Where am I?

Everything tells me I am somewhere new. The air smells different and so does the rain. The buildings are different and people aren’t speaking English. The people are different – they look different, their posture is different, they move differently.

Let me take you on a journey, can you guess – where am I?

It’s instant – these people are patriotic. Red and white flags ripple on the streets, outside homes and work places. It feels calm here. The people have a feeling of serenity about them – they look healthy and happy…probably due to the variety of delicious pastries available on every corner. I see babies asleep in buggies outside cafés, and lots of men carrying babies in slings, some of them are wearing suits – it’s refreshing. The streets are clean, and there are a countless number of shops selling beautiful furniture, children’s toys and stylish wares.

Where am I?

I visit a market in search of animal figurines made from teak – nothing has a price, and I have to barter. We go back and forth with a calculator, and I don’t cope well – I don’t mean to get upset, but I do. The people here have much darker skin – they look strong, toned and athletic. It’s noticeable that women are tricky to spot. I spend a day at an orphanage – singing, dancing and playing with the children, and another couple of days on a safari looking out for ‘the big 5’. I spot lions, elephants, meerkats, giraffes and scores of brightly coloured birds. As I leave to go home, a local asks me to give him my left over shampoo, soap and conditioner, and of course, I give them to him.

Where am I?

I spot a maglev train. In the street a lady is wearing a sandwich bag on her head. I see buckets of live lobsters on the street, a snake tincture, a shop selling live fish and fish heads, a man carrying two washing machines in his bike trailer and another filled with huge canisters – with his friend sitting on top. I see a baby bundled up in fluffy socks and a sleep suit – mine is wearing just shorts. The people are shorter, their hair is black and their torsos are boxy. I can’t read a thing, or even attempt to, and a fork is hard to come by. People stop constantly to take photographs of my children – they touch their hair, their faces and find it amazing that I have two.

Where am I?

The first two things I notice about here is that the cars are huge, and that the people talk loudly. Lots of people strike up conversation with me when I’m out and about, they smile broadly and I’m not really sure how to respond. I walk across a road, get beeped at and realise that there aren’t many people walking the streets. I visit a National Park and see bison, bears and wolves, along with geysers, hot springs and turquoise coloured pools. It’s one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. I will come back here – with my kids in tow.

Where am I?

The people here have beautifully bronzed skin, and immediately I notice the way locals use their whole bodies when they talk – hand gestures, shoulder movements and facial expressions are so different to home. I’m visiting a leaning tower, and on arrival there are dozens of men selling fake designer handbags and jewellery. It’s busy with tourists trying to get the perfect snap. I buy an ice cream and I’ve never had one so delicious, or had so many flavours to choose from. The language sounds like poetry, and the morning sun is magical.

Where am I?

This time I’m in a city. It’s a place where dreams come true. The men are wearing white ankle length shirts, and the women are wearing a black garment with a scarf that covers everything except their face. I see people greeting each other by touching one another on the nose. It’s my first time here and I start with a hot air balloon ride to get my bearings. I can see the desert in the distance, and vow to book an excursion there to discover the wildlife and eat under the stars. The next day I take a water taxi to the creek and meander around taking in the pungent smell of spices, and the feel of extraordinary fabrics. That evening I attend The Music Hall and the energy is remarkable. My last day is spent laid on Kite Beach – spectating and soaking up some rays.

Where am I?

travel collage

E xx

This post is my entry to the Tots100 Dubai Dreams Blogger challenge #DXBDreams.

Would you like to visit Dubai? You could! Just leave a comment below telling me your Dubai dream, and click here to comment on more posts to increase your chance of winning. Dubai Tourism will be awarding a bonus trip to their favourite commenter.

Good luck!



    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:25 pm

      Thanks Ang xx

  1. 25th May 2016 / 2:36 pm

    Oh what a brilliant post, I really enjoyed reading it. It definitely transported me into your dream! The very best of luck with your competition.

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:27 pm

      Thank you so much Nat. So kind of you xx

  2. 25th May 2016 / 3:33 pm

    I really enjoyed going on a little adventure across the globe with you. The last city has to be Dubai of course. I have been spending a lot of time researching this area, and I am determined to go some day. I didn’t know that rubbing noses was a traditional Bedouin greeting, so I have learned something new from you.
    I would love to visit there. Dolphin Bay, Dubai Fountains and some of the Friday Buffets sound amazing. Good luck.

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:28 pm

      That all sounds wonderful Mel. Dolphin Bay does sound particularly tempting x

  3. 25th May 2016 / 4:41 pm

    What a lovely post – I love Dubai but we have never been with the children. I’d love to take them on the sensory experience you describe, it would be truly wonderful and a dream come true. There are so many things I’d love to teach the children about different cultures and I think Dubai would be an amazing place to continue this.

    Good luck with your entry x

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:28 pm

      I completely agree with you. It doesn’t sound all rather magical and thank you xx

  4. 25th May 2016 / 9:47 pm

    This post captures what it must be like to visit Dubai so beautifully, It really does sound like a place where dreams come true. Good luck xx

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Thank you so much Lindsay xx

  5. 26th May 2016 / 9:25 am

    What a lovely description of the sights, sounds and soul of Dubai. In a location that has the ‘biggest’ and ‘best’ of everything, it can be the little things that make it even more special for children. Dubai is special in every way. Good luck 🙂

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:31 pm

      Absolutely! and thank you x

  6. 26th May 2016 / 9:50 am

    I think this is all so very true
    Dubai would be perfect – it is for me too
    Good luck with your entry and, if you win
    Make room in your case, and please fit me in!

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:31 pm

      What a brilliant rhyme – thank you so much. I’m sure there would be room for one more! x

  7. Zoe
    26th May 2016 / 11:34 am

    Wow the Dubai fountain looks absolutely amazing! I would love to go to Dubai just to see that yet there is so much more all in one place – it is almost too hard to imagine so I will have to go there to find out for myself 🙂 The beautiful beach beckons me, incredible concerts and entertainment, retail heaven and then relax and unwind by trying out traditional spa therapies at the hammam! The food in Dubai looks divine and I bet it is delicious. My husband would love the adventure sports, golf courses and falconry. There is something here for everyone. Dubai is my dream destination.

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:33 pm

      It really has everything doesn’t it? I also read that folk dancing, poetry and music are popular. They just sound amazing. I am with you on the hammam too! x

  8. 26th May 2016 / 12:29 pm

    I would love to be in a city where dreams come true. With fantastic food, welcoming people and anything you can imagine you can do. I would love to visit souks and see the city from the sky. Oh I really would love to return to the amazing place Dubai

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:33 pm

      Lovely Louise x

  9. Bernadette Cooke
    26th May 2016 / 1:59 pm

    I would love to take my grandsons on a Dream Trip to Dubai – a clean, safe, family-friendly holiday destination, with plenty of activities to choose from for any age range. As well as relaxing on the beautiful golden sand of JBR Beach with its warm, calm and shallow waters we would all enjoy a dune-bashing safari followed by a camel ride and BBQ dinner in a Bedouin desert camp.

    We would visit the Dubai Museum in the Al Fahidi Fort to learn about life from a bygone era as a contrast to the amazing architecture of the modern city which we could view from the front or rear carriages of the driverless Dubai Metro system and then take it all in from the At The Top observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

    The free and impressive Dubai Fountain water, light and music show can be watched from one of many waterfront cafes just outside the Dubai Mall. The malls in Dubai have many family attractions to choose from. The boys could try ice-skating, helped by the ‘penguin pals’, visit the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and also see the giant 155 million year old dinosaur skeleton (DubaiDino), all in the Dubai Mall.

    The boys love theme parks and this summer Dubai will open the world’s largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of Adventure with four themed zones inside including Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard. This will be completely enclosed and temperature-controlled with 1.5 million square feet of entertainment space!

    Our only problem will be going home with so much more left for us to see and do in beautiful Dubai

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:39 pm

      It definitely sounds like you have your trip sorted, and I think it is so important to appreciate the old, yet embrace the new xx

  10. Alexandra | I'm Every Mum
    26th May 2016 / 3:59 pm

    What a great post. I LOVE Dubai, the waterparks, the architecture, downtown with the beautiful dancing fountains, sky bars in The Address, views of the Burj Khalifa. I would enjoy beach fun, dune bashing, skiing, swimming with dolphins at Atlantis. I adore it and will definitely be taking the children one way or another next year. Love Dubai x

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:36 pm

      I must admit I am keen to see the view from the Burj Khalifa. I really hope you get to go xx

  11. Rebecca Beesley
    26th May 2016 / 4:30 pm

    I love your creativity and intrigue you have used in writing this beautiful piece of writing. I was totally transported to another place and could visualise myself there. To capture the emotions, feelings and senses the way you have in words is an art. Dubai sounds like the most fascinating and beautiful place to delight all the senses, switch off from one way of life and embrace another, to revive and strengthen those family bonds, to give the children memories they will treasure for ever. For me that is the magic of Dubai.

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Thank you Rebecca! and I couldn’t agree with you more. Family time is so important to create the memories we will treasure forever xx

  12. Francesca Gott
    26th May 2016 / 4:58 pm

    Absolutely love your photos!

    My dream is for me and my family to swim with Dolphins in Dubai (it makes me tear up at the thought!). I would love to do it in a much more natural setting than in a swimming pool and I have heard there are some amazing places to swim with them! I would love to visit Atlantis too as it would be a brilliant day for everyone (and I am a big kid). I also wouldn’t mind chilling on the beach with my boys, building sandcastles too. Just heaven!

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:44 pm

      Thank you and good luck! x

  13. 26th May 2016 / 7:08 pm

    This is a fab entry, I love how you’ve gone for something really different. I would also really want to visit the Creek and head into the old town to take in some of the vibrant culture and ornate buildings. Culture and heritage are very important for us on any trip! We’d also love to visit the turtle rehabilitation centre (my daughter wants to be a marine biologist so this would make her year!) and kite beach as well. You’ve got some amazing choices here, good luck.

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:45 pm

      Thanks Jess. The Creek does sound amazing! x

  14. 26th May 2016 / 10:54 pm

    This reminded me of the speakers in Heathrow. As you walk towards baggage reclaim they play the sounds from different countries and one washes into another as you make your way along. And that’s exactly what this post does it takes you through the senses that are brought to life in Dubai. Love hearing your take on this beautiful city xx

    • Esther
      27th May 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy. I know exactly what you mean about the speakers – they’re wonderful x

  15. 1st June 2016 / 4:37 pm

    Are you in Dubai? Sounds like a place of contrast, noise, bustle and vivid colour. A place that I could see my family spending time, making memories and bringing home the gold!

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