Dubai Journals

Visa abuse in Dubai

A March 2002 trip to Dubai by Elginah

Arif Castle Hotel Photo, Nainital, India More Photos
Quote: I was doubtful about travelling to Dubai as I had never been to an Arab state before. We spent our entire stay in Dubai which is considered to be one of the more 'liberal' of the UAE. There were aspects that surprised me and others where my expectations were met.

Visa abuse in Dubai

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Overview

Thee Hotel Photo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Quote:
Crossing the river on the Abra (local run boats); the Gold Souk; the almost deserted beaches with the dry docks in the distance; Burj Al Arab; Wild Wadi Water Park; desert bashing in a 4x4; spice souk; Creekside Park; the shopping malls.Quick Tips: The month of March is the Shopping Festival, so there are not only English tourists but many Saudi's on vacation. Keep the heat in mind, so plan for early morning or afternoon trips. Most malls and shops tend to be closed from midday to about 14:00 / 15:00. Do not expect Western standard or clean public restrooms - even in malls.Best Way To Get Around: We took the bus around town on most occasions. Having a routing map came in ha...Read More
Arif Castle Hotel Photo, Nainital, India
Quote:
This hotel is on the end corner of a busy three way intersection - bumper to bumper traffic in the evenings. It is also on the famed Computer street, and only a short walk to the bus terminal (the main cause of the congestion). There is a lively club on the first floor - we were lucky enough to get a room on one of the top floors. So Thursdays and Fridays we smiled at a bouncer on the way up. The room was not all that great, but comfortable with the usual necessaties - cable TV, bar/fridge, bathroom, air-conditioning. The only disappointment was the breakfast area - I saw cockroaches on more than one occasion. There's a roof top pool, but no beach umbrellas/parasols - which would have...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 18, 2002

Arif Castle Hotel
Mallital
Nainital 263001
+91 5942 235801

Kwality Restaurant

Restaurant | "Kwality Restuarant"

Quote:
After referring to our Dubai guide book it was a short walk down the road to what turned into quite a memorable dining experience. Having sampled spicey Malay food throughout my 20 odd years on the planet, and with a taste for Indian food, I did not expect this at all. The place looked closed, but we received a warm welcome upon opening the heavy wooden door. Our waiter basically recommended dishes we should try - as with Thai food, sharing is encouraged. We ordered starters and a dish with naan bread. While we waited we watched the cook at work and people in formal wear meandering upstairs. It seems that there were quite a few regular guests - always a good sign. The food came, and with that came ins...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 18, 2002

Kwality Restaurant
Computer Street
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Lama Tours

Attraction | "Lama Tours - Desert dune bashing!"

Lama Tours Photo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Quote:
Our guide/driver came to fetch us from the hotel in the afternoon. We were seven people in total in a Toyota Landcruiser. We drove out to the sand dunes and were later met by other tour cruisers. Some air was let out the cruiser''s tires and our ride began. Up and down, and up and down, and whoooa that was close. A bumpy ride at some seemingly death defying angles -- but enjoyable indeed. We stopped to admire the sun set -- and there were dunes for miles. Some people were trying sand duning -- I was eager, but the thought of sand EVERYWHERE put me off. Then there was a sort of desert race to get to the camp. By then, it was dark. We arrived to a camel ride, some henn...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 25, 2002

Lama Tours

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Burj Al Arab/Skyview Bar

Attraction | "Burj Al Arab (The Arab Tower)"

Burj Al Arab/Skyview Bar Photo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Quote:
This is the first 7-star hotel to be built, and still holds that title. The hotel lies on a man-made island which can be reached by either crossing the bridge, or landing on the helipad on top. The hotel is shaped like a giant sail and has a fascinating structural basis that keeps it standing. We bought tickets for a tour. We were then given coupons for the DHS100, which could be redeemed at the bar or tourist shop. The very entrance made us gasp--let's just say that they didn't go easy on the gold. Tour groups are allowed into one of the rooms to see Versace's interior designing. More gold--all of it actual gold. We went up to the bar on the 27th floor for drinks and an incredible vi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 5, 2003

Burj Al Arab/Skyview Bar
Jumeirah Beach Strip
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Wild Wadi Waterpark

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Attraction | "Wild Wadi Water Park"

Wild Wadi Waterpark Photo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Quote:
Having experienced quite a few water parks, I was impressed with this one. We took the bus to the park. There's a good locker system and the floors are kept dry and clean by the on-hand staff. We found the 'quiet' spot, where beach chairs have been set up. From there we went around the park on water rings. We could choose different routes to take - so after 4 / 5 rides we'd tried all the routes (I think). There are 2 places to try out the simulated surfing. I was glad I'd taken my more sporty bikini - nothing more confusing than having wiped out on the board only to find that your left breast is making its escape from your bikini top. The day was completed by a stomach churning ride d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 18, 2002

Wild Wadi Waterpark
PO Box 26416
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 4 348 4444

Jumeirah Beach & Park

Attraction | "Jumeira Beach Corniche"

Jumeirah Beach & Park Photo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Quote:
We chose the quieter of the beaches - it really seemed deserted. We had the water and sand all to ourselves for a while. The water was very blue, clear and warm. The sand was almost white and hot. There's really no shelter from the sun, so don't forget your wide brimmed hat! Some of the beaches are off limits to men on certain days, so check the guide book before heading out. It was kinda weird to be paddling about with the dry docks in the distance to the right, and the world's only 7 star hotel in the distance to the left.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 18, 2002

Jumeirah Beach & Park
Jumeirah St
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Gold Souk

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Attraction

Gold Souk Photo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Quote:
I had seen pictures and heard stories, but word or mouth never really gives you the full picture, does it? The area has a main alley of sorts, where both sides consist of stores selling gold. Gold, in all forms, shapes and sizes--white, red, and yellow. And diamonds--this place really knows how to "bling, bling," and "kaching" is a regular sound. We went there on four different occassions: once to see, once to find something for a friend, and again to ogle, and the last time to get X-mas presents! *grin* I''m not big on jewelry, especially the big shiny kind. So, my husband ended up with a red gold bracelet. We found something for everyone--from my mother-in-law to my young nieces...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 18, 2002

Gold Souk
Deira
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Do you take Visa?

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Yes, I had (and still have) the general misconceptions about the Arab world, and I doubt our trip to Dubai has made me any the wiser on some levels. Firstly, not being able to visit places whenever it best suited us took some getting used to. Most shops/stores (even malls) tend to be closed during the day as there's a 'siesta' of sorts - yes, it get very hot by midday. And we couldn't go to any beach on any day - sometimes it was ladies day only. The same applied to the Global Village. Part of the lure of going to Dubai was that March is the Dubai Shopping Festival, sponsored by Visa and others. Here's an opportunity to wear out your card - at malls and the Gold Souk. If you spend over a c...Read More