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Posts Tagged ‘United Arab Emirates’

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Surprises at Every Turn

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

by Malori

Turning travel logistics into dreams: that’s what I do. Thousands of moving parts turn into a vacation of a lifetime through creativity, attention to detail plus a bit of magic.

Recently, I had the opportunity to create and lead a group to the exotic destinations of India and the United Arab Emirates.  These two countries offered unique experiences for the traveler and are, in fact, polar opposites. They are diametrically opposed in so many ways and the differences are apparent.

I love India! Its a feeling you walk away with. And it’s not just me. I’ve planned 7 trips to India for our Amazing Journeys groups. I’ve seen the faces and gleaned the reactions of over 130 travelers who came away from the experience with the same feelings. It’s just amazing! Even if you’re super well-traveled, until you’ve seen India, in my opinion, you have not checked off the world. You can’t complete your “world jigsaw puzzle” without having experienced India.


India has an ancient history. The architecture and history date back thousands of years. Palaces, ancient forts, art and treasures plus stories of the Raj and the Taj bring to light the history lessons learned. The collective favorite day of all of our groups is a visit to the incomprable Taj Mahal – it never disappoints! The culture is one of the oldest, the religion, too. Locals think a lot more deeply, bringing a religious base of Hinduism and rebirth to the surface. Every action has a reaction. Karma is a top of mind thought.

The population is one of the largest in the world at 1.3 billion. It’s one of only two countries who have populations over a billion. There is poverty.


India appears to be in a state of organized chaos. I didn’t make that up, many feel the same. Cars are driving on the opposite side of the street, elephants and camels may be next to you at a stoplight, babies and chickens and dogs may be sauntering across the road as your bus is about to meet them head on. And then there are the cows… you see livestock everywhere, including a goat wearing a sweater! In India, there is an explosion of colors in the beautiful traditional sarees.

Not so in the UAE.  The UAE was established as a country in 1971. Sure, the culture and civilization are old, but being there you see that it’s as if there isn’t a building older than that, with most being built in the last few years. Do you know that 25% of the worlds active cranes are currently working in Dubai?

The population is small, with only about 1.4 million Emirati citizens. The rest of the population is made up by foreigners who come over as workers.  This is an very organized country with lots of rules. The traffic is organized. There is a calm in the streets. The traditional clothing is very monochromatic with crisp white for the men and stark black for the women. The Sheiks Palace in Abu Dhabi sits in the center of the city and is quite impressive in its size and architecture, including its gold-leaf domes and private airport.

The opulence is inexplicable. You just have to experience it. And that we did. You can get a cappuccino with gold-leaf.  They boast the worlds largest mosque housing the worlds largest chandelier (12 tons) and largest area rug (over 60,000 square feet), the worlds tallest building, worlds fastest accelerating roller coaster, an indoor ski resort , a mall with a separate gold mall and shoe mall attached. Dubai hosts one of the largest New Years Eve gatherings.


Two countries, dissimilar yet each amazing in their own ways. And isn’t that what travel is all about? World travel allows you to see for yourself the beautiful differences each country offers and to embrace a world of memories long after the journey has ended. That’s why I travel.