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In Dubai it is possible to spend about 1-2 hours waiting for a bus or calling a taxi and another hour to spend ON the bus or taxi just to get to your destination only a few km away. Streets, especially at night and on Thursday before the weekends, are jammed and you should calculate and have a lot of time using transport - it doesn't matter if you go by bus or taxi or car, there are no subways and trains and therefore the problem is quite serious in Dubai.
UPDATE: The subway line has opened now in Dubai and you should not encounter this problem anymore.
Updated Jun 15, 2013
Is this the twilight of a dream?
Is Dubai returning to earth after a few years of megalomania and unrealistic projects?
Will the heavy investments have the dreamed payback in the new economy, still impossible to define?
With the rush slowing down, what will it last?
Dubai forces us to think!
Updated Feb 19, 2013
This really shouldn't need saying, but unfortunately it is because of the behaviour of not only tourists but also some expatriate residents.
Because people have abused the relaxed, liberal attitude of the authorities by behaving and dressing inappropriately, there is now an official campaign to enforce the rules and laws.
Police are out in force along Dubai's public beaches to enforce the laws, after a British couple were found drunk and having sex in public on a beach. (Behaviour which would not be accepted in any country!)
Put simply, public displays of affection are not allowed. DO NOT kiss in public, for example. If someone objects and complains to the police you will be in big trouble.
Bikinis are OK on the beaches but females must not sunbathe topless. You must cover up when leaving the beach.
Dress rules are beginning to be enforced in public areas too. Revealing clothing is OK on the beaches and in hotels, but should not be worn in public streets, restaurants and shopping malls. Females should wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Although you will see women wandering around malls in hotpants and revealing skimpy tops, please do not copy them!
This is not Saudi Arabia and the rules are still very liberal. You will see people wearing the clothing they wear in their own country, a huge mixture of styles and fashions. Basically, if you wear decent clothing back home you can wear exactly the same here. Women do not have to wear abayas, do not have to cover their hair.
I've added some photos I've taken in the streets and restaurants, not taken to specifically show the clothing but they do give an idea of the mixture of clothing that's acceptable.
Updated Jan 23, 2013
Alcohol is available, but only in hotels, in their bars, restaurants and clubs.
But be aware that being drunk is a serious offence which can easily land you in jail. And jail in Dubai is not a pleasant place to be.
If you hire a car DO NOT DRINK. There is ZERO TOLERANCE for drink driving. For any accident, however small, you must call the police and wait for them to attend. Even if the other driver was at fault but you have had one sip of alcohol you will be charged with drink driving.
Updated Apr 9, 2012
We had a wakeup call early and went for our breakfast which is included at our hotel. Back at the room, all our bags had been repacked for our next leg of the journey, Delhi. Our airport driver from Arabian Adventures (Emirates) was late. He did not think he was late, but where we were unable to checkin online, his cavalier attitude almost cost us our seats.
We got to the airport and of course we could not preboard because the machine would not scan our passport nor visa. We had to get in huge lineups to check in, then they sent us to another line up because tthe plane was oversold. Now we are waiting as Standby Passengers .With a lot of effort and some angst, we finally got boarding passes for our flight.
Last call was announced as we arrived at the gate. Emirates gave us coupons for Duty Free. I guess they took some blame as the Airport Transportation was arranged by them
Written Feb 4, 2012
It's a game! And nobody forces it onto you; however, it does sound pretty good when it's advertised. This is how it works:
You buy your package for AED 30.-- at any supermarket, convenience store, money-exchange, etc. The package contains your tickets to win the millions and your postcards to send to your friends and family.
There are 2 tickets: one scratcher for instant prizes (we won some "miles" that we could collect till we have enough to redeem them), and one ticket containing the number for the weekly drawing. You text message your ticket numbers to the company to be entered. Then you text message again after the drawing to get the winning numbers (each text messages costs of course).
Well - we didn't win in the drawing. We also didn't have enough miles for a prize. But not to despair: EVERYBODY is a winner with the postcard millionaire game - you still have the postage prepaid postcards to send to your friends and family. Uhm.......these must be the ugliest postcards we've ever seen. If we'd send them to our family, we'd be disowned!!!
Sooooooo - unless you are hopeful of actually winning the millions, this is 30 AEDs that can be written off as "Stupid Tax".
All of this is of course only our opinion on the subject, and we might be completely wrong - if we are, please let us know what we missed here! Thank you!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: +971 600 566 566
We visited Dubain In August. It was indeed unbelievably hot that we could not even stand to cross the road!
