Musings of a morbid mind

The general ravings of Scott Baldwin

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stop over in Dubai



We arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport and had enough time to get our boarding pass for the connecting flight, sit down and have some dinner, attempt (but fail) to pay our Tolls incurred in Sydney over the internet, and then check out the Duty Free.

We then jumped on a plane to Dubai, I surprised myself and actually managed to get some small amount of sleep this time. We arrived at Dubai airport just before 4:00am, and it was already 31 degrees celcius. By the time we'd collected our luggage, and headed to the tourist information desk it was around 4:30am. We managed to book a hotel, but couldn't check in until 7am, so we waited at the airport til then. I remember distinctly the first time I heard the call to prayer was at 5am in the airport. 

Close to 7am, we made our way out to try and catch a cab, we were immediately approached by a guy who asked us if we were looking for a cab, to which I honestly replied "Yes", he motioned to follow him, and he took our trolley with our luggage and led us across the car park. Niki had the presence of mind to ask him if it was a regular cab, to which he replied "it's a limosine", and when pressed told us it would be 70 Dirams ($AU 26), Niki smelled a rat, and insisted that we would get our own cab. We found the queue for the cabs, and got one within minutes, and the journey cost us 30 Dirams (AU $11). We arrived at the hotel, and immediately went to sleep.

We awoke some time after 10am, and decided to wonder down the street. By this stage it was over 40 degrees celcuis, and the high humidity made the walk quite an exhausting affair. The reward was seeing the extremely modern architecture of the city juxtoposed against the occasional ancient building. The heat was oppressive, and it didn't take long before we were forced to seek shelter and rest for a while. We stopped for a few minutes at the river, and looked at all the dinner cruise boats that we would loved to have had dinner on if we were staying in Dubai for longer. We decided to get a cab back to the hotel, and so stood on the main road and attempted to flag a cab, unfortunately every cab that passed was taken, we walked further along the main road to find lots of people trying (and also failing) to flag a cab. Again the heat got the better of us, and we ended up in an air conditioned restaurant for lunch. After lunch we started the long walk back to the hotel, but by this time the heat was unbearable. We decided that the bus was te best option, and after asking a few drivers, and getting a number of differeing responses, we finally found a driver that said he was going near where we wanted to be.

Dubai #2

Dubai is supposedly famous for its shopping malls, and so we decided to check out the one closest to our hotel, (at least we would be in air conditioned comfort). So we went to the City Centre shopping mall, and to our "complete surprise" it was pretty much the same as any other shopping centre anywhere else in the world... large, air conditioned and full of places where cheerful attendants will happily assist in lightining your wallet in exchange for items that a consumeristic society has convinced you that you really need.

We went back to the hotel room hot and with very sore feet, (and slightly lighter wallets). I went for a swim while Niki slept. That night we had a very enjoyable dinner in the hotel, and then went to bed early. We got up the next morning at 4am ad made our way to the airport where we caught our plane to Cyprus after allowing the Dubai duty free to lighten the load on our wallets a little further.


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