Arabian Adventure: Trip to Dubai brings HR Coordinator ‘Around the World’

For HR Coordinator Hannah Raj, a Christmas vacation to visit family turned into an unexpected trip around the globe. The final destination: Dubai, United Arab Emirates — complete with camel rides, spice markets, and the making of cherished memories.

What was your destination and why did you choose it?
Our destination was Dubai. I went with my husband and son and we chose to go there to spend Christmas with our family and also explore Dubai.

What route did you take to get there?
On the day of travel, we planned our initial route as MSP-AMS (with Delta) and AMS-DXB (on either KLM or Emirates), but the seat availability didn’t look good. So instead we quickly re-planned and took to MSP-SEA-HKG (with Delta) and ZED fared on Cathay Pacific from HKG-DXB. For our return route, we flew KLM on a ZED fare from DXB-AMS, and then AMS-MSP (with Delta). All three of us got Delta One on our return! The Delta crew and their service in our circle-the-earth trip was simply outstanding!

Where did you stay while you were there?
We stayed with our family in Dubai, but the hotels are very reasonably priced, we were surprised to see 4-Star Hotels priced at less than $80 per night at prime locations. A recommended stay would be in and around the Dubai Mall or even in the nearby city of Sharjah.

What was your favorite memory or activity?
Our favorite memory was the Desert Safari – that included sand bashing on a 4×4 truck, a camel-back ride, watching a fire dance, picture booth wearing local costumes, and very a lavish Arabian dinner buffet; also to remember was the visit to Palm Jumeirah Island, visit to the Spice market, the Gold Souk (a.k.a market), and the Dubai Mall itself.

Do you have any helpful tips you’d like to share?
Travel light, be flexible around routes, sleep well during the flight to overcome jet lag, use the safe sign-up for tour packages via the reliable City Discovery, appreciate local culture/cuisines, shop around local markets for souvenirs, and take a whole lot of pictures to revisit cherished memories!