The palm island of Dubai and the Burj al Arab

With only a few hours left in this desert metropolis, I had one last thing to do. I didn’t visit the palm island yet. This is the place where all the six stars services were at. My final task on my to-do list was about to be crossed off.

The entrance to the Atlantis hotel photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Found a taxi and told him to take me to the man-made island. It took about 30 mins of going through tunnels to finally arrive to the Atlantis hotel. My local friend works here. Didn’t want to bother her while working. Plus, fancy things aren’t really my thing.

The Persian gulf photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Right in front of the hotel, there is a beautiful view of the Persian golf. It’s crazy to think that Iran is on the other side of that body of water. Iran is like another universe compared to Dubai. I always found it strange, how countries so close to each other could be so different in economics and political views. For example, USA and Mexico. Two countries that share a broader, however, are so different. It’s almost mind blowing to think how a few thousands miles can really change how people think, live and look.

The water park next to the six star hotel photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Eventually, I asked to be driven to the 6 star hotel. I didn’t want to go in, I just wanted to see from the outside. The restaurants inside aren’t that expensive. It’s about 80 dollars a meal and side orders. That’s about 20 dollars more in New York city. The funny about the hotel is that there is a water park right next door. Kind of implying water parks are somewhat a luxury here. Which, if you knew more about water parks. That water should be yellow. Bleach is such a magical substance.

The Burj al Arab from the front photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

In order to get to the hotel, you need to pass a security check point. You can’t get in without a reservation. I was thinking about going here for a restaurant. However, that is something I would regret spending money on. I always prefer authenticity over luxury. With that, ends my adventures in the 🇦🇪 UAE. Next stop would be more Christmas themed.

Thank you so much for reading! Hope you all are enjoying your weekend! Happy late Thanksgiving to the Americans!

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe
For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.

We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!

Here are links to hotels and other deals.

For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the links!

Visiting Dubai’s gold souk

As my time in Dubai was ending, I kept trying to find something to do. This is something that’s abnormal for me. I don’t really care about jewelery. Never interested me to show people what I have. So I never go to a jeweller. I got convinced to go visit the famous gold souk by my local friend.

My new friend photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

On my way there, I met this very smart cat. To get away from the heat, it slept inside the air-conditioned subway station. I just wanted to give it water. Life must be tough for a furry animal in the Middle Eastern heat. Had to say goodbye to my new friend. Sometimes, I wish I could adopt street cats. Especially, from forgien places.

The entrance of the gold souk photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Stepped out of the station and that wave of intense humidity hit me. I was sweating so much. It made me look like I just took a shower. Uncomfortably, I made it to the entrance of the souk.

Walking inside the souk photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Once inside the souk, you get blasted by the smell of spices. The noises of people trying to sell you their goods were in the air. The souk felt like a subway train going towards Manhattan. Everybody is trying to sell you something. Unwanted soliciting everywhere. It comes with the territory.

Poster of bollywood stars photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The further I walked, you notice the Indian influence. There were a lot of Indian celebrities images. Dubai does have a large Indian community. Didn’t expect to see Bollywood Stars posters here. Didn’t even know who that person was until showed my Indian friend this photo.

One of the many jewellers photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The jewellery shops were so beautiful. Being a proud window shopper here. I just came to the souk for sightseeing and not buying. Glad, I made the trip here. It made me wonder how this place used to be before Dubai became so international. I was a little disappointed, since the souk lacked that Middle Eastern authenticity you see on television. I was hoping people would be speaking more arabic and less English. I don’t really like complaining, I’m just pointing that out. Regardless, I still enjoyed my time.

Safe travels everyone and much love!

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe
For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.
We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!

Here are links to hotels and other deals.

For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the links!

Taking a bus to Abu Dhabi

So I found out the famous Grand mosque was not in Dubai. Kept searching for it online on a Dubai map but nothing was showing up. It wasn’t until I googled the Grand mosque, I found out it was in Abu Dhabi. UAE’s second largest city, which was a two hour drive. Didn’t not to drive in a forgien country due to fear of what could happen, I kept looking for taxis. Found out it would cost me about 100 USD to get there by taxi one way.

