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Sula Powell: Playing tour guide
May 22, 2015
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Luckily and fortunately for me I have not been alone again this month, I have had a sudden influx of visitors! I had a lovely, old friend visit me who I have not seen for almost three years despite living only a measly, one hour plane journey away. Yet bizarrely, at roughly seven hours away, we are both reunited at long last.

It is quite unbelievable how many new contacts I have acquired and old friends I have seen or caught up with since I began living in the UAE. The amount of people visiting this place on a daily or weekly basis that I know from back home is overwhelming. Some visit for tourist/holiday purposes or some for business/work related situations.

I can almost guarantee there is someone I know or a friend of a friend visiting every week, which is naturally, quite convenient for myself as I usually brand them my messengers and ask for goodies I miss from back home, or those things I simply could not fit in my 30kg baggage allowance.

My friend had never visited Dubai before so she was completely in awe of everything, as everyone is when they first visit. I was, what you can describe as, a tour guide for a couple of days.

I know she is huge penguin fan so I had to take her to see the ski slopes, although we did miss the penguin parade, typical! We also had lunch at Harvey Nichols in their Arabic restaurant Almaz by Momo, which I loved. Admittedly not brilliant for student finances in any way, so I ensured I had something fairly cheap, falafel, one of my favourites.

Afterwards, I took her to Souk Al Bahar to give her an experience of what the old Dubai might have looked like despite it being a fairly new building, but all the same it looks authentic. We sat outside at Thai restaurant, Mango Tree, with a perfect, centred view of the Burj Khalifa, as I know how much tourists love the Burj.

I see it every day, faintly from my bedroom so I am completely accustomed. You can probably imagine a mini photo-shoot was had for my friend, numerous pictures from different angles to show the clear, blue water surrounding the Burj and the Palace Hotel.

For my friend’s next day in Dubai we visited Nasimi Beach at Atlantis, a place I have always wanted to visit from the day I arrived here but I haven’t had the chance. We first ate lunch inside, which is a sign that summer is well and truly here, although I was able to embrace it slightly better than she was.

 We shared a Portobello mushroom pizza which was probably the best pizza I have ever had; it was devoured in seconds. Anything pizza related is usually one of my first choices and as they are normally suitable for student budget!

After my friend left, I finished off the week with yet another concert. This time it was Paulo Nutini, a fellow Scot who was playing at the Media City Amphitheatre. We were also in gold circle again, which made the experience so much better, we were so close that we could in fact, if we really wanted to, touch him!

I love concerts here. I cannot describe why but they have a different atmosphere from back home, possibly more relaxed. The vast selection of food stalls they offer exceed the gross, greasy burgers they sell back home.

I actually had some sushi that was just the right amount of food to fill me up, but not too much that I would have cramps or potential sickness from all the dancing.

The concert was absolutely brilliant; it had been a long time since I listened to Paulo Nutini. If I am honest I was not even fully aware that he was still singing. I am quite clearly out of touch with the pop world these days.    

I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing and hearing so many Scottish people, all with flags in tow, naturally. It made me feel quite proud and I suppose, in a way, I have somewhat missed the accent.

____________________________________________________

Sula Powell is a Scottish/Jamaican business student at
Heriot Watt University in Dubai. Sula is a keen horse rider
and a part time model holding a number of prestigious titles
including Europe’s Perfect Junior Teen. For the remainder
of her journey in the UAE, Sula will be sharing her experiences
on the ups and downs of student life.

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