Trips & Visits
Students in all year groups have the opportunity to go on academic, creative, philanthropic and sports trips both locally and overseas. Here are just a few of our annual trips.
During the October half term, 51 students with 6 teachers, travelled to Borneo for a week of crazy fun. I can tell you now that we got nothing less! The trip was an incredible experience for everyone. We took part in many activities such as abseiling, rock climbing, zip lining and snorkelling. We also visited different markets, the Orangutans and Sun Bears and went on River Cruises. These activities were absolutely breathtaking. Seeing different fish during the snorkelling and seeing how the animals are taken care of at the orangutan sanctuary was very interesting for everybody. This trip brought everybody closer together and all in all, everybody had a fabulous time.
Pareisha Tia Sandeep Sondhi
History Trip Berlin
What started as 23 exhausted students and 2 equally exhausted teachers at 11:00 pm in Terminal 1 on the 22nd of March slowly turned into what I’m sure we can all call one of the best experiences of our DC lives. After about 10 hours of travel, we finally arrived in Berlin. Although we were all looking forward to the trip as a whole, the weather was probably one of the most exciting factors. Coming from a humid 28-30 to an inviting 8-10 degrees was a good foot to start the trip on. After a series of excited “Oohs”, “Aahs” and “Yes!” to express delight with regard to the constant drizzle and low temperature, we got on the coach and left for our hostel. In under an hour we were tired but excited to settle in and enjoy what we thought was going to be our rest day.
Unfortunately, the rooms weren’t ready and we were expected to get them only in the early hours of the evening. Our tour guide, Rob, excited to make use of this unexpected free time, developed a schedule so we could maximise the number of historical sites we could see on the trip. Therefore, after a couple of hours to grab breakfast and change into warmer clothes, we left for our first day. Some of us, ended up underdressing, and shivered our way around our first sights of Berlin. We mainly discovered the city, walked a total of about 10 km, exploring the various modes of transport, Germany’s equivalent of the White House and various other landmarks from the time of The Cold War, including a memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Brandenburg Gate as well as our first view of the Reichstag and our first opportunity to shop for souvenirs. Not to be forgotten, we also visited one of the many Ampelmann stores and stocked up on merchandise. Seeing as we were all quite tired, most of us not having had a good night’s sleep due to our flights, we got back to the hotel around 6:30 and retreated to our rooms after dinner together.
Up bright and early the next day, we all managed to overdress for the day as it was sunnier than we expected, leaving us in a strange state of being too warm, not something we were expecting but definitely something we were used to. The second day was dedicated mostly to the Olympic Stadium and places that were slightly further away from the city. Being a relatively easy day, we were on trains most of the day, not having to walk too much. We visited Treptower Park Soviet Memorial showing the significance of Berlin to the Soviets and commemorating their World War II losses. We also visited the Topography of Terror, a museum dedicated to the history of The Gestapo. Finally, we visited Berlin’s old airport where the Berlin airlifts had commenced many years before. We ended the day with a night of bowling, burgers and arcade games. We got to the hostel at around 10pm and went back to our rooms after some pool games in the lobby.
The third day was again a whole lot warmer than expected but still pleasant. It was spent in the town of Potsdam, visiting the room where the Potsdam conference was held in the Cecilienhof, where we were given a guided tour by a lovely German woman named Dorothy. We visited the garden of the Sanssouci Palace and saw the potato laden grave of Frederick ‘The Great’ Brandenburg. We stopped at the town of Potsdam and had a few hours of free time to shop for souvenirs and then visited the “Bridge of Spies”, the Allied museum and even got to board an airplane used during the actual airlifts. After dinner and some more souvenir shopping, we visited the Reichstag and went to the top, using the opportunity to take pictures of magnificent Berlin at night.
The fourth day was a visit to the remaining parts of The Berlin Wall and The Berlin Wall Documentation Centre. As well as this, we visited a Stasi prison – a rather chilling and disturbing experience! After dinner we visited the TV Tower in old East Berlin to get another incredible view of Berlin from above.
On our final day, we toured an underground bunker used by Germans to seek shelter during bombing raids as well as visited Sachsenhausen Memorial, a sobering and memorable experience indeed. There were few dry eyes as we learnt of the atrocities committed by the Nazis on the very grounds where we were standing.
Whether it was getting shoved to sides of roads by angry old Germans, meeting German, French and Spanish students during our stay at the hostel or learning about and seeing monuments and historical sites that we’d only seen pictures of in the duration of our course, the trip turned out to be an incredible experience for all of us.
On behalf of all the students on the trip, we would like to thank Mr Lukeman for organising this amazing trip, Ms Thompson for accompanying us and the ever knowledgeable Rob for teaching us Dubaians more about Berlin and the history of Germany.
Aakansha, Year 10
Year 7 Dibba Trip
On Friday 21st April 2017, 107 Year 7 students and 6 members of (very brave) staff set off on our annual visit to the North Star camp in Dibba. We arrived at the east coast just in time for lunch and once stomachs had been filled with yet more chocolate and sweets, we were ready to start having some fun.
Half of the group went to the Radisson Blu hotel and did the water activities including kayaking, raft building and beach games. The quote of the afternoon definitely goes to Henry Beer who, when walking in to the sea shouted, "Mrs Greenlees, the water's really wet!" The other half of the group stayed on dry land and tackled the climbing wall, high ropes and attempted some archery. In the evening we were treated to a wadi walk and some star gazing and then the students had some downtime. Basketball, volleyball and rugby were played but mostly there was just a lot of chatting!
