(November 25, 2015) – Apart from traveling to Oman, I also arranged a trip for my parents and families to the United Arab Emirates. Since, these two countries are just neighbors and getting a tourist visa is easy with the help of travel agencies, we were able to visit two major cities or emirates during our 4 day trip.
My siblings and parents left Muscat on November 25th at 10 o’clock in the morning. They took Fly Dubai Airway from Muscat to Dubai. They have to do this since my brother and parents are not GCC residents. My sister simply accompany them on this trip.
Meanwhile, my husband, kids, and I took a long drive and we left after lunch time. When we got to the immigration border, we faced a surprising problem. You see, since September of 2015, anyone entering UAE are required to get an e-visa through their immigration website. We got our e-visa one week upon lodging our application and paying it online. However, when the immigration officer checked my kids e-visa they simply said that it was invalid!!! I was literally shocked! They could not clearly explained what happened to the e-visa where in fact we got the approval. We could not argue with them any longer as we are in a hurry to get to Dubai to meet my family.
Even with so much despair and burden, we paid another 51 Omani Rials for our children’s visa. They said that there was no hope that we can get the refund of what we paid online.. Oh boy! We were victims of such ineffective and inefficient electronic system.
Anyway, we reached Dubai Mall and picked up my siblings and parents then we drove straight to Abu Dhabi where we will our night in our family friend’s house the Timan Family.
The next day November 26th, was my brother’s birthday. We have the whole day to tour around Abu Dhabi. Our first stop is the Grand Emirates Palace near the Corniche and Marina Mall.
The hotel was so strict at first we were not allowed to get inside until Joan called up the head of the security. The seven star hotel reveals the beauty of Arabian culture particularly with the traditional décor that are mostly in silver, gold, marble and glass mosaics.
Even the toilet is extremely prestigious with gold –plated faucets and super large mirrors.
We felt like we are royals and celebrities as we tour around the place.
At one end, there was a museum that features the future vision of Abu Dhabi.
Then, we left the the palace and went to Yas Island to see the IKEA and YAS MALL.