The holiday thrill, sights in Dubai

The Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. On the right is the author, Esther Tusiime Byoona.

What you need to know:

  •  The holiday thrill. Dubai is known for having the tallest building in the world and other physical attractions that are a sight to behold. Esther Tusiime Byoona shares her experience.

Dubai is the most well-known city in the United Arab Emirates with 12.82 million international visitors from January to November 2022. I had the opportunity to brave the five-hour flight from Entebbe International Airport  to Dubai International Airport by Emirates airlines.

Once we got all our luggage and went past immigration officers at the airport, we got cabs to the residential coastal city of Jumeirah. It was a cold night but there was something special and different about the city. The great roads and less traffic got us relaxed.

We then checked-in at Holiday Inn Jumeirah as we could not wait to freshen up and sleep.

At the hotel
The customer care left us yearning but because it was family vacation, we had little travellers with us who needed extra attention. Thus, I waited for my sister as she helped out some of the younger children.

As soon as she finished, I joined her  and we served breakfast. We started with what we were accustomed to, such as boiled eggs, sausages, baked beans and the like. We had banter with our aunt and sooner than later, we were satisfied.

A waiter approached our table and cleared our table of plates while we sipped fresh cold apple juice. We left for the day’s activity.

Amazing attractions 
Among the things I loved the most about the Arab city were tourist attractions. We boarded two tourist vans and the driver of tourist van in which I sat was engaging and enthusiastic. He told us about the city history before we stopped at the old historical town of Dubai where the early settlers lived during the 19th century.

The beauty about this town was that they had improved the buildings but maintained the architecture. The town had a hotel and shops that deal in Islamic dresses for women and souvenirs.

The Burj Al Arab Hotel too was another stunner. It is known for being the tallest hotel but erroneously described by some as seven star hotel in the world. The hotel has its dazzling Royal Suite and more, then unwind in UMA Lounge to watch the sunset over the Arabian Gulf.

The exterior of the Atlantis in the Palm Village in Dubai. PHOTO/ESTHER TUSIIME BYONA 

We seized the day to take pictures of the iconic building but we had limited time due to the activities that were going on.

We had an opportunity to see the famous Atlantis Hotel where various celebrities stay during their visits to Dubai.
The driver drove slowly so that we would be able to take pictures of the hotel from the comfort of our seats.

Atlantis is located in an area known as The Palm village because it is shaped like a palm tree. The palm has numerous hotels and homes each with sandy beaches surrounding them. 


The transport in Dubai was quite different from the normal means in Kampala. Like any other developed country, Dubai had a specific ministry responsible for transportation in the city. The government department was behind the buses, cabs and the electronic trains that were the means of transport for any resident in the city.

We had the opportunity of using the metro, an electronic train that was located at any train station throughout Dubai and it was an eye-opening experience. To use the train you needed to have nol card. This is a smart card that enables you to pay for the use of various RTA transport modes in Dubai with a single tap.

This electronic train had no driver or conductor but a speaker that would alert a passenger when approaching a destination. When a train stopped at the next destination, we had to quickly alight as the next commuters boarded.

Apart from the trains, we used the Dubai buses and cabs. The cabs had a passenger limit of four people.
The city of Dubai is a place worth visiting and returning to in the near future. It opened my eyes to the world in the United Arab Emirates and the uniqueness of the country.