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Dubai Day 7: On Top of the World

By Rachel Holliday, Student Blogger

· Dubai 2019

Nibras International School Visit

We've never been international exchange students before today, but now we know how all the Danes feel when they visit our school for a day. In an exciting way, all of the students wanted to know who we were, where we were from, and where we wanted to go.

Nibras International School accommodates students from grades 1-12, and from many different countries. Surprisingly, there was not much of a cultural barrier between us and the students - we were just normal teenagers, which made it really easy to connect with all of them. During some down time we were able to talk about how we spend our free time, exchanged social media accounts, and taught each other local slang. Our time at the school was spent listening to brief presentations about their school values and classes, attending a class with our assigned 'buddy', taking a brief tour around the school, and eating lunch with all of the students. This experience taught us the similarities and differences in our school systems and how we can appreciate the resources we have at BCA so much more. BCA has so much to offer, including brilliant teachers, respectful students, access to equipment and technology, and much more. Visiting the Nibras School brought that to our attention in such a raw way.

Dubai Mall

I may be a little more biased because of my own love for shopping, but the Dubai Mall was the most amazing retail/working building I've ever been in. None of us could lift our jaw upon entering, and we were just in awe at the beauty that this mall offered. The stores that fit in this mall were high-end and some were almost too expensive to even look at.

We split into groups of 4 to travel throughout the mall. We had freedom to buy souvenirs, clothes, snacks, or even just roam and appreciate the scenery of the mall within our 3 hour time frame. We realized that we couldn't even explore it all ... Did you know that it has an indoor ski slope? Or an ice skating rink? An underwater zoo? The world's largest mall did not disappoint any of us.

Burj Khalifa

We've been waiting for it. You've been waiting for it. Now it's finally on the blog.

The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, the tallest man-made structure, was right under our feet tonight. The elevator taking us up traveled in less than a minute at at 9km/hour, making our ears pop very suddenly as we listened to the exciting music and stood shoulder-to-shoulder. Our first sight of the ground beneath us was utterly beautiful, and we spent over an hour just taking pictures of one another and appreciating the opportunity to see the world from the very top. We arrived at 6:00pm and stayed until 7:15pm, allowing us to see Dubai in the light and in the night.

It was absolutely breathtaking.

While we were in line, we passed some points that gave us an overview of its construction, and while I could list off facts about it, I'm sure you'll want to see the pictures first:

With our tickets, we had access to the 124th and 125th floors of the building. Trust me, it was plenty. The Burj Khalifa was built in only 15 years, but has 7 record-breaking achievements, including; tallest building in the world, tallest man-made structure in the world, tallest free-standing structure in the world, highest number of stories, highest occupied floor in the world, highest observation deck in the world, and longest travel distance for an elevator. At 2,716.6 feet tall and over 160 stories, we had the highest impression of this building. Not only was it a place to cross off your bucket list, but it was really easy and safe to visit. We only waited in line for about half an hour to get to the top, even at the busiest time. After our visit, we were headed for a dinner under the stars (of Burj Khalifa's lights).

Dinner at Zahr El Laymoon

I think it was mutually agreed that this Lebanese feast was the best dinner of the trip thus far. Not only was the food delicious, there was so much of it. We didn't realize that by the time we were filled on mezze, we still had entrees coming and a whole round of dessert! Some of our favorite dishes included babaganoush, hummus, tabbouleh, pita bread (it's been amazing everywhere), chicken and halloumi cheese, sausage, and fried onions. Before we could even finish our first few bites, more food was delivered; beef, chicken, and pork kebabs, sauteed crumbled beef, and traditional zaatar salad. Dessert included sliced chocolate 'biscuit cake' (tasted like heavenly fudge), and pomegranate cheesecake crepes (I know...).

Nonetheless, the beautiful view of being outside on the water, looking up at the Burj Khalifa with our little family made the night so much better. We couldn't have asked for a better pre-ending.

Check back in for our final day of the trip - we're headed to the desert!

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