United Arab Emirates
We decided to leave Europe and venture off to lands that we had not visited before. We chose Abu Dhabi. We took a flight from Athens to Bahrain and then Abu Dhabi. We used Expedia to book a week at a very nice hotel. Our reccomendations below:
1. Rent a Car. When we arrived we had already booked a taxi to pick us up at the airport. We didn't know how far distances would be and thought moving around in a taxi would be easier for the rest of the trip. When we realized distances in between sites were further than expected we thought it was a better idea to rent a car and move around at our own leisure. Roads are great, large signs and easy to navigate. We downloaded local maps on Maps.me. This helped us get around. When we came back home we read that car accidents are very high in UAE and there are a lot of reckless drivers. We never drove during rush hour which might have been the reason our experience was positive and different from what we read.
4. Visit Emirates Palace and have some coffee at Le Cafe. This isn't just coffee…this is coffee sprinkled with 24 karat gold flakes. It's a necessity right? Might not be something we had on our bucket list but it's quite an indulgent experience. Make reservations because on occasions they might be fully booked.
5. Now that we are talking about gold.. If you would like to purchase gold jewelry make sure to visit Madinat Zayed Gold Centre. Don't forget to negotiate!
7. In Dubai you have plenty of things to do. We really enjoyed visiting the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), Burj Al Arab (you've seen it in the movies), Dubai Mall (has an aquarium, skating ring and much more), and the Dubai Fountain.
8. A suggestion if you haven't visited a Muslim country: Be respectful with dress code. Women should avoid shorts, short skirts, tight or clothes too revealing. Men should also dress conservatively. You will see tourists dressed with these items but YOU will feel much more comfortable dressed appropriately and will be respecting the customs of the country you are visiting.