By Christine Crosby
A Flight To A City of Happiness Via Emirates Airlines
By now you’ve probably seen the commercial featuring Jennifer Aniston for Emirates airline, but if not, Emirates is a rapidly growing international airline, based in Dubai, known for its luxurious flights with private suites, shower spas, onboard lounges, etc. With a fleet of over 240 aircraft, Emirates flies to more than 140 destinations on six continents. It is fast becoming the preferred airline for elite travelers across the world, but it also provides reasonable air fares and fabulous service for all guests.
Lucky me, I was invited to join three members of the Red Hat Society for a trip of a lifetime. My travel companions, Linda Murphy, Linda Bremer, Marilyn Waltz and I all flew from Orlando, Florida direct to Dubai on Emirates airlines’ Boeing 777 where we were joined by Debra Granich, president of the Red Hat Society.
After being seated, I was offered a choice of beverages that included fine wines and champagne (not those standard little airline bottles, but, poured from the bottle). After take-off, light refreshments were served; giving us plenty of time before dinner to relax and explore the amazing features of the Boeing 777.
The Entertainment Experience
In front of me was a 22” touch screen television with a selection of the latest movies. So I didn’t have to exert myself, or spill my champagne, a remote was right next to my armrest. In Business Class I was able to send and receive emails, upload my latest blog post and keep up with my work. There was in-seat power for my laptop/smartphone and a side table for space to work. Or, I could just sit back to read or enjoy entertainment.
Each seat provided an automatic privacy screen that at the touch of a button would raise or lower giving you total privacy while you raised your leg rest up and seat back as much as you’d like. I felt like I was in a big comfy Barcalounger.
The Dining Experience
Then comes the food and drink preceded by a beautiful white linen table cloth. Their chefs use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to prepare all meals served on Royal Doulton bone china plates with exclusive Robert Welch cutlery. You can match your meal with a fine wine or complimentary cocktails, champagne, beers, spirits, and hot and cold drinks. In between all these lovely drinks and meals you are served hot hand towels to keep you feeling fresh and pampered.
After dinner I was offered an extra mattress to give my flat-bed even more cushion along with a cozy blanket and pillow. It was heaven and I was “lights out” in no time.
Arriving in Dubai
Upon arrival, we found a beautiful new airport with, believe it or not, a fast and efficient customs/immigration process.
And the people — the people are not what a visitor from the west expects. Yes, there are women in head to toe abayas with only their eyelashes on display. But there are also plenty of women, both Emirati, and of course, foreigners, in western wear.
The Palace Downtown Dubai – Bateaux Dubai – Palm Jumeirah
The week was filled with the most magical experiences; from massages and water-side dinning at The Palace Downtown Dubai and views of the dancing fountains (that put fountains in Las Vegas to shame), the sights from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa to a night sail on the Dubai Creek aboard the “must do” Bateaux Dubai–a most unique cruise and dining experience. The Creek divides the old city into two parts, namely Bur Dubai and Deira and was formerly important for pearl diving.
Palm Jumeirah is an iconic landmark in Dubai, with residential and multiple luxury hotels and resorts.
And if all that was not enough, we spent the day on Palm Jurmeirah at the Kempinski Hotel & Residences enjoying beach side dining and swimming in the Persian Gulf. From there we were whisked to enjoy high tea at the Burj Al Arab, a seven star hotel in the shape of a sail.
Burj Al Arab
The Dubai Mall and Aquarium
A s The Dubai Mall houses the Dubai Aquarium, one of the largest tanks in the world. Dubai Aquarium has more than 33,000 living animals, representing more than 85 species including over 400 sharks and rays combined.
Shopping at the Dubai Mall with the largest number of retailers and restaurants of any mall in the world is sure to satisfy the most sophisticated shopper. They even have a Ferrari store!
An Arabian Adventure
I think my favorite thing to do was the Arabian Adventure sand dune ride to an authentic Bedouin campsite where we dined under the stars, watched belly dancers, smoked a hookah (just to try it) and had a camel ride!
Whether it’s you and your partner or with your grandkids, go soon and discover why Dubai is the newest hot travel spot on the planet.
It was reported to us that Dubai has barely any crime, no unemployement or taxes and their motto is for everyone to be happy. Seriously…the stated goal for Dubai in the year 2021 is to be a city of happy, creative and empowered people; an inclusive and cohesive society; the preferred place to live, work and visit; a smart and sustainable city; a pivotal hub in the global economy; and a pioneering government. Sheikh Mohammed has stated, “The first objective for the Dubai Plan 2021 is achieving people’s happiness. I’d say they are well on their way.