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  • Writer's pictureKia

This Solo Traveler Spent 2 Weeks in Dubai for NYE 2020!

I have been getting serious travel envy from some of Passport Poppin’s travel friends on Instagram. Luckily, through my Travel Tea Tuesday IG Live events, I can vicariously live through some of their travel experiences during what was probably the craziest year of my life. Kim, @kimwrldtour, was a special guest on a Travel Tea Tuesday live and thankfully she agreed to an interview to give you all the {written} travel tea in case you want to safely plan a trip to Dubai during these crazy times. Keep reading for all the good Dubai travel tea!

Where are you from??

My name is Kimberlee Holness and I was born in Jamaica, but raised in Germany. I am currently living in Philadelphia, Pa.

What made you travel to Dubai during Quarantine?

Deciding to travel to Dubai was very last minute and one of those spontaneous trips you decided to do with your friends after having too many drinks. I was in Punta Cana the first week of December and one night my friends told me they were planning on going to Dubai in a few weeks and I should come. When I got home three days later, I booked my flight with no hesitation to catch a flight to Dubai two weeks after I got back from Punta Cana.

What are the requirements for traveling to Dubai?

In order to get on the plane to go to Dubai, I had to present a negative PCR test that was taken within 96 hours of my flight. Once I got to Dubai, I had to take another CVOID-19 test at the airport which they did for free. They put a barcode on the back of your passport for you to scan and check the result of your test.

What was it like being a solo Black Woman traveling to Dubai during Quarantine?

Traveling in Dubai was one the most amazing experiences I’ve had. As a black woman, I did not feel out of place felt uncomfortable in anyway. I got the usual stare because I had braids in that came all the way down to my butt and I had two kids come up to me and touch my hair in a friendly way. To me that is common when you travel to a foreign country that does not get a lot of black travelers. I took taxis and went on tours alone and the people were all friendly. People there were also very helpful especially at the hotels I stayed at, because they knew I was traveling alone.

Did you feel safe alone in the country?

I felt absolutely safe in the country. Everyone was friendly and not once did I feel like I had to worry about anything. I was out late at night alone with no care in the world. The country is very strict on security. Every taxi has a camera in it and every street had cameras that are monitored. I felt safer in Dubai than I do in my own city.

Was the country completely open in terms of things to do? How did businesses take safety precautions?

Dubai was completely open with restrictions such as wearing a mask even when outdoor. You can be fined if you don't have it on. Restaurants were open for indoor and outdoor dining. Clubs and bars were open until 2am. Tours were open with certain restrictions such as only two groups in a car. Some tours you had to book for private tours. Tours from Dubai to Abu Dhabi was not available because Abu Dhabi had their own covid restrictions and in order to go into the city there was a Covid check point. Other than that, you head there, and you will most definitely have a great time.

How much was your trip? (If you don't mind.)

I paid $682 for my flight. While I was there, I spent around $3,000 on hotels. One was a 5-star hotel which I stayed there for 8 nights. From Christmas into the New Years. Hotel for New Years is always expensive, but it was worth it. I got to watch the fireworks from the Burj from my hotel room and did not have to worry about to hassle of crowds. Tours cost about $550 for the month I was there. I spent about $500 on food while I was there. I used the app Careem which is great to order food and taxi.

What are 5 important tips that you'd like to give a solo traveler during Quarantine?

  • Plan your entire trip before you leave so you know what you are doing day by day

  • Always bring extra masks and hand sanitizer when going out

  • Bring a portable charge with you

What are 5 things someone must do when visiting Dubai?

  • Burj Khalifa

  • Desert tour

  • Gold Souk

  • Miracle Garden/Butterfly Garden

  • Global Village (at night)

Any final advice to give to someone apprehensive about traveling during a global pandemic?

Most definitely would recommend it to anyone who has it on their list. The first two weeks I definitely did it on a budget and the second two weeks I splurged out. Dubai is not as expensive as people think. You can definitely still enjoy it on a budget. Do your research on the country before you go. Download the Careem app for food and taxi. Download Getyourguide and Viator for cheap and discounted tours. If you’re in the country take advantage and get yourself a nice gold chair or necklace. Treat yourself and go to a few of the nice restaurants they have there. You will not regret it. You must have shisha (hookah) while you are there. I was smoking it every day. If you are into stuff like that, buy yourself a hookah and bring it back, because it is 5 times cheaper over there. Experience the night life while you are there is definitely worth it. Ladies if you go to a nice upscale club you will definitely run into a few rich guys. Enjoy your time while you are there.

How can people connect with you for more travel tea?

If you have any questions reach out to me on IG. You can find me on IG @KIMWRLDTOUR


Thanks Kim!

Follow Passport Poppin on IG @_passportpoppin

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