People are surprised that to find that there's fog in the desert. but it happens quite often because of the high humidity. Airports can be closed for several hours until the sun burns off the fog and visibility improves.
The biggest danger is on the roads, which are already amongst the most dangerous in the world. Driving standards are appalling and many drivers make no allowances for the fog and not being able to see. They put their hazzard lights on and drive as usual at 120kph and more - while talking on their mobile phones!
In March 2008 there was the worst series of crashes in the country's history, on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway. Over 200 cars were involved, dozens burst into flame, up to ten people were killed and nearly 400 injured. The photos are of the accidents, from Gulf News.
If you are driving here and it's foggy, it's safer to delay your journey until the fog lifts.
Dubai roads have pedestrian crossings - but traffic does not stop for pedestrians! DO NOT step onto the crossing assuming the traffic will stop for you. It won't.
Many traffic signal junctions have pedestrian lights which signal when it is safe to cross. Obey them, but also watch the traffic - hundreds of red-light jumpers are caught every month.
Do not take a chance and cross a road when the pedestrian light is red. Dubai has a combination of US and UK systems mixed up together so traffic can come at you from any direction. U-turns can easily catch pedestrians out as the vehicle appears to be going in the opposite direction but suddenly does a, legal, U-turn.
Dubai has one of the highest rates of deaths per vehicle in the world, and more than half are pedestrians.
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.
A British tourist was jailed in April 2005 for having codeine in her blood. She had caused some problem at the airport which drew attention to herself and was examined by police. That raised awareness that codeine is a controlled drug under UAE law, and even if you don't have any tablets but it's in your bloodstream you can be in big trouble! If you have codeine with you, you must have a doctor's prescription for it.
In the UK & Australia, and many other countries I'm sure, this is a common over-the-counter painkiller ingredient, so be very, very careful in checking any medication you take with you into the UAE. You should take a prescription and doctor's letter with any prescription drugs.
For a full list of the controlled drugs, go to Fair Trials Int.
I should add that having tiny traces of drugs in your clothing is an offence, and even having a drug in your blood is considered 'possession'. Several visitors have smoked cannabis the day before they flew to Dubai and have been jailed for possession. The usual sentence for even a minute amount of a drug such as marijuana is four years - and the prisons here are not the kind of place you want to spend four years in!
Chaos on the streets
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.
The twilight of a dream?
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!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Appropriate dress & behaviour
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.
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 themRelated to:
- Women's Travel
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!
Unbelievable heat during summer!
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.
Dubai is not pedestrian friendly
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.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Racism at its best!
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.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Construction around hotels.
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.
This place has nothing but lousiness to offer
Please save your money, save your health, save your good memories and don't come to this hell on earth. This place is so ***ty. The authorities have destroyed it and are proud of the miserablizing effect they have had on the people here. Please spend your vacation money wisely and choose a better location than this overpriced, overrated, underexposed piece of *** called Dubai. Just look at how dirty and dusty it is in real pictures and videos (not the tourist ones but real ones on youtube etc).
Dubai is in a very big expansion time, you can see the constructions