The following morning, the groups swapped over. Unfortunately, a smack of jellyfish decided to descend on the beautiful Indian Ocean waters, scuppering the planned activities on the beach but the students didn't seem to mind and instead returned to camp in order to have a mass pool party.
The journey home was long and a little quieter than the outward one and I bet there were some very tired people (mostly the staff!) who slept well on Saturday night. A huge thanks to all those involved and I looking forward to doing it all over again next year.
Space Camp Brussels
The Brussels Space Camp was an amazing trip filled with fun and everlasting memories:
We enjoyed and experienced many Space simulations, one of which included the Multi-Axis Chair. It may have looked bad and quite scary to begin with but once you're in: up and down are the same like fear and excitement.
We also constructed rockets, some of them flew ridiculously high putting space stations into shame; like Priyanka's rocket which propelled to the construction site next door while Thomas had a perfect trajectory going into space.
As we are living in the age of virtual reality: some of us had a successful moon walking session while some preferred to stay on the surface like Maansi.
Personally, I felt the shuttle simulation was the most interesting as this gave a first-hand view on what happens during a launch.
We also took part in a satellite building exercise, wall climbing and our raft skills.
I loved this trip as not only did we enjoy the space experience but also the fun with friends.
We played football on the grounds and also watched Juventus and the Real Madrid football match on a big screen. All of us cheered and and made lots of noise as we enjoyed the game. One of the evenings we even went bowling and watched Kong: Skull Island.
In the evening we visited a medieval castle. We held lanterns and explored the huge castle. My biggest worry was not to set anyone's hair on fire. This is probably one of the most beautiful places in an already scenic Belgium.
Our trip wouldn't be finished without ending on a sweet note: we visited Brussels and the chocolate factory. We splurged all our remaining money on the chocolate. Our last few memories were the water park, The Atomium and the Parliament. All of them were truly interesting and fun.
We had a great time and I can easily say from all my friends' reactions that all of us thoroughly enjoyed the trip and could not avoid wondering when the next one might be. Maybe we could see some D.C. students in Space soon...
Economics Trip to Washington
On the 25th November, 17 students and 2 members of staff departed DC for the other DC, Washington - a first time trip destination for this school. The 15 hour flight covering 11,349 kilometres may put some off but not these intrepid fellows keen on experiencing the ‘Trumped up’ post-election atmosphere in the nation’s capital. The kilometre bashing didn’t stop there over the next seven days as the group walked the length and breadth of DC taking in Congress and the Capitol building, the World Bank, the Organisation of American States, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Georgetown University (where in situ DC alumnus Alesha Gulamhusein gave our students the benefit of her campus experience), the Pentagon, the National Archives, the piece de resistance, The White House (!), several Smithsonian museums, the Newseum, the Holocaust museum, Mount Vernon, Arlington Cemetery (pause for breath) and we even found time to watch an NBA (basketball) and NHL (ice hockey) match!
Some have decided to commit to paper their highlights and below are a selection.
Perhaps the most impactful and inspiring part of our trip from my perspective would have to be the tour through congress with an actual congressman - even if he was a Republican! Sitting in the chairs of Congressman and hearing about the process of election and debate was a very educational and inspiring experience and the very building itself feels like a place of power and intellectual debate. In fact, just stepping into the room makes you realise how important this place is to American democracy and to top it all off we got to see some fantastic and exclusive views from inside the building. For such a young nation, there is indeed so much history engraved into every wall and window. A fantastic experience that indeed I think none of us will ever forget.
Perhaps the most extraordinary and fascinating experience in my opinion was visiting the World Bank, where a series of employees working in different facets of the Bank talked to us about their roles and explained not only the function of the Bank, but also demonstrated its importance on an international scale. We spent time analysing debt sustainability, attempting to understand the loan formula the Bank follows, as well as looking at the reasons the World Bank chooses to invest in certain projects that other banks may not. I personally found their mission truly inspiring, and their fundamental beliefs on society and our global community to be particularly prevalent in a world that does increasingly seem to be looking inwards- it was definitely worth the early wake up and long walk.
For me the highlight of the Washington trip would have to be the NBA game between the Washington Wizards and the San Antonio Spurs. Being inclined to like sports anyway, I was delighted to hear about the opportunity to watch an NBA game live and it surpassed even my highest expectations. It was sport like no other on the planet, as the atmosphere was throbbing with loud music and excitement from every corner of the Arena. It was also basketball as I hadn’t seen it before, with incredible displays of skill and ability from the players, not to mention constant hard work. In the end, I was disappointed to see the Wizards lose, but I was extremely happy for an opportunity to witness such an exciting event.
Ski Trip Verbier
During the February half term, Year 7 and 8 had the privilege of going to Verbier, Switzerland on a ski trip.The weather was fantastic all week long, and we were lucky to make the acquaintance of the legend, Bear Grylls. We all had an amazing time, skiing down all sorts of slopes (including Mont Fort which is the 4th hardest black run in the Alps), alongside the lovely instructors from Les Elfes. Everyone spent the majority of the time laughing, and we came back with pages and pages of stories. We met so many new people, from individuals who stayed with us at Les Elfes, to other schools from places as far away as Bangkok. All in all, we had the best week ever, and we will remember it forever.