The al ghubaiba train station photo courtesy Hugo Morel

I’m sure you all know, I’m too frugal to spend 100 dollars for a taxi ride. Found out from a local friend, I could take a bus for about 16 us dollars roundtrip. To take the bus, I had to take the subway to the station shown in the picture above.

Walking to the bus station photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Once outside, it’s about a 3 block walk to the bus station. Got losted and started asking around. People in Dubai are very friendly and helpful. Most would love to help tourists without asking for anything in return. So do not be afraid to ask.

The bus station photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Eventually, I found the bus station. Went to buy the bus tickets and there were two lines. One for women and the other for men. The whole segregation of gender is still hard for me to understand. Women don’t have to take go to the women’s line. They can choose whatever line they want. However, the women’s line is quicker and less people hassling you. The men’s line you have to pay attention or they will cut you in line. Which is never fun. Luckily, there was not that many people there when I bought my tickets. Just one problematic person.

Inside the bus photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Once on the bus, you get to choose wherever you want to sit. It had air conditioning and the sits weren’t too bad. It was definitely worth the 16 dollars. Once the bus started driving off, I kept thinking how faraway from home I was. Dubai’s senerary was beautiful and exotic to me. The farther away we left Dubai and it’s metropolitan area, the more desert looking the senerary got. Lost in the moment, I didn’t even think about taking photos. So much sand, it made you feel like you were on a highway in the middle of a yellow ocean.

Abu Dhabi photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

As the two hours passed, I could tell were getting close. The yellow ocean became green fields of dates. The excitement was building up. Couldn’t wait to see what adventures waited for me in Abu Dhabi. We eventually got to city and my wild experiences were just about to start.

Safe travels everyone and much love!

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe
For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.
We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!

Here are links to hotels and other deals.

For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the links!

How Dubai was like before the oil

Okay, for those who don’t know. Dubai, was once a small port in the middle of the desert. In fact, about 50 years ago Dubai looked no where near what it looks like today. In fact, nobody knew that they were sitting on a future global metropolitan.

The map of Dubai before the Oil Rush photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

As I wondered more through the Dubai Museum, I overheard some of the tour guides. Being cheap and didn’t want to pass my budget, I started following the tour groups. One of them was explaining the history of Dubai. Before oil, Dubai was just a small port in the desert.

The local fishermen of Dubai’s past photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The locals were fishermen and most of their trade came from what was found in the sea. It was a very simple and humble beginning. The ultimate rags to riches story. People lived uncomplicated lives with little to no worries. Expect the desert heat.

Diving for pearls photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

One of the main exports of Dubai, were Pearls. Back then Dubai was known more for it’s precious pearls. People from all over the world would want to buy these beautiful gems. This was Dubai’s main source of income before oil was found.

Locals making boats photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The way people used to get the pearls was through free diving. They would had drivers dive all day looking for these hidden gems. I’m sure the constant diving was not too healthy. In case for those who don’t know, free diving is diving without any equipment. You would just hold your breath underwater. This can make easier for divers to get decompression sickness. Which forms bubbles inside your body. Either way, people did what was needed to survive.

A replica of merchant selling spices photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Eventually, the Japanese found out how to make pearls artificially. The demand for pearls slowly declined. More jobs in the oil industry started to prosper. Naturally, the need for jobs in the pearl industry declined. All these events lead to the Dubai we know now. It’s mind blowing to think how 50 years can change a small port into an economical powerhouse metropolis. I wonder what other cities will form in the next decades to come.

Next week, we go to United Arab Emirates’ second largest City!

Safe travels everyone and much love!

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe
For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!
For my underwater photos, I use the gopro hero 7 white.
We have partnered up with booking.com and working on TripAdvisor. Here are some links for each hope you all enjoy!

