Some Arabic words that may help...
English is widely spoken around Dubai, even in the souks (although it may be difficult to understand the traders with their strong accents and own versions of the English language... ;-)
but here are some Arabic words you will probably hear very often and that are good to know: (I will write them phonetically)
Marhaba = Hello.
the correct response to this is: Marhabtain.
Asalamwalaikum = Hello ("I greet you with peace")
the correct response to this is: Walaikum-asalam.
Ismi (Jessica) = My name is (Jessica).
Shuhkran = Thank you.
Shu? = What?
Min fadlak (to man) = please.
Min fadlik (to woman) = please.
Maas-salaamah = good bye.
Naam = yes.
La = no.
Sadiqi = my friend (male)
Shwaye Shwaye! = slow down / be patient / wait! (click on picture to see the hand-sign that goes along with this expression)
An expression you will hear very often (especially in connection with inquiries made about timing, i.e. meeting tomorrow, arrival of someone/something, etc.) is INSH'ALLAH: It basically means 'If God so will' but is used by most as "If I feel like it, maybe yes, maybe no." So if you ask your taxi driver if he will wait for you and he says Insh'allah... don't count on it ;-)
The numbers from 1-10 in Arabic:
It's actually not a museum...it's a warehouse...a huge hall with a labyrinth of anything/everything that you can imagine! If you need a souvenir, a gift, pashmina scarf, a bed cover, a cushion cover, an arabic lamp, a waterpipe, a rosewood chest...you can find absolutely EVERYTHING there!
It's very hard to find...most of us get lost and can't find it the first couple of times. So just call that number and they will explain to you how to find it.
Remember to go there with a lot of patience (you easily spend 2 hours there) and bargaining skills...
Good Quality Natural Fabrics
I'm spoilt for choice here; there are so many different textures and types of silk I don't know where to put my hands or eyes first. There isn't much in the way of the smooth satins and chiffons that are the mainstay of most of the other local fabric shops, having instead a good selection of raw silks and fabrics woven from fibres of varying thickness with gaps in between to give an interesting texture. The emphasis here seems to be on soft natural colours.
Downstairs they sell beautifully embroidered shawls and saris. I found this shop a little more expensive than at other places nearby but many of the fabrics it stocked were quite unusual and I didn't see them available in other shops we visited.
Getting to Dubai & Dubai Airport
Dubai is so close to the UK you could almost go there for a long weekend! A flight from London is only 6.5-7.5 hours - a breeze if you are used to 24 hour flights to Australia as I am ; )
Around 80 different airlines currently fly into Dubai, making it an important transport hub in the Middle East. Our first visit to Dubai was a short one - just a couple of hours spent in the airport, on our way to Sydney. That time we were flying with Emirates, Dubai's international airline. On our first 'proper' visit to Dubai, in Dec 2007, we flew from London Heathrow with British Airways. As mentioned, the flight was very manageable at around 7 hours.
Upon arrival, although it was around 1am local time, we faced long queues at passport control. Yawn. At least that meant only a very short wait for our luggage. Exiting the airport after 2am, I was astounded by the number of people there to meet arrivals - the majority seemed to be holding signs from various hotels/tour operators. We were supposed to be collected by our hotel, and spent several minutes scouring all of the signs looking for our names or the hotels name. Hmph..... in the end I had to ring the hotel and they were most apologetic, apparently the car coming to collect us had broken down. Oh well, we jumped in a taxi (there were plenty of them) and the hotel reimbursed us on arrival.
Our return flight back to London didn't depart until 3am. We arrived at the airport around 12.30am and loved the fact that there was hardly any queues at all for check-in and security. Once through to 'airside', the duty free shops were packed full of shoppers, and we joined the throngs - I can never resist duty free lip gloss and chocolate.
The only negative thing about the airport on the departure side was that there were hardly any seats to sit on, unless you went through to your depart lounge. We had no choice but to sit on the floor for a while at around 2am, as our gate hadn't opened yet.
The best Seafood I ever had!
The Fish Basket restaurant is mainly a family restaurant, the tables are big and the sofas too. The first Tabouleh and Shrimps I ate in my life were in this chain's restaurant in Sharjah..it was delicious! The staff is friendly and...we knew the owner ha ha! So this was special for us too...but everyrthing is fresh, delicious and u can choose your fish or shrimps or lobsters...whatever you decide! And don't forget to say hi to Othman from me..:) Ok, don't even consider missing Tabouleh (parsley Lebanese salad), Jarjeer (salad), the pickles(complimentary) and the grilled shrimps, callamari...I GET CRAZY EVERYTIME I THINK OF THAT FOOD!!!