Trip to Dubai 2006
All travel reports are translated electronically although minor improvements are sometimes made.
United Arab Emirates 2006 – travel report
My trip: Old Dubai – New Dubai.
The first thing that hit me when I got to the Emirates was the heat I’ve never experienced before. It was the dry heat that accompanied me all the time and it was hard to breathe, and yet it was already mid-August.As it turned out, even the water in the sea was definitely too warm, so the best time to walk is the evening. The second thing that was not to be missed was the exotics around me. Everywhere there were tall, massive palm trees, whose shadow was a true blessing.
I left my big suitcase at the airport, took only my bathing and bathing backpack with myself, and took a local bus to the old part of Dubai. The ride was short and fortunate that the bus was air conditioned – although the drive cost only four dirhams. I got off the old part of town, which is never shown on postcards.It was poor, the people lived in dingy buildings and the sanitary conditions and cleanliness in the “restaurants” was as if sanepid did not exist in this country. However, in this part I encountered the real life of the average working people, ie with immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and many other countries.Everyone was always willing to help me if I did not understand something. Then I was walking alone at night in the old part of the city, and although I was the only white man among the Muslims with his tacky goods, I always felt safe. This morning I went to see one mosk but I was not allowed to come in because the prayers were closed for me. Dubai is full of mosques, where from time to time you can hear loud prayers, which on the background of palm trees, bearded Muslims and in this hellish heat, made me exhausted. So I walked in to the material store and the carpets where there was obviously air conditioning and I immediately felt better. I was wondering where I would spend the night. I called some of the cheapest hotels but these were full and others were so expensive that I forgave myself. So I hoped to save up and spend the night at the beach near the famous surf-surfing hotel, Burj-Al-Arab. I strolled further, stopping in the shadow of the palm trees at the fountains and drinking water. It also started to reach me that I had to reach the beach quickly because I wanted to bathe. I came to Kreek, a harbor in old Dubai, where the tussleman persuaded me to get to the other shore, on his stinking ship. It was very hot and this atmosphere really gave me a bone. The cruise was very informative as I could watch Dubai’s buildings on a longer stretch and on the way I also had the company of unspoilt and smelly then passenger. It was a real luxury because we were only three. The same ship passed by me, and also smelled of oil but stuffed to the brim. Water taxis here are cheap labor from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Yemen and many other countries. At the sight of the white man, despite the murderous heat they all shouted “hello”, so I too. After reaching the shore again I entered the air-conditioned shop and then I started again. I also noticed (although I may be wrong) that from the female carriers did not take money.
I used the exotics around me, eating fruit and drinking fruit drinks with crushed ice. It was a moment of respite, especially since all the pubs are air conditioned. From there I reached the bus station, which drove me to the new part of Dubai, but my impressions from this place will be told in a separate chapter.
New (rich) and Old (poor) parts of Dubai are located far away from each other, except for the tourists to see only what they pay the most and where they will feel safe. The old part is safe, but it certainly works on the imagination after dark. For me, the rich part was pretty, but without the feeling of adventure. In the old (poor) part of the city I sat in one of the dirty Arab pubs where men tired after eating their kebabs. I drank the milk straight from the coconut and then I made a kebab for someone. She played loud Arabic music until her hair was on her head, and the atmosphere of this place where a herd of dirty Arabs chopped meat was unique. I felt great there, quite different from the tourist district. I already have a lot of experience in this type of places though I went through much worse. I also went to ice cream to the air-conditioned bar where I watched the program on television, having no idea what I was staring at. On that day, I felt the sun was over and I had to do something for myself at night. So I drove the bus to the beach, spread the towel and quickly fell asleep. I was lucky because I did not come across police patrol this night.
Old Dubai was the best and I would honestly recommend it but I would not advise to excite the great deals and discounts offered by street vendors. Everything is counterfeit as evidenced by the prices. For example, the “original” Casio G-Shock watch can be bought for only £ 5, though the buttons do not work. There are also “original” playing gear, jeans, gold, diamonds and shoes of the best companies, and only 10% of the value. In Old Dubai I am advised to master with shopping and limit only to food, because only it is real and very good.
The next day I woke up on the beach somewhere in Dubai. I would sleep longer but the sun effectively prevented it. I quickly rejuvenated in the magnificent waters of the Gulf and then went on to “conquer” the city. The water was exceptional, delicious. It was a long, shallow entrance and the sea was very warm, transparent and even standing in place.
Of course, the first thing I wanted to see that day was the famous windsurfing island hotel, Burj Al-Arab.Again I took the air-conditioned bus and soon got to the place. Indeed the hotel was beautiful. It is a symbol of Dubai and a real money monument. I wanted to enter his area but unfortunately I was not allowed in. Burj Al Arab is the only seven-star hotel with 321m high.