Here are links to hotels and other deals.

For Hotels, make sure to click here. For apartments make sure to click here. For Resorts click here. For villas click here. For bed and breakfast and for Guest houses, make sure to click the links!

Wandering and learning at The Dubai Museum

To escape the heat, I decided to go and see what the Dubai museum was about. Took the metro to get there. It was a little bit of a walk away from the nearest station. So much for escaping the heat.

Dubai Museum on the left photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

When I got there, I was surprised to see the price of the tickets. It was about 3 USA dollars to go around. I’m not much of a museum person. However over my travels, I’m slowly becoming one. Plus my local friend kept telling me to come here.

Al Fahidi Fort photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The entrance to the museum is very interesting. It’s made like a 1500’s fort. The entrance of the museum truly made me felt that I was in the Arabian Peninsula. I never seen this type of structure before in person. The fort is made out of coral rock. In fact, besides the Spanish forts in Florida and California. I never seen an actually fort before. Especially, not one made out of coral! Also, the fort is believed to be the oldest building in Dubai still active. The fort is called Al Fahidi.

Outside views of the Arish photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Once inside the museum, you get to see the old fashion homes. They are called Arish and are made out of palm fronds. The homes are actually very small. Only really containing a place to sit, a kitchen and a bedroom. It’s crazy to think that the emiratis once lived so humbly. The large amounts of money a country gains, can really change its people’s culture.

Old fashion helmets and weaponry photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Got to see an armoury right past the entrance. I heard the armours and weapons were collected from all over the world. I could only imagine how hot it would had been wearing mental armour in the Middle East during summer. I would rather choose 2nd degree burns over cuts caused by swords and arrows any day.

The collection of swords photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Funny thing about the homes, you get to see the old fashioned “air conditioning.” They were called wind towers. It was a gap in the ceiling of the Arish, as seen in the picture below. It was brutal for me to even walk around in this structure. The heat was still slightly unbearable. I couldn’t picture living in a place with no artificially-made cold air. Where the average temperatures in the summer is about 106 degrees to 86 degrees. For those who live outside of the usa, 41.1 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius. Not to mention the 70 percent humidity.

The wind tower photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The further I got into the museum, I found a door that lead me inside a walkway. That walkway would eventually take me to the main attraction of the museum. I was about to learn how Dubai was before the discovery of oil. Couldn’t wait to see what was in store me.

Safe travels everyone and much love!

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe
For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!

Stumbling across a Persian mosque

After exploring around the neighborhood near where my airbnb apartment was, I saw this beautiful building from a far. I started walking towards it and I found out it was an Iranian hospital. Little did I knew, I stumbled around a Persian neighborhood.

outside of the Persian mosque photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

For those who don’t know, Persian and Iranian are similar. Iran was once a part of the Persian empire. That is something, I did not know at the time of me stumbling across this beautiful piece of art. Found out later while doing research. Walked towards this interestingly patterned building. From outside looking in, I figured out it was a mosque. I could tell by the shoe cubby and chants of the Qur’an.

Inside of the mosque’s entrance photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Saw someone come out of the mosque. Asked if it was okay for me to enter. I got the clearance to explore. Once inside the gates to the entrance, I was in awe towards the attention to detail. The colors made the building look so majestic. The patterns and the designs are so beautiful. Couldn’t wait to see how the inside looks like. Put my shoes in the cubby and I was off.

Inside of the mosque seeing the men praying photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The inside of the mosque was truly foreign and new to me. The colors matched the outside with a touch more of green. To make sure it was okay, I asked one of the mosque’s operators if I could take photos. He gave me permission of course.

I got to see some of the followers pray. Similar to how it was during my time in Cairo, the mosque was sectioned by gender. I was not allowed to go on the women’s side. Still, I enjoyed the part I was given access to.

Sometimes, it’s hard to picture how close United Arab Emirates is to Iran. It’s literally less than a two hour flight from Dubai. Makes sense why there’s a strong Persian community here. Glad I got to see in person.

