UAE Fake Travel Report Part 2: The Time I Didn’t Go to Abu Dhabi and Dubai

** STOP PRESS – since this article I have since been to Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai and the UAE.

UAE Fake Travel Report Part 2: The Time I Didn't Go to Abu Dhabi and Dubai

UAE Fake Travel Report Part 2: The Time I Didn’t Go to Abu Dhabi and Dubai

As I count down my trip to the Middle East I now reflect on that time, back in 2008 where I turned down a sponsored trip to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. That’s right – I turned a trip down. And I did that before this blog was even professional, in the days when I simply didn’t get sponsored trips! Sounds crazy, and maybe it was. This post is actually the long overdue second instalment in my series of two posts (therefore this is also the final post of that series) called “UAE Fake Travel Report”. My previous post is here: UAE Fake Travel Report Part 1.

uae didn't go

What the UAE looks like – thanks for my Dad for these photos!

I was going to be getting a place in a DECENT hotel and a full on tour of the country for a few days. I would have had to pay for my flights only, but the rest of the trip was sponsored by GlobCom, who I did a University Project for in my final year of studying in Bournemouth. I think they wanted to use students as a way of getting free and easy market research, well perhaps. I was studying International Public Relations as part of my degree. How good does that sound? And nobody ever turns offers like that down ever! Except I did…I had emailed my course leader Hilary Stepien a few times enthusiastically as I really wanted to go on this trip!

At the time the offer came up, I worked on the car ferries from Lymington to the Isle of Wight in southern England and on my days off I worked in a coffee and tea shop in Bournemouth Pavilion (and facing the beach). For sure I didn’t want a career in either industry as they were just jobs for me, but I loved working there, especially life at sea. Every day watching sunrise or sunset from a boat, living more travel dreams and life got busy for me. I had a broken leg earlier in the year and had been off work for 2 crazy months so I had to make the money back…

jonny blair

I worked on car ferries for Wightlink at the time and couldn’t afford the trip or the time off

But with my wanderlust high, I did a load of checking for Dubai and Abu Dhabi flights and promotions at the time, I even considered at one point taking a bit longer when I was out there. At the time I also I didn’t even know you could get to Dubai and Abu Dhabi that easily but you can. After I’d looked at flights and that and got carried away, I realised I couldn’t make it. I’d forgotten how important my job was. Work came first and in the end I didn’t have enough money. The main reason being I had already two other holidays booked for the remainder of that year. I would have 3 days in Bratislava in Slovakia and later on a week to do parts of Italy and Slovenia. So money came first and I said no. And that was that.


A photo my Dad took in the UAE on his business trip. I still haven’t made it there…YET!

After the trip, I got a tad jealous seeing my University Friend Summer Parkin post some photos of camels, the desert and the PR presentations.


My former University Colleague Summer Parkin and the Globcom group in the UAE, in 2008.

Summer has kindly let me use some of her photos from the trip, and I’ve put them on both posts now. Thanks Summer!

summer parkin in UAE

Summer Parkin speaking at Globcom in UAE in 2008. The trip I missed…

It was such a shame I couldn’t make it, but that’s life…if I hadn’t broken my foot then maybe I would have made it, or maybe I wouldn’t have gone to Slovenia in the same year, and that got me onto BBC Northern Ireland at the time…

As a consolation prize, in April 2012 I got to spend a massive 3 hours in Dubai Airport. I even got my stamp for entering the country and had a Guinness at The Hub bar in the airport. But alas, I still haven’t actually been to either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. My Dad also beat me to that one, and I’ve included some of his photos on here too. So I haven’t really ever been to the United Arab Emirates but it’s on the list. I’ll report more on my adventures coming up on my Facebook Page over the next few weeks. Excited to be heading to the Middle East properly. THIRD time lucky folks…

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