I had no idea that I was going to spend two weeks in the U.A.E until my Dad surprised us. I knew this summer was going to be great and could hardly control my excitement.

My uncle came to pick us up at the airport and we headed straight to his house in Sharjah. I spent the whole day resting and later at night, took a stroll outside. On the second day, I went to the Mall of the Emirates, where my parents did a bit of shopping, then to the park for a picnic and later to Ajman. There are a lot of Indian and Filipino immigrants, but once inside a mall you can only see Americans, Britons or Arabs.

I went to the Sharjah Aquarium which is a delightful place. There are a variety of fish, tortoises, sea horses, starfish and other marine creatures. That day, a small tremor shook our neighbourhood and all the residents came out on to the streets, while I took a video!

The next day, we went to China Mall, where a lot of gadgets such as cell phones, tabs and other electronic devices are available. One can also buy Chinese clothing from there.

My favourite day was when I visited The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the splendid fountain outside. Dubai looks most beautiful at night. Burj Khalifa doesn’t look like a colossal building when you see it from afar. But when you look at it up close, it will leave you flabbergasted by its massiveness and structure.

Later I went to Fujairah where we sped through the highway in the middle of the desert, rocky hills looming on both sides. You can see endless sand dunes, small light-brown rocky hills and the sea.

Few days later, I went to Al Ain, perhaps the only place in the U.A.E where one can feel close to nature. The Al Ain National Museum, which was once a fort, is a great place to visit if you like architecture and history.

Then it was time to go home and we packed our bags. I had already started missing Dubai. This holiday cannot be expressed in these few words. The chocolates have been finished, but the memories of the blissful days I had this summer, the smell of the desert, the calm blue sea and the sound of the cars and the city are still fresh in my heart.

Joseph Ben, X B, Silver Hills Public School, Kozhikode