Last stop: Dubai.

I’m not going to lie. When Pete first suggested a stop-over in Dubai for our trip, I was pretty
much terrified. I’d heard you couldn’t kiss in public, and that you shouldn’t wear singlets – even
heard stories of people being asked to ‘cover up’ when dining in local restaurants.
I’m a creature of comfort, and I’m (as you all know) extremely anxious.

I felt ridiculous the minute I got off the plane in Dubai. My face reddened as I remembered
furiously googling “UAE laws, can I cuddle my husband in public?!”.
We were met with such welcoming warmth. Dubai was easily, after all this worrying, the
easiest part of our whole European adventure.

Everything was planned so well, our waits everywhere were minimal, and absolutely everyone
spoke English. I’m not sure why this surprised me so much. I suppose I am more judgemental
and sheltered than I ever realised.
Our hotel staff and local shopkeepers were incredibly helpful, bending over backwards to ensure
our stay in the UAE was as comfortable and pleasurable as possible.

Don’t underestimate the heat – when we stepped outside for our cab to Dubai Mall, the largest
shopping mall in the world – we were literally blown away by the stifling heat. It was like
someone was pointing a hairdryer right at us. But you know what? Air Conditioning has never
felt so good – and my goodness – they had it everywhere. Comfort factor? 10/10.

My favourite part of Dubai, was how amazing it made you feel.
I felt so ….well…. royal. The airport was magnificent, and gold was everywhere. Dubai, in general,
is so clean. I just couldn’t get over how little worries I had, considering the huge anxiety I had
leading up to the trip.

If you haven’t been, I recommend it. Ollie loved the entertainment throughout the malls – especially
the aquarium and ‘wildlife world’. His little fingers pointed and prodded as he shouted “TISH!” to
anyone who would listen.
We had a lovely meal outside Dubai Mall, sitting on the water’s edge. Ollie had completely covered
himself in Spaghetti at this point – staining his clothes but having a blast.
We chose the seats we did, with the intent of catching a great view of the dancing fountains. I didn’t
have amazing expectations – I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
However, about 30 seconds in to the ‘performance’, I had little tears trickling out the side of my eyes.
What an amazing last night, to top off the most incredible journey we’ve ever had. That one fountain
show, set to inspiring music, just opened the floodgates to all the memorable moments we had been
experiencing for the last month and a bit. All of the planning, all of the tourist spots, all of the transport,
all of the budgeting, all of the excitement. It was all over, but in the most gratifying and fulfilling way, and
I just couldn’t stop crying of the beauty of the world, eager to do it all again.

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