TWO COUNTRIES ONE ADVENTURE: DUBAI & OMAN / by Cinthia Contreras

   The Palm, photo by me

The Palm, photo by me

And there I was again planning another trip to the country that stole my heart, with its vibrant city life and beautiful blue water beaches just minutes away from its metropolis Dubai keeps attracting me. This time around I decided to plan the trip carefully and with enough time ahead to really think and find out what else besides assisting the fashion week of course I wanted to do. A trip planned from the take off to the landing led, my niece, friend and I to have the most exciting and perfect experience ever.

The first task was to find a hotel! During my second trip to Dubai I stayed at a hotel around the Al Barsha area, which I really liked due to its close proximity to the beach and Burj Al Arab, a neighborhood surrounded by affordable beauty parlors, markets and small restaurants. So my first option was to make contact with that hotel which offered me a stay at their sister hotel right around the corner Novotel Al Barsha, a modern and beautiful structure with a young vibe, perfect for those traveling for business. The room provided was so amazing and big that we couldn’t believe our eyes, equipped with a desk, a dinning table with 4 chairs and a living room separated from the bedroom and restroom. The bathroom has two sinks, a bathtub and a shower. The room doesn't have concrete walls to not disturb the natural beautiful light coming from the sun and the view of Burj Al Arab. And the staff are so incredibly attentive and friendly that you feel at home.

THE H HOTEL DUBAI

Our first adventure was a relaxing and dreamy dinner at Scape inside nothing more and nothing less than Burj Al Arab, before taking off for Arab Fashion Week! Seeing this building from the distance is one thing but being inside is a must do if you have the chance. We reacted like kids at Disney World, but with cameras, cellphones and high heels. The sunset and the way the sun rests on the horizon is just surreal. Long chats and a few cocktails later, we had to leave the magic kingdom and go to the first day of fashion week, but not before squeezing in another reservation for the following day.

For our second day the plan was to spend a few hours at the beach, more specifically at Cove Beach. By coincidence we chose to go on a Ladies day, filled with rosé, sun, paddle boards and my beloved beach. 

Our third day was a day I’m going to cherish forever and will never forget! The day started with a visit to Parkers for breakfast at Dubaimall, and then to finally tick one item on my bucket list, a HELICOPTER tour over a super city! What an experience to watch The Palm and The World from above! Such creativity to build a resort area. Thank you again Helidubai for making this possible and for treating us so well!

NOVOTEL AL BARSHA

The fourth day came and between the jetlag and lack of sleep I couldn’t even wake up! I proceeded with the check out from super cool Novotel and moved to my new provisional home The H Hotel, my lordddd absolutely breathtaking, the décor of this hotel is the definition of Arabic meets this century, dark and sexy, with tantalizing perfumes coming from all over the corners and enough restaurants and lounges that you wouldn’t really need to leave the hotel.

The hallways to the rooms are like an entrance to another dimension with its trefoil and semi-circular arches; my room had a beautiful view to the pool and a bathroom you want to live in.

MANDARA SPA

That afternoon as part of my finally "lets rest" day I had a wonderful and necessary 60 minutes Balinese massage at Mandara Spa, accompanied by a few minutes in the sauna and an hour of laying down at their relaxing lounge drinking tea, eating dry fruits and engaging on instagram.

Our next day consisted of a trip to Oman for snorkeling. This country has the most interesting view I have ever seen and the heat is so strong it could melt metal.

I learned about a village with a population of 250 people that can only be accessed by boat, next to an exclusive hotel that consisted in what looked from the distance like a complex of big grey and modern houses. Being able to go snorkeling in another ocean was pretty amazing, even though we could barely see anything under the water except for a bunch of hedgehogs by the rocks not very happy with this encounter, I pretty much freaked out and started swimming the other direction.

And then day to leave arrived. Not that I was very happy about that but New York awaits with its complexities and complications.

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