Actor Parul Yadav was in the Middle East, and she shares her experience...
1 The first and foremost thing that one should remember on a Dubai and Abu Dhabi trip is to invest in gadgets and gold. It’s not only cheap but the quality is supremely good and authentic. Abu Dhabi has its classic souks which are the local markets for spices and artefacts, while Dubai is more known for its infrastructure. The malls are not only massive, but the architecture is beyond beautiful too.
2 For the automobile freaks, the Ferrari World is a must-visit. You can rent cars and drive around, experiencing a rather royal chic essence. I personally am obsessed with cars and drove around in the ‘Beast’ which gave me the whole Schumacher feel!
3 A huge attraction is the signature belly dancing experience. One can sign up for classes and orchestrate a dance performance for themselves as well, which I personally had wanted to do. But you should keep the weather in mind so if you want to experience the art of belly dancing, April, May and June are definitely the months to avoid. Plan a winter trip as the outside is much calmer and the weather is more favourable for the experience.
4 Middle Eastern food is a popular treat to the tastebuds and everybody knows that. A little known fact is that there are also many fusion food options to try out. The High Tea at the Emirates Palace, where the movie Sex and the City 2 was filmed, Indigo by Vineet at Bar 44, the pani-puri flavoured macaroons at the Rajdhani Restaurant and Jamie Oliver’s Italian delicacies are to be visited if one is as huge a fusion food enthusiast as I am.
5 Another life changing thing to experience at Dubai is swimming with the dolphins at the Atlantis Farm. As it sounds, the experience was amazing and left me beyond thrilled. The adrenaline rush was incomparable. And just as calming was probably the trip to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It was such a serene and humbling experience, I truly felt at peace with myself. They welcome you in irrespective of your religion, as long as you are draped with a hijab.
—As told Alakananda Bandyopadhyay