Last January, I was lucky to be chosen to go abroad to participate in an international competition. I was one among the 100 participants from all over the world in the Marrs International Spelling Bee competition held in Abu Dhabi, an emirate of the United Arab Emirates. You can travel to any of the Emirates with the same visa. The competition was held at the Al Nahda National Girls School, Abu Dhabi.

I was very excited to travel to a foreign country. My parents decided to go to Sharjah and from there to Abu Dhabi, since we could stay at my cousin’s place in Sharjah. We began our journey from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The regional manager of Air Arabia was my father’s friend so he accompanied us to the flight and introduced us to the pilot and the co-pilot. I got a window seat.

One of the most fascinating sights I got throught the window was of the sailing ships. From a height of 3000 feet, the ships looked like pieces of chalk floating in a pool of water.

After three hours we began to fly over the deserts of Muscat (as shown on the display screen).

The sea coast of Muscat looked like a silver line drawn on blue paper. We landed at Sharjah in the evening.

The next day we went to Abu Dhabi for the competition. The school where the competition was held was very big and had a large playground and a very huge auditorium. On the way back from Abu Dhabi we saw the world’s second largest mosque called the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

From the next day onward we did sight seeing. We went to Fujairah and visited the famous Korfakan beach. We went to Dubai on a double decker bus. The traffic system is very strict and nobody dares violate the laws for fear of heavy fines. You can never hear the sound of air horns. On both sides of the road are well maintained lawns and flowering plants. We visited Burj Khalifa. You can go up to the 125 floor by lift but it is very expensive, costing almost 145 dirhams! Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. Dubai Mall was highly enjoyable. Another spectacular must-see place is Palm Island. You get to Palm Island through a tunnel built under the sea. The tunnel opens at a place where the Atlantic Hotel is situated. The island is artificially built on the sea and looks like a palm.

Shiv Keshav, VIII B, Ist Shift, K.V., Pattom