Another look of the mosque photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

As I was looking at the Muslims praying, I started to think a little to myself. The differences between this mosque and the mosque in Cairo. They both practice different types of Islam. Egypt is Sunni majority and Iran is Shia majority. They are similar and very different at the same time. Similar to Catholics and Protestants, the houses of worship look very different. It’s almost the same here. Expect, Sunni is the majority branch of Islam at about 87% to 90% of the Muslim population. While, Shia Islam is about 13% to 10%. Here is the link for those who want to more read about this.

Also, I remember something funny at this time. I was wearing the cross my family gave to me for my travels. This whole time I was exploring this mosque, you can clearly tell I was a christian or came from a Christian family. Yet, not one person gave me a second look nor hostility. To think how, I was once so scared about going to a Muslim majority country. I can only laugh at myself now. I grew so much as a person throughout my travels. With every new country, I was becoming a person. Someone with more understanding to others who are different than me. Truly believe, we can stop more wars from happening, if we just understood each other better. We all have similarities despite our differences. Hopefully, we get to see that in our lifetime.

After about an hour of looking around, I saw pretty much all of the mosque. That was my sign to walk back into the heat. Thought about staying until the sun went down. However, I didn’t want to take advantage of the friendly welcome I was given.

Safe travels everyone and much love!

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe
For videos about cultures of the world and to see our travels, subscribe to our youtube channel!

Exploring Dubai in the Middle Eastern heat

My first full day in Dubai. Of course, you all should know I’m about to explore this metropolitan. It was early September here. However, it felt like mid July in New York. The humidity was no joke. I wasn’t going to let a little heat stop me. Also, when I say “little heat,” I mean steamy sauna hot!

A small view of Dubai’s skyline photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Going around is not that difficult, just handling that sun is. The good thing about Dubai is that their metro system is very reliant. All buses and trains have air conditioning. The way downtown Dubai was created, you don’t really have to be outside in the sun too much. At most, you walk from the train station: to the mall, to your home or the building where you work at. Unless you are a tourist like me, you really don’t have much business being outside. Also, the taxi system here is just like the Usa and the European union. There’s a set fare based on the mileage that runs on a meter.

Another view of Dubai’s skyline photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Walking around, you really get a sense that you are in the Arabian Peninsula. Tons of signs in Arabic and English. In case you don’t know, United Arab Emirates was once an English colony. Meaning, you won’t have any problems speaking English here. However, I heard the Emiratis would prefer, if you spoke Arabic to them. Funny thing about that, when you are here there are very few Emiratis. Most of Dubai’s population are recent immigrants.

The Dubai frame photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Saw the Dubai frame, didn’t bothered going to the top. I would had to wait until one hour in the heat for it to open up. Went there before opening time. I’m not interested in going to the top. Unless, there was a swimming pool and a buffet of ice cream inside. I was only here to see the top of one building, the Burj khalifa . The Dubai frame is the biggest frame in the world. Once again you are reminded, the United Arab Emirates goes all the way. Everything they do has to be the best or the biggest. Which makes Dubai such an interesting City.

Just Outside of my Airbnb apartment photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The skyline of dubai is interesting. Everything is big and in your face. It feels like you stepped into the future. The futuristic buildings can make you feel you are in that show called “The jettsons.” The only thing that is missing are the flying cars and people with hover backpacks. Still, I would not be surprised if some of the mega rich living here owns one.

The view of the Burj khalifa photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

As my time in the heat was becoming unbearable, I saw an interesting view. The Burj Khalifa can been seen all the way where I was at. It truly is a man-made mountain. The freedom tower in New York City is dwarfed compared to this massive skyscraper. Looking forward, my next stop would be to climb all the way to the very top. By climb, I mean take an elevator. Burj Khalifa, I will see you very soon.

Thank you so much for reading! Much love and safe travels everyone.

