The Middle East is one of those places I’d always wanted to visit. The culture, history and modernisation of this area had always intrigued me. Of course, some of the strict laws did scare me a little (the latest news of women being arrested raises alarm bells) but I thought you only live once and as a travel writer it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and experience something very different. I decided to travel around there a year ago. I stopped off in two places, Dubai and Bahrain. Now let’s get started.
Dubai is a city that really has come some way over the last 30 years. Have you ever seen the city then and now? It’s pretty much unrecognisable as if the city has risen from the sand to become a powerhouse of the world. With world class facilities in every industry it’s no real wonder that the city attracted 14 million visitors in 2015 (including me).
I was in town for five days staying in a nice hotel development but I wasn’t there to look at four walls, I had a job to do. One of the first places I visited was the Burj Khalifa. It’s probably one of the most well-known structures in the world and there’s a reason for this, standing at over 830 metres, you can see over the whole Dubai landscape.
I was keen to sample some great restaurants. I had heard a lot about Indego by Vineet, the best Indian restaurant in the whole region apparently. As I’m a seafood lover I chose the gunpowder prawns to start; for the main course I decided to try the fish curry. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever tasted. 10/10 and worth every penny. Not often do restaurant’s reputations precede them but Indego does and more.
I went to the likes of the Wild Wadi Water Park and a couple of other cool attractions but as I’m a keen shopper I stopped by the Mall Of The Emirates. You’ll find everything here from designer brands to boutique shops. I’m not going to lie, I was in heaven!
People say Dubai is a bit manufactured but for me, it offers a different travel experience for visitors. And I wholeheartedly understand why there’s so many expats here. It’s a modern metropolis.
Bahrain might not be the first place that comes to mind when you visit the Middle East but it’s one of those places you don’t really know what you’re getting until you experience it. I was in Manama, the modern day capital, and I’ve got to say, it might not be Dubai but it’s still a really interesting place. The Al Fateh Mosque is breath taking. Large, cultural and jaw dropping. Words I would use for this attraction.
Other parts which are worth visiting include The Lagoon Bahrain and the Bahrain International Circuit. I was only here for a couple of days before flying back via Dubai but it left a lasting impression. The people are nice and welcoming which was an added bonus. The food is supreme here too; maybe even better than Dubai.
I would say do your homework before coming here. Although Dubai is modern and packed with Europeans, some might be a bit surprised by the cultural shock. If you’re a traveller, the Middle East is a place you must visit.