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Abdulrahman Jamal

A Curious Explorer from Dubai

Follow in the footsteps of AJ, a barefoot curious explorer, who loves to discover places that have the zeal of a large city and the heart of a little village.

1. Have you ever travelled with uncertainty to a city/destination?

Most of the time, yes. I usually plan my trip when I reach my destination, I don’t plan ahead. I could have a rough idea of the places I want to visit and the main attractions, but I always like to head there first and start exploring! When I first land, I book a hotel and head to the streets. I meet new people and I try to go to local places, I don’t like touristic places.

2. A place you travelled to that left you speechless?

Vietnam ticked all the boxes: nature, people, food, atmosphere – it’s different. I almost moved to Vietnam!

3. An app that you use to plan your travels?

Plan?! Skyscanner, to book flights, hotels and transportation. I also use Travel Like a Local, which helps you get around as if you’re from the place. TripAdvisor as well for reviews.

4. A person you look up to that inspires you to travel?

Many travel influencers like Nasdaily

5. Three things that you cannot travel without?

A map of the place, my phone (although I tried to travel without it – didn’t work out!) and passport.
I lost my phone in Malaysia, India and Spain! In Malaysia, I was without a phone for two days and had to do it the old way: pull out the map and roam around. On that day, I ran out of money and I only had 40 dollars, but I still managed to go around Kuala Lumpur and head to the airport on time, but because they pushed my flight 2 hours earlier, and I was not notified since I was phone-less, I missed it. I spent 18 hours at the airport, but it was one of the best trips ever.

6. What are the three things that you look for in a hotel before booking?

Wi-Fi, security and good reviews

7. Any life-changing travel experience(s)?

When I was in Vietnam and I stopped on the way to get some food from a street vendor and I ordered a one-dollar meal. As he was preparing the food, I realized that I had lost my money. All I could think of was this vendor who probably needed the one-dollar to feed his kids, it’s his only income, so I told him to stop cooking because I can’t find my money. He insisted that I take the meal for free and he prepared another one for me. He said, and I will never forget, “You do not come to our country and leave hungry” It touched me deeply. I mean, it’s the concept of being nice and kind to strangers for nothing in return. It taught me so much about the Vietnamese countries.

8. A hidden gem that you found in Dubai?

There’s a very good seafood restaurant in Deira, a Filipino place, called Dum Pukht Seafood Grill. It’s one of the best seafood places in Dubai.

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