Check out our eBook “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come true without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe

I was on that plane full of sick people this Wednesday 😅

Hey, everyone!

Just wanted to change the pace a little. Since you probably already heard. There was a plane coming from Dubai that landed in JFK. Apparently, there was about 100 sick people on it. I was on that plane and I was not sick.

So many crazy events happened on that plane. So let me tell you about them. *Spoiler alert* we will be revisiting Dubai sometime soon on this blog.

Taken by Hugo Morel

So it all started at the gate, we got our bags searched three times. I understand the reason for it; however, it makes you feel unwelcomed to the USA.

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I got into the plane and was walking to my seat. A guy asked me if I was sitting on 70k, I told him I was. The man asked if we can change seats because his mom was sitting next to me and she wasn’t feeling too well. So I gave up my sit and moved to his seat. About 10 mins later, another man came to me and asked, “do you mind if we switched seats?” “You are sitting next to my wife and I want to sit next to her on the plane ride.” I didn’t think too much about it. He lead me to his seat, which was in business class. So I got an upgrade for free! What were the chances?

I sat on my business seat and slept. I met an awesome dentist and a real estate developer. They were awesome people.

After about 8 hours of sleep and 2 superhero movies, we got to New York. We had no idea what was going on the plane. The airlines staff seemed worried about something. We were greeted to a group of flashing lights from police cars to ambulances. Out of nowhere, vanilla ice came out. At first, I didn’t know who this guy was. I just thought he talked alot and his jokes were somewhat funny.

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Anyways, we got out of the plane and we were taken into the airport by shuttle buses. People were wearing masks like we were coming into the states with a new zombie virus. The media loves to over stress situations. By the way, the sickness was just the common cold. so dramatic…

Taken by Hugo Morel

Here is the link to the whole the over dramatized event. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2018/09/05/emirates-flight-203-what-happens-next-stricken-passengers/1202379002/

Thanks for reading. We will go to Rome sometime soon, I promise. Haha

Dubai, the futuristic city

As my businesses partners and I entered Dubai, the first adjective uttered to describe Dubai was “futuristic”, with glossy buildings and man-made islands

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The first couple of days were hectic, we didn’t get to see much of the city as we were preparing for our pitch. During this time, we realized Dubai is very diverse city with 85% of it being expats, we met people from so many different countries, from Spain to the Philippines to Latin America and the USA

After the competition was over, we were invited to eat a delightful dinner buffet at Jumeirah beach hotel. The food was incredible, from local Egyptian food Koshary being offered to grilled shrimp and chocolate fountains. It was by the beach, overlooking the Burg Al-Arab, a beautiful sail-shaped building. (the room sticking out at the top is actually a tennis room).

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Although I did not have much time to check out the city’s extravagance, I was able to visit the tallest building in the world: Burg el khalifa. It reached up to the sky, and the building was covered with a lightshow- the building changed colours, patterns, lights shot up from the bottom of the building to the top, I was in awe.

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I also got a chance to see their dancing fountain, which is right next to the building. It is unlike any I have seen before, the water shot up into the sky exactly in sync with the music, lights changing based on the emotion being sung. The crowd gasped and cheered, there was even an applause… yes an applause for a fountain!

IMG_2040.pngInside the Dubai mall, there is an Area called SkiDubai with artificial snow- where you can ski, pet penguins and more. To get pumped up, I went zip lining in Ski Dubai, it was really cold, my face went numb, my eyes watered, it was hard to remember I was still inside a mall.

Finally, I also got away from the city, and we went to a park. The park was just beautiful, the colours, the butterflies, it was a refreshing change. It had houses, shapes, bridges built from flowers. It was simply breathtaking- it’s one of my favourite places visited so far.

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Dubai is the pinnacle of capitalism, a city of luxury and extravagance. I recommend it to all city-lovers!

Special thanks to my friend and business partner Mahmoud Sultan for letting me use his pictures in this post.

Thank  you for taking the time to read this post- hope you enjoyed it! I’ll be with you again next week, stay healthy.

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