A page from my Diary by Hena Jacob


'Tring Tring! Hey we are visiting UAE in a few days. Call you later' Beeeepp! 

I believe most expats living in UAE can relate to the above phone call in different versions from their loved ones. I have become so used to taking out my ever growing list of 'Places to visit' and becoming the local travel guide with a smile. 

I don’t know when it started to become a burden or when I started to grumble instead of smile. Maybe I started to look more into my crunching wallet instead. 

Anyway, my guest had arrived. I welcomed my father in law from India who had not travelled a lot, so this was big trip for him. So decided to book a boat trip for us all.

It was 2 PM and we arrived at the Dubai marina for the guided 90 minute tour with Xclusive Tours which cost 200 AED per person. The small blue colored inflatable boat with twin powerful engine has a seating capacity of 11 passengers. Lucky for us there was just another couple on the boat so it almost felt like a private trip. Children have to be over 3 years old, or over 15kg to go on the ride.

We boarded the boat by 2:30pm and soon after a safety brief the boat started to move slowly through the marina between huge skyscrapers  such as the Princess towers, one of the tallest residential buildings in the Marina, and the Cayan towers, the world’s tallest twisted tower to name few. 

I soon noticed the sparkle in my father’s eyes. He jumped side to side to view the building around like a child. Dads need for speed was fully satisfied by captain Karim soon after we entered open seas. We were on 25-30 Knots/hr, meaning whatever hair was left on Dad's head was now standing straight against the wind. 

I saw him smiling throughout the trip. The boat stopped in front of The Atlantis Hotel, The Burj Al Arab, and then followed around the rest of the Palm Jumeirah.  Whilst the guide was explaining details on each iconic hotel, my attention was on dad who was busy taking lots and lots of selfies with different expressions. I was stunned to see a man of such age with such enthusiasm and energy. 

After the trip he thanked almighty and myself for his unforgettable journey and I learned a precious lesson, that bringing a smile on others is more priceless than our own smile.

Article by: Hena Jacob