Day 283 | Thursday December 22
The last days I have made it in the media quite a lot! Yesterday I was featured in Time Out Dubai and StepFeed and today I was on the front new of Xpress News, a weekly tabloid. I thought tabloids only write about superstars so would that make me…? Ah never mind.
Today I had a meeting with Ben from the Global EVRT, we did a special announcement on Facebook Live to tell about why I’m joining to Emirates EVRT and how my journey has been so far. You can replay it here.
After the meeting Jan Willem invited me to Boca, a bar in the DIFC, the financial district of Dubai were a lot of business is going on. From there I went to another bar, at the top of the Hilton in JRT. There is this Dutch in Dubai Facebook group and I posted a few times about my stay here and that got me a lot of reactions. At the Hilton they organized a monthly meet-up for all the Dutchies. Besides I met a lot of nice people I also had Bitterballen! Which made my night complete!
Day 285 | Saturday December 24
After more than a week it was time to leave my host. It was really great to be able to stay at the same place for a while. Normally I switch places every day which makes it a rush but now I had the opportunity to sort all kinds of things out and relax. So Jan Willem thanks a lot for the last days because you did a lot for me!
So my new hosts are again Dutch people. I gained many request to some posts on the “Dutchies in Dubai” Facebook group. I was welcomed by Adnane, Nabila, her father and 2 children. I was in touch with Adnane since a few days, I contacted him if I could come by yesterday for a night but he was not at home. He than invited me to come from Saturday and stay for christmas. I was a bit afraid to say yes as this is like the most religious day in the year which you normally would spend with friends & family. I had already been thinking about this days for weeks and I didn’t even think about asking someone to host me during these days. I actually was planning to sleep in the car for 2 nights somewhere in the desert (Serious, I had one christmas which was worse than that) but it was really no problem for them. The family has Moroccan roots and is Muslim so they don’t celebrate it, perfect match.
Adnane wanted to take me into the desert with his 4×4. Only after a 30-minute drive from the center you are surrounded by sand. After 30 minutus Adnane stopped next to the highway and turned on the desert-driving-mode. With high speed he drove over the dunes, for myself a first-timer and I can’t deny that I was almost shitting in my pants.
We wanted to take some pictures of the sky, which was stunning from here, you could see the whole milky way. For both of us the first time to experiment with this type of photography. Adnane’s camera was just to small to capture the stars, I have to practice more to take some nice ons. We ended up making light scribing pictures. See the stunning results below.
Day 286 | Sunday December 25
First day of christmas! Well in mosts parts of the world. In Dubai it’s around 30 degrees, shops are open and only in shopping malls you will find christmas trees.
My host Adnane took me for a sightseeing trip. In stead of going to the fancy touristic places we went to the old part of the city called Bur Dubai and the industrial area ‘Al Quasis’, where the workers of the city live. From this area it was a huge contrast with the Dubai Mall we visited later. The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world by total area and the most visited building in 2011 with 54 million visitors. It contains 1.200 shops. Of course here in Dubai it can’t be a regular mall so they build some ‘attractions’ inside of it. There is an olympic sized ice rink and a huge aquarium. The 10-million litre Dubai Aquarium tank is one of the world’s largest suspended aquariums. The size of the tank is 51 meters in length, 20 meters in width and 11 meters in height.
It houses thousands of animals, compromising over 140 species. Over 300 Sharks and Rays live in this tank, including the largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks in the world. You can watch the animals from outside or through a tunnel 11 meters below the surface. If that’s not enough you can also dive inside it.
For dinner Jan Willem invited me so there was still a bit of a “christmas feeling.” Nice to share share this evening with some people who I (just) know!