It is located on an artificial promontory situated 280m from the shore and is also the tallest hotel building although it is not the highest placed hotel. There are only apartments where prices for one night reach up to 35000 USD. As far as I know, there is also a living coral reef located on several floors, a helicopter landing pad and many other breathtaking things. Some of the most expensive apartments are made of gold. As you can see it is a paradise for millionaires who do not count on money. I just bathed near Jumeirah Beach, from which it was very well seen this beautiful, extraordinary building, in the night in many colors. The water was as usual warm and it was great but I was experiencing the pains after going out to the beach because the sand was so hot. Then I came here after dark to wash my sweat all day because the heat was very annoying. It was only when Jumeirah Beach came to the beach that it was lighter under the cover of the night. Nearby was another well-known hotel, built in the shape of a sea wave, Jumeirah Beach.This is another exclusive hotel in Dubai, although the shape does not match Burj Al Arab. Around the Jumeirah beach was also the Wild Wadi water park, offering unforgettable attractions, but I had to take into account that outside was almost 50 degrees and so I felt so much grumpy. After leaving the beach and after seeing the hotel (unfortunately only from the outside) I went to the bus stop where I roasted myself like in a frying pan, watching the surroundings. I saw how the lawns were built and how the poor immigrants from the Indian subcontinent and other Arab peninsul countries worked overpowered in the hellish heat. Under each lawn was a water hose with irrigation holes, because Dubai is built in the desert.
Finally, I had a salvage, air-conditioned bus and accompanied the poor refugees to another great attraction, the Mall of the Emirates. This time they let me in where I could breathe a little because the air conditioning was great. On the way I noticed that Arab nationals always dressed in white, traditional Arab shirts and headgear and Arabs have dresses and headgear. Islamic label. However, their costumes were beautifully cut and sewn with high quality material. In addition, they drove luxury cars, even “dripping” wealth. I think I’ve seen a few Rolls Roys with a delicate leather upholstery inside. Immigrants, however, were tired all the time, dressed poorly and rode buses. These are the two sides of Dubai that are throwing themselves in the eye. Returning to the shopping center, it was great, elegant and there was a ski mountain with ski lifts and artificial snow. It looked really impressive, given that you could go skiing in the middle east. Outside, “the heat was falling from the sky” and in the middle were ski slopes and five different routes, up to 400m long, where the temperature was -1 / -2 degrees. In Dubai you can see very well that with money you can do everything.
In the same shopping center I invited myself to a great Arabic restaurant in one of the better restaurants, and what a weird was not very expensive. The food was great and they served me with all the honors.Having had a good point of view which was also a good experience. I noticed that especially rich Arabs are very proud and haughty and very fond of parading in the most expensive shops, showing their jewelry and seemingly modest but emphasizing the body shape of the costumes. Of course, everything is within the limits of Islamic law. I also saw that a few of them smiled at me, which is contrary to their religion. I also witnessed when one Arab dressed in his traditional “pajama” came to dinner with his two wives and five children. Although rich, they pawed their feet and rushed to eat. I bet he spent a fortune on this dinner.After leaving the mall, the heat struck me, and this time I gave myself a bus. For only 5 dirhams I went back to Jumeirah Beach and again bathed in beautiful, clear, warm sea, drinking fresh fruit juice. I had the palm trees behind and this unique hotel, which mingled with colors in the night. I also noticed that one thing that is really cheap here is taxis because gasoline does not have to be imported here.
Adventure at the airport
Very unusual is that in Dubai I did not live in any hotel. Arrival and departure times have settled with my sleep on the beach and so I was here two full days. I could stay longer but I felt exhausted by the heat. I knew I could no longer do it and that’s why I decided to fly out that night. I also hoped that there would be one free place. In the meantime, because of the heat, I felt so exhausted that I even drank at the air-conditioned airport. I felt I needed a shower and it was fast because of the stench they could not let me into the airplane. Of course the showers were not, but a traveler of my kind must be able to handle any situation. I remembered that I was in a Muslim country, and here I was not rubbing my butt with paper but rinsing with shit with a rubber hose. Also in the cabin 1m on the 1m maid mainly to “donate”, I took a shower with a tool to clean the Arabian butt. I washed all the soap, rinsed, threw, put on clean clothes and felt like a brand new man. I think everyone who reads this report will surely admit that I have class as few. This was the first such kind of experience in my life and I would recommend only the last resort.
Then a new problem appeared. I had a flight to Seoul but for another date so I had to wait 2h for a decision or would I go. Otherwise I would have to wait another 24h at the airport. Luckily I was allowed to fly but the decision was so late that I barely managed to fly. I ran as fast as I could through a very long airport and when they closed the gate they saw me running and shouting to wait. I am still very clean and refreshed.That’s how I got to the plane flying to Seoul, but I’ll tell you about it in another report, because it’s a completely different story.
My stay in Dubai was short but very informative and spontaneous. Both old and new have their own unique charms though personally prefer Old Dubai as it just reflects the meaning and purpose of my expeditions.Dubai is primarily a great desert, which is a huge construction site, where luxury hotels are built for the wealthy with oil money. If I had come here again for a year or two, surely a lot would have changed. Dubai shows very well that everything is possible with money, including ski slopes built in the hot desert. Dubai offers much more attractions than I described in my report, and contrary to what others say, I think the attraction is just as much as anyone can afford. You can fly a balloon over the desert, go for a camel safari and spend the night in a picturesque oasis, stay in a hotel with golden door handles and a glass ceiling over which colorful fishes float. All you have to do is quote the price. I do not consider myself a specialist from Dubai or Emirates because I have not seen everything I wanted, but from my experience I have some advice for future travelers. First of all, I recommend first book the hotel over the internet as it will be the only cheap option for Dubai, which is still relatively expensive. The hotel advises on how to explore attractive places outside of Dubai. I strongly advise to come only in the winter. Then it will be hot but at least tolerable. I also advise you to be restrained in shopping. The Arabs are able to bargain well and are masters of squatting. In the end, the Arabs are an Islamic country, so I advise you to read the customs and watch the way you dress (especially women and especially near mosques) and drink alcohol.