I was very fortunate to have been able to be part of an amazing trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi this month. Air Canada and Shangri-La Hotels put together a fantastic tour in which we experienced the culture, the luxury, the food, the sites and the wonderful hospitality of the UAE.
I first checked into the Maple Leaf Lounge at Pearson Airport and was very blessed to be sitting beside Jonas Valanciunas from the Toronto Raptors. He had just finished the playoffs and was heading back home to Lithuania. I boarded Air Canada’s new 787 Dreamliner and was so lucky to have a business class seat in the beautiful pods for my 13 hour direct flight to Dubai. The service, flight and food was all phenomenal – I would fly anywhere in the world if I could fly business class with Air Canada!
Once arriving in Dubai, I checked into the lovely downtown hotel, Shangri-La Dubai where luxury and chic are one and the same. The food, the ambiance, the pool area, spa, room décor and service were all top notch! Spending 2 days in Dubai was amazing and a true whirlwind experience as there is so much to see and do. Everything is done high end, the city is very clean, very safe and has amazing beach properties as well. It really has it all for couples, business travelers and families. I was able to visit the Burj Khalifa, the megatall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m. I went up 125 stories in 60 seconds! One of the huge highlights was the Safari Desert Adventure, where I got to experience the thrill (to say the least) of driving (flying) through the sand dunes, camel rides, a true Arabian meal, belly dancers, falcons and so much more.
After a couple of days in Dubai, I made my way over to Abu Dhabi – the capital and second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai), and also capital of Abu Dhabi emirate, the largest of the UAE’s seven member emirates. I learned so much of the culture and saw some stunning resorts and the new developments that are up and rising. They are in the midst of building a Guggenheim, Louvre and Opera House within this very rich city. I stayed at the amazing Shangri-La Hotel Abu Dhabi and had a most beautiful view of the water and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I was able to visit this stunning mosque and words cannot explain the grandeur of this place of worship. The finest Italian marble, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystal chandeliers are just part of what sets this place of worship beyond anything I have ever seen before.
On my flight home, I was so fortunate to sit in the Premium Economy seats on Air Canada’s 787 Dreamliner and it is really nice to have the extra leg room and amenities on such a long flight. It makes the flight so much easier!
I would highly recommend visiting Dubai and Abu Dhabi as it really was stunning – I only wish I had more time as there is so much to see and do. As most of you know, I am a very big fan of Air Canada and once again the service was stellar.
Please contact me if you are interested in any more information regarding this destination or others!