April 2017 – Dubai & Oman

Dubai/Oman: April 2017

Tips: We went to see some friends that live in Abu Dhabi and made a trip of it.  Dubai is a bit lower on our list of recommended places to visit (although we love Jenny and Kev!) – it’s like Vegas without the booze everywhere (what?) because only hotels can serve booze.

Night one: I told Jon I would not be eating in a mall. No. However, we ate in a mall – they too serve booze, or at least this one, with indoor skiing (yes, you heard right – there is a small ski resort inside of the mall, insane) did.

Day two: We headed to Oman for some diving and a romantic secret honeymoon (we secretly got married in 2016).  We stayed at the Six Senses resort – total splurge and so amazing.  The place is kept pristine, we had a huge villa with a private pool, indoor jacuzzi, and outdoor shower.  And… a butler.  Insane.

A black car picked us up from our humble Hilton in Dubai and made the 2 and a half hour drive over to Oman.  We showed our passports at the border and had no issues, I think because we were being escorted by the prestigious Six Senses.

Diving: We went straight to the dive shop, even before getting our room, and jumped on the boat.  They had already asked for all of our sizing and had everything on the boat for us, including lunch. Pristine boat (of course), the dive masters took care of all of the equipment, and we had 2 awesome, warm water dives.  We were on the boat with a dad and his two daughters from Germany, and the dad was some kind of professional underwater photographer.  We of course exchanged info. and checked out his pics – unreal.  He took a million pics of his daughters, which was super cute.  They were of course totally over it.  Loved the diving!  Sea turtles, a giant stingray, lobsters.. 

Dinner: We did the romantic, many course dinner at the top of a mountain (actually, there was a goat at the top of the mountain accompanying us).  Stunning views, delightful food, and we did the wine pairing.  The perfect honeymoon dinner.

We sadly left this haven to head back to Dubai.  There, we saw our friends at the mind blowing Friday “brunch” at the Atlantis.  I am talking every kind of food (ethnic included, from everywhere) you can dream up, vodka watermelons with a million straws sticking out of the giant thing, test tube shots, every booze known to man.. it goes on.  Of course, it turns into a dance party at 4pm.  Kind of wild but also pretty fun. Our friends did part 2, where a bus takes you to another bar, but we didn’t join in.  We stumbled upon an outdoor carnival that night, and Jon won me some stuffed animals (no, he didn’t – he lost, but that would have been cute).

The next day, we took the little canoe ride to the gold market (souk) where I haggled and haggled for a pair of lovely diamond earrings, only to pay what I was told I’d be paying. Oh well, I worked for those bad boys. We actually forgot we bought these on the way back in to the states and didn’t declare them – only a slight hiccup and we were on our way.  Ah yes, we tried to do a hot air balloon this morning and got all the way out there, but it was too windy, so we turned right back around after waiting for an hour or so.  Bummer, but it was cool to be in the desert.  

We ate some great Indian food at a little hole in the wall by the market, for dinner that night, we met our friends at Trader Todd’s for Kev’s birthday, which was fun.  We checked out the dancing fountains on our way to dinner, and we all ended the night at a little karaoke bar by the dinner place, which was a nice area to walk around in/on the river.

Flights: We flew Emirates direct both ways, about a 12 hour flight.  Not bad at all, and Emirates is nice.  We had to give our laptops to the airline at the gate due to the silly rule that you can’t have these on the flight, a little annoying because it added time when we were leaving ORD to head home.  We booked on Chase points, which was awesome (get the Reserve!)

Hotel: Hotels were surprisingly cheap in Dubai.  We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn because I love free and plentiful breakfast.  It was fine, nothing special.  Our friends were staying at some fancy hotel with a pool, which made me slightly jealous.  We’d probably do a nicer place if we head back.

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