Minibreak to Dubai – Home Away From Home

There is nothing like a minibreak to shake things up in your calendar. A last minute getaway from reality with a family for a couple of days is just what you need to get some much-needed rest and relaxation. Also, it allows you to get out of the everyday routine and reflect on life. No matter if it is an hours’ drive away or a hop, skip, and a jump over to another state or country, a minibreak is always a great idea. It's not quite the major family holiday that's been in planning for months or years, but sometimes it can be just as good.

For this minibreak, Wasim took us to Dubai for a few days. It was quite unexpected but very well-received. Dubai for us, and for many who travel frequently, is a great place to stop over or to visit for a week or two. But often when Wasim and I travel to Dubai, it is work related and not a destination we often choose for a holiday. However, if you are not working and are there to enjoy, the Dubai experience is very different.

We flew the direct flight from Karachi to Dubai and arrived at our destination on time. What I love about arriving in Dubai is seeing all the buildings. To me the city’s skyline is like a beautiful concrete garden. Every building is different and just as wonderful as another. They all have their own personality, and even though we are so far down below, you cannot help but look up in awe. It reminds me of a futuristic movie where all the buildings come to life. Each and every one is designed to capture your attention from every angle. They really are spectacular.

This minibreak found us at Zabeel Saray. A new hotel situated on the beautiful island of Palm Jumeirah. Its spa features a huge hammam, adventure showers and its very own snow room (yes, a room so cold it has snow) and has won 15 international awards. But the best thing was the kids club that had its own water park. Aiyla was so excited she could hardly wait.

Our welcome by the staff was lovely and our room was overwhelmed with an abundance of exotic fruits, dates, Arabic snacks and desserts, as well as a welcome statue in the shape of a cricket bat, ball and stumps – all made out of cake.

Our first stop was Dubai Mall to pick up a few little things for the family, and of course, visit the huge indoor galactic play area for kids. There is so much to do at the malls for the family you literally cannot do everything in one day. From building a snowman in Ski Dubai to indoor theme parks, mega aquariums with fish as big as you are, or just window shopping, it's a full-day activity just to go to the mall.

Our second day was spent at the resort, where we swam at the beach and relaxed by the pool, and even though it was a scorching 38 degrees, the fans had built-in ice water that sprays on you to cool you down.

We went for dinner at our all time favourite restaurant and were presented with a dessert platter that was out of this world. It had five layers of desserts and looked like a mix between a huge bouquet of flowers and a trophy.

Apart from the crystal clear blue waters, fresh air, romantic sunsets, amazing food and brilliant service, the best thing about being away was the quality time spent with the family. My mother-in-law also joined us this time, which was an added bonus. The dynamics in the family were wonderful. We had many laughs and just enjoyed being away altogether and lived in the moment. It wasn't too long but just enough time to make it a trip to remember.

A little break away from normal life can do you wonders. Often at home we may not get that quality time we need. We are always preoccupied with our lives, rushing to and from work, studying, taking that extra course or class, trying to fit in a social life, watch TV shows or spend some quiet time away from the family but a small home-away-from-home trip breaks the routine, allowing us to stop and enjoy, taking a break from our mundane lives. And most importantly, it makes you really appreciate quality time with the people you love. So if you have the time and little savings for a rainy day, go and take a minibreak with the family, it may just be what the doctor ordered! •