I would never visit this county during the summer months even though I am used to hot weather ....living in both Greece and Cyprus. But this was something else!
Unbearable heat even at midnight.
I would recommend if you are spending a couple of days in Dubai to book a hotel which is near a shopping area, preferably a Mall so that you can spend your time out there.
I don't recommend this place to people who face heart problems, or who cannot stand the heat.
Updated Mar 8, 2011
Dubai is a city for cars and it is not pedestrian friendly. The city planners must have forgotten to make plans for pavements. Many roads doesn't have pavements, and some of the pavements ends in "nowhere" and you have to start walking in the middle of the street.
Written Jul 26, 2010
In all its grandeur, it remains yet another cement, steel, glass
building with a management clueless about hospitality! I doubt they
even want to be in the hospitality industry; or if they do; I sure saw
no signs of it!
Two Indian couples (one visiting Dubai and the other playing excellent
hosts!), fairly well dressed and presentable, in an absolutely sober
state (in case you wondered), walk in to Jumeirah Beach Hotel at about
5pm to head to their infamous 360 degrees bar. We were stopped at the
entrance by fellow Indians who work there and were informed that we
could not enter without a prior reservation, or else we'd have to come
back at 8. We stood around figuring what to do, when *sorry to say
this* a white couple (European I'd think) walk up to our fellow Indian
as well. He sadly informs them of the reservation policy and then goes
on to give them a visiting card and says you can call on xyz number
and make a reservation etc. We asked for a card as well. He passed it
on. The couple strangely continued to wait on the side. So did we
then! :) Finally we decided to walk away and just as we walked on, the
couple was allowed to enter. There was no phone call of any sorts from
the manager as the staff later claimed! We of course ran back and
questioned the staff firmly, but with no bad language and no raised
volumes. I was in fact more amused; since these people were exactly
from our motherland! Then came one stocky Indian manager in a black
jacket and red tie who was extremely rude to my friend's wife and
walked up closer to her in order to intimidate her and basically asked
her to get lost! This infuriated me; and while the argument continued
between the 4 of us and him; I repeatedly asked him as to how he could
speak so rudely to the lady. His exact reply in Hindi (I shall
translate it into English) "Aurat ungli nahin dikha sakthi" (A woman
cannot point a finger at me!). Now we were enraged! When our husbands
reacted in the same fashion, this man (whose name might be Dilip,
since thats what the manager's name was) was shocked; as he thought
all men shared similar feelings that women cannot speak to men or
raise their voice with them!!!!! :D Yes, he is primitive. Forgive him!
From some strange generation long gone/forgotten even! We wanted to
make an official complaint for which he REFUSED to divulge his name.
He didn't seem to care too much that we were going to complain (which
makes one wonder, is this accepted practice?) and asked us to go do
whatever we can!!!
As we stepped out, our Stone Age man, made a few phone calls. To who,
we found out soon enough.
Main lobby, found the Duty Manager at Jumeirah Beach Hotel - Kirti,
who was politically correct. But when we narrated this incident, all
he had to say was that it is his staff's word against ours and that he
is sorry on their behalf! Therefore he will have to investigate. So
much for that. Meanwhile Stone Age Man claims that we used bad
language and the 'F' word as he called it and complained about us to
his head of Security, locals from Dubai, who stood around
threateningly. While Kirti asked us to sit, the Security guys
indicated not to entertain us. Kirti politely asked us to leave with
only giving us his email id to which I have written a formal
complaint. No apology, no reprimanding the Stone Age Man, no name for
the Stone Age Man. (We still think it might be Dilip, since that is
who they said their manager was; but I'm not sure and I do not want to
make allegations against a wrong guy!)
Never ever going there again. The sun set which we wanted to see, had
set long back in more ways than one.
Updated Apr 8, 2010
People often ask in the Forum whether their hotel will be affected by the massive construction that's happening in Dubai. The string of hotels along Jumeirah Beach - including Sheraton, Hilton, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Royal Meridien, One & Only Royal Mirage and others - have had construction behind them day and night, seven days a week. But that is finished now and the area behind the hotels is a very pleasant and popular restaurant promenade called The Walk.
Construction has affected hotels not just in 'New Dubai', even the city hotels may be affected by the massive work on the new Metro rail system and roads.
Things move very quickly in Dubai, so it's best to ask the specific question in the Forum about your hotel before you book it.
The main photo shows Sheraton Jumeirah with part of The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence, behind the hotel, which now has many shops, restaurants and coffee shops.
Updated Nov 6, 2009
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