As the heat of the academic semester started to rise, the weather improved. The perfect excuse to leave the books behind and discover the region we live in. Having to choose between the sea or the mountains, Old local or New global, we did it all.
Our student’s version of sandman
let’s see the world!
We started in November with a trip to the Global Village, to show how Dubai is a global melting pot. Between the African thumb guitar and the tiger helium balloon, many gifts were purchased as well as a sampling of food and drink from several countries around the world.
Our next trip was to the Dubai Heritage Village. A place to see how Dubai evolved from a pearl diving village, just over 50 years ago, to what it is today. Each of the village houses is a shop that makes and sells authentic handmade tokens such as a shell-opening knife, local cuisine such as crispy bread with cheese, not to mention the display of camels and old boats.
Abu Dhabi, here we come!
We started the day at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. “Grand” may be a bit of understatement since it has the largest chandelier and largest carpet in the world, along with its 82 domes, 1000+ outer columns and 96 columns in the main prayer hall, each inlaid with mother of pearl and semi-precious stones. As always, there was lunch! This time the students were introduced to the Iraqi style Masgoof fish. We visited Al Sadyat island where the Abu Dhabi government has embarked in a major cultural project to open branches of the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the London Museums.
Oman Oh .. Man!
We packed our bags for a weekend trip to Muscat, Oman. After we indulged ourselves at the banana and date oasis in the Omani mountains, we then visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Other Omani highlights included visiting old villages, castles and souks (markets.) It wouldn’t be a trip if quality food wasn’t included, not to mention the numbing experience of juices, spices, coffees, dates and scents.
Salt in the air, sand in the hair!
We missed Oman so much we decided to visit the northern tip of the peninsula which is a little spot of Omani territory, Musandam. We spent the night on the boat swimming in bioluminescence glitter and having a barbecue on a sandy little island and immersing in the sun the next day with banana rides and cave boats. I think it is safe to say it was fun!