Can a country be enjoyed by someone who cannot see? This is the question behind the latest chapter in The World’s Coolest Winter campaign, an initiative by the UAE Government Media Office that highlights the myriad tourism experiences that can be enjoyed in the country during the cooler months.
A Winter Through My Eyes is a short film starring Clara, an 11-year-old girl who has been visually impaired since birth. By charting her journey as she experiences the UAE for the first time, the campaign invites viewers to see the country “through a different set of eyes”.
Clara was flown into UAE for an all-expenses-paid one-week holiday. She is seen on board an Emirates flight, squealing with delight during a dune buggy ride and visiting Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, where she blows out candles on a birthday cake before being enveloped in a hug from Bugs Bunny. She is captured playing in the snow at Ski Dubai and with dolphins at Aquaventure at Atlantis, The Palm. She laughs delightedly as she goes kayaking through the mangroves, listens to the sounds of the Dubai Fountain and settles by a fire on a desert safari.
“This winter, the UAE was the first country I’ve ever travelled to,” she says. “And in just one week, I’ve enjoyed an entire lifetime.”
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, shared the film on his Twitter account, with the caption: “Joy is in the heart, not in the eyes.”
The World’s Coolest Winter campaign aims to highlight the diverse experiences that can be enjoyed across the seven emirates, and their richness in terms of history, geography, nature, urban architecture and community.
“You know what I learnt, when you really want to feel something, you don’t need to look with your eyes,” says Clara. “You need to look with your heart. So, even if I cannot see, it’s everything I have felt here that has helped me see so much more.”