As soon as I learned I’d scored complimentary flights to Dubai (thanks to all the travel miles I’d earned for years), I knew a trip to the desert early this year was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with my best friend from Cyprus whom I hadn’t seen in six years. Agnes was planning her rellocation to Asia then, and I thought meeting somewhere in the between—in a country we both hadn’t explored and in a city as extraordinary as Dubai—would make for a grand reunion. And boy was it grand, a fateful trip that unreservedly exceeded my expectations.

Going wherever my feet may take me.

When you hear Dubai, you usually think of cutting-edge architecture (Burj Khalifa, anyone?), gigantic malls, luxury shopping, an abundance of sports cars and gold, and pretty much anything you can describe as lavish—you name it, they’ve got it all. Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, after all, one of the hottest relocation destinations for expatriates right now and is home to over a staggering 200 nationalities from all over. So having had this particular conception of Dubai in our minds, we’d planned the tour thinking our entire itinerary would be about experiencing the city’s “high life” and doing all things—as millennials say it—boujee, but that completely changed after our trip. We knew Dubai was rich in culture and a highly developed city, but what we later discovered was this emirate has got so much more to offer tourists than its towering buildings and exuberant nightlife scene. I will be sharing with you all of those discoveries in this entry.

So sit back and relax, fellow Cavemen, let me take you to the magical world of Dubai as I relive my Middle Eastern journey.

In a pensive state while taking in the seemingly unending beauty of this desert.

First brunch in six years | Armani/Deli in Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa

DNA reunited

Prior to this much-awaited reunion, my best friend Agnes and I had spent most of our friendship living in two different continents and communicating by way of FaceTime calls, emails and constant chats on iMessage. You have to understand this get-together had to be special. And truly, it was—our first lunch together after more than half a decade took place on a cool winter afternoon at Armani/Deli, a gorgeous restaurant inside Armani Hotel, situated in the Burj Khalifa that offers the finest classic and contemporary European dishes and a culinary experience like no other.

Upon entering Armani/Deli, we were greeted by their charming staff and escorted to the best seats in the house, where we got to relish the spectacular view of Downtown Dubai, as well as the restaurant’s ultra-sophisticated black-and-white interiors—a perfect synthesis of classic and à-la-mode aesthetics—complemented by beautiful red flowers skillfully placed on every table in the room. We were then handed the menus to commence our three-course meal, which started with none other than…

“My water is Armani. What’s yours?” #Ballin’

…Armani water. Ha—only in Dubai, bros.

They’ve got a wealth of Italian delicacies—from breads and soups, to different kinds of cheeses and salads, to homemade pasta and grilled meats, to endless desserts—making it quite a challenge to get through the pasto di tre portate due to the multitude of options in the menu. As a vegan, I was incredibly pleased with their plant-based offerings for all three courses.

You can book yourself an hour-long tour of Burj Khalifa’s peak (enjoy the iconic skyline view of Dubai from the 124th and 125th levels), followed by the splendid Armani/Deli lunch on www.klook.com, priced at $88.2 per person. Just download the Klook app available on iOS and Android or visit www.klook.com. You’ll need to secure a booking at least a day (or two, to be safe) in advance.

This is just a taste of our Dubai experience. Please check back very soon as we update this story. In the meantime, follow us on Instagram via @thecavemantravels and view photos from our #CavemanTravelsDubai trip here.