The U.A.E. celebrated its 47th National Day on the first week of December, and most companies have been generous enough to give us two days off during the beginning of the work week! It’s quite rare that we get a long weekend like this. We were thinking of flying off somewhere but we’re preparing for the upcoming Holidays so we decided to stay and explore Dubai.

We’ve had quite a list of places at the top of our heads, and we had to move our dates, but we finally made a decision to go on a Friday, to take a day trip to Hatta!

We move from Dubai at around past 10AM after a really hefty breakfast at Denny’s. It wasn’t much of a long drive, the sights were so pretty. I know people would say, “but they’re just big rock formations in different colours!” Well, you don’t get to see that everyday, so why not appreciate it for what it is, Brenda?

Our first stop was the Hatta Dam. There are stairs leading to the viewing area, but it felt like a hike — so wear your most comfortable pair of shoes, and take note of the weather too! Bring a jacket or a scarf during the Winter months. It was perfect when we went up.

They offer various activities too, like Kayaking and Boat Rides. We would’ve gone but we were only there for the most part of the day so we get moving.

Our second stop was Heritage Village. FREE ADMISSION to see the rich history of the Arabs. It was amazing — it was almost like I could see them go about their lives in front of me. There’s this eerie, nostalgic vibe. We spent nearly an hour in there, exploring every house and housing area. There’s so much joy in trying to discover more about the country you’re living in. As an Expat who’s resided in the Middle East for more than 20 years, you’d think I’ve seen it all (or at least most of it), but I haven’t. It was such a good opportunity to immerse in local culture, and is a small way of giving back to this place that has taken me in with open arms.

We head over to the Wadi Hub, one of Meraas’s latest developments (this one has to be my favourite, La Mer is a close second). My colleague told me about it about a month ago and I just knew I NEEDED TO TAKE DREW THERE SOON. We honestly considered checking in prior to the trip, but Carlo checked the website and it was fully booked. Boo. Anyway, it just means Drew’s first time checking in there will all be ours as well, hrhr.

There is a park situated before the residing areas, open to the public, with all these super fun attractions! It didn’t even feel like I was in Dubai at all. The vibe was Arizona *insert First Stop, Arizona – A Star Is Born OST.mp3 here*

We stopped by for a few photos at this part of Kalba Desert, then headed back to Dubai (Dubai Mall to be exact), stuffed our faces at the Food Court, then Vince treated us to Pinkberry, and then Carlo treated us to movies (we saw ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’).

It was such an amazing day, needless to say. Can’t wait for the four of us to go back! So much of the U.A.E. to see!

Happy National Day, my love.