The evening before my flight departed for Bangkok via Dubai, I learnt that I qualified for a free Visa and hotel accommodation. This off course was courtesy of Air Emirates because I had a long layover at the airport.
I was ecstatic to say the least! This was not my first visit to Dubai but I never managed to set foot outside of the airport. Finally I will be able to get a glimpse of the famous sky scrapers and the city itself.
My flight arrived very late at Dubai International Airport and it was late at night. I was exhausted after my long flight and wanted nothing more to check-in and sleep for a couple of hours. As we piled into the run-down hotel shuttle I was wide awake. I found it quite interesting that the hotel shuttle was so run-down. Everything else in Dubai looked brand new.
Dubai First Impressions that lasts
One of the first things I noticed off course was the clothing that the men wear. Long white robes and a band around the head. They call it kanduras and kaffiyehs. This is very different to the clothes that men wear in the Western World.
We passed a couple of huge shopping centers and immediately I noticed large portrait pictures of Sheiks or Princes displayed on the walls of the buildings. The same face appeared a couple of times on buildings and I thought to myself that he must be an important man.
Then suddenly two Porches passed us and I couldn’t believe my eyes! Later someone told me that the Police in Dubai drive Porches because there are so many flashy and fast vehicles and they need to keep up. Interesting!
I waited patiently to see the famous tall buildings but I didn’t see anything. I guess we were in an older part of the city or maybe on the outskirts. What a pity! I did notice how clean everything was. Not a single paper was lying around.
After my arrival at the hotel, I went outside to have a look around. I didn’t want to take a walk so I only walked up the street and back. No skyscrapers. Oh well, at least I got to see part of Dubai and I have a stamp in my passport!
Early the next morning we were transferred back to the airport and I saw the city coming alive. Many buses were transporting people. It was then that I saw the white desert sand and beautiful Palm Trees. I can just imagine how sand must be flying everywhere when the wind starts blowing.
My first impressions: A clean city, well organized, roads in an excellent condition, signs and tourist information, modern and intriguing. I would like to stay in Dubai for a couple of days and explore the city. Dubai looks like a diverse city and a cultural melting pot of different Nationalities. It fascinates me.
Where: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
When: 3 March 2013