Submitted by Boris Manjic on the 2022 winter session program in the United Arab Emirates sponsored by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering…
The group started the week by going to Arabia’s Wildlife Centre and indulged in a side of Dubai we haven’t seen before. Within the reserve, there were a multitude of animals including birds, monkeys, wolves, cheetah, and way more. My favorite exhibit was by far the baboons since they acted so much like humans did. We stayed there for at least thirty minutes just laughing because of their goofy behavior.
After finishing up there, we went to Global Village, which in my opinion, was a much better experience than Expo. They had many countries there and we got to see what each had to offer within their markets. I ended up buying a cashmere scarf for pretty cheap and Mike/Matt/Scott got Damascus steel dancing knives. The best experience there was watching Brendon go into Syria and purchase traditional clothing and start walking around the market. Every person started bowing and calling him “Mashal al-Assad”, who is the current king of Syria. Everyone was so cheerful and our group was dying laughing at how much it was being said.
A few days later, the group went to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and we got to see the best views of Dubai; including a beautiful sunset. Once we finished there, we ate at a Lebanese restaurant under the Burj and got to experience the fountain show. The hummus was delectable and the show was also the best I have ever seen.
Finally, during one of our “Expo days” we all went to see the Black Eyed Peas perform at the Al Wasl stage. There were thousands of people there and I am positive our group was the most hyped as we were screaming and dancing to every song. It was a great bonding experience for us all and not one person regretted it. I’m so grateful for this week as the group’s friendship tightened and I hope we can get even closer next week.