Emirati Escapade

Running your own company isn’t easy, and that means Kishan Lohiya is usually very busy with work. But every few months, he takes off from his duties to travel and rejuvenate. This time, he and his wife headed to the United Arab Emirates with some friends. Read on to find out what they did on their trip.

As a businessman, I don’t get to travel too much. Time management is something I rely on heavily. Every quarter, I make sure I take a break to re-energise. And once a year, my oldest set of friends and I travel somewhere together. Since I have a trip to Europe pencilled in for July, I wanted to stay in Asia on my latest overseas journey. Since my wife Sarita and I hadn’t ever been to the UAE before this trip, we decided to go there. Off we went – five couples and their kids – to the Middle East.

Dubai is a wonderful place with seemingly no dearth of anything. I especially enjoyed my trip to the Burj Khalifa, which was an experience like no other. We visited the Armani Hotel in the same building, which was designed by the world-renowned designer, Giorgio Armani himself. It simply oozes luxury and class. The view from the top of the Khalifa was sensational, and it left me wondering when India would reach such literal heights. To be so high up made me really feel like I was on top of the world. I love photography, so I really enjoyed clicking snaps from up there. My friends in Dubai also got us into the Armani Hotel for high tea; a very lavish experience. The people you meet there high-profile individuals.

On another day, we took a helicopter ride from the Palm Islands, a set of manmade islands collectively shaped like a palm tree. As the helicopter rises, you can see the shape of it all. During the ride, we were treated to an aerial view of the mesmerising concrete jungle that is Dubai, and we even saw a couple of hundred tiny islands around the main island, two of which have been developed privately.

Flying over the blue waters was a memorable experience. On the Palm Jumeira is the famous Atlantis, The Palm Dubai Hotel & Resort, known to house one of the biggest water parks in the world. It has every water ride you can imagine, and though some of them are downright scary, I thoroughly enjoyed them! I’m quite adventurous that way, having gone bungee jumping thrice and skydiving twice. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time enough to do that in Dubai.

We went on a very classy drive one day, riding in a stretch limousine that took us from our hotel, The Park, to the Burj Al Arab, another popular hotel. We attended high tea and experienced the hotel, requesting a tour and being taken to see one of the rooms. The Burj is known for its gold accessories – the bathrooms feature several real gold fittings. It was very classy, not to mention very affluent!
One of my favourite parts of the trip was Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. It was more than memorable, especially for a car enthusiast like me. I design cars for a hobby, and my latest creation is displayed in the world’s biggest 4x4 portal. This was right up my alley! Not only were there exotic cars, they also had an air conditioned amusement park with some unique rides. There was one Italian ride that shouldn’t be missed! You’re seated with a screen in front of you before being raised more than 20 feet in the air with visuals of Italy. It feels like you’re flying through the Mediterranean!

The UAE is quite well known for its reputation as a shopping destination, and the malls were simply excellent. The Abu Dhabi Mall was quite an experience, and most of the big malls feature virtually every international and luxury brand one might want. The food there is amazing and generally healthy as well, and the quality and variety are unparalleled. Whether you’re a vegetarian or love meat, you’ll relish the food. I stuck mostly to Indian cuisine and loved it!

The nightlife in the UAE is surprisingly exciting. You don’t feel like it’s a conservative country. In fact, their government is very flexible when it comes to tourists. We went to a nightclub called Enigma and had a great time, but you won’t find many locals at nightclubs. And since I love cars and bikes, I got my fill of both. We visited several supercar and superbike showrooms and even managed to buy some accessories for my own superbike!

The Emirati people are very warm and nice, and I enjoyed interacting with them. Dubai especially has many migrants from various countries. We had a lot of fun during the five days we spent there, whether it was watching dolphins underwater or visiting the snow park!     – as told to Saloni