Why Dubai?

[ 0 ] June 8, 2016 |

Why Dubai?  That is the number one question I got after telling some about my next travel adventure.  In my mind, I was thinking “Why not Dubai??”  Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a city brimming with the luxury, style and sophistication of any other metropolitan city with a mix of Arabian culture that cannot be found around these parts.  I had been curious about Dubai for some years now since hearing how it was becoming the epicenter of tourism in the Middle East.  Explaining to someone why you would want to go to Dubai is the same as trying to explain to someone why you want to go to a Beyoncé concert.

Frustrated from the same question over and over again, I decided to stop answering.  Why Dubai?  See my pictures below for a peek into why I chose this as my next stop around the globe.  Dubai is one of those places you should visit when you are looking for a vacation outside of the usual suspects.  For Americans, that can typically be the Caribbean, Mexico, Miami and/or Las Vegas.  Dubai combines the best of these cities/adventures (minus the gambling sensation of Vegas) into one place with a clear presence of its culture and customs.  The red sand dunes, the bread for the schwarma (the freshest), the indoor ski resort after a sweltering day at the man made beaches, the Burj Khalifa and so many more attractions are every bit the reason I am glad I chose to kick back and relax in Dubai.

Will I return?  Yes, Dubai is one of those places I could revisit with a few tweaks to my agenda.

  1. I would consider doing an Air B&B. There is no scarcity of grocery stores in Dubai and the seafood section plus the Arabic spices had me salivating at all the potential dishes I could have created.  Next time I want to cook!
  2. I did a good job being respectful to the dress code, it was pretty simple:  shirts with some sort of sleeve and below the knee wear (which these rules were often broken by some of the attire I saw in restaurants and lounges…short/tight dresses galore.).  I would not bring my own abaya.  They provide them for you at the mosque alongside the hijab.
  3. I would totally redo my Abu Dhabi dining experience.  We ended up at this strip mall for a buffet lunch at a place that should not be serving food to the public.  Flavorless and day-old would describe the food.  Not my choice, this came along with our Abu Dhabi tour package, which was hitting all the right notes up until this point.  Abu Dhabi, the capitol of the UAE, was the place where I expected everything to be splendid in flavor.

Other than that, I would not change a thing.  It was an amazing week of things I expected and did not expect.  Until next time, Dubai.


Grand Mosque


JKGF at the Grand Mosque


Have you seen Fast & the Furious 7? This is the infamous site of the car jump from building to building.


Inside the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi


Sunset view from the top of the sky at the Burj Khalifa


Cipriani’s Dubai (Soo good!) What we had after that bad meal in Abu Dhabi


The best chicken masala known to JKGF is found here, next door to the Marco Polo Hotel in Dubai.


The world’s seven star hotel, The Burj Al Arab. Views from our private yacht tour.


Star gazing, camel riding and belly dancers after the sand dunes. #funtimes


The sand dune tour included a “BBQ”, which includes chicken kebabs, falafels, basmati rice, hummus and seasoned okra among other delicacies.


Abu Dhabi Parliament. They do not allow you to go any closer than this unless you are royalty from another country.


JKGF inside the Grand Mosque.

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About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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