and memorable expo of all time! The speakers who conducted the presentation, including the Senior VP, Khalid Sharif, and Abdulla Al Gergawi, were awesome, and they answered all of our questions with confidence and accuracy. You could definitely tell that they knew their material and were excited about Dubai’s future! I am very excited about the World Expo 2020 and hopefully I can make it to this amazing event!
Now onto the Desert Safari….I must say, the Desert Safari was the most fun I have had in a very long time! I loved every aspect of it and wish I did not have to leave! It was something I have never experienced before! I loved the falcon show and was amazed at how smart and quick those animals are! The drive to the camp site was so fun! Going through the dunes and blaring loud music as our guide Siraj was scaring everybody in our SUV was amazing! I did not think is was going to be so crazy and fun.
Once we got to the campsite, I had a chance to ride a camel and sandboard before eating. I had never done either, so both were new to me, and I want to do them again! The dinner and hookah under the stars was a memorable experience. It also gave everybody in our group a chance to relax and get to know each other a little more before we had to part ways and go back home. It was definitely a fun experience and will definitely be doing it again when I come back to the UAE in the near future!
All good things must to come to an end, and this Study Abroad trip is one of them. You could not put a price on this trip. I gained so many friends, connections, and memories during the past 10 days. That is all priceless. I will miss this magnificent city, but the good thing is that I know that I will be back soon, and possibly for good because I would love to work in this thriving city! Dubai will always have a place in my heart.
Thank you so much and Happy Holidays,
Desmond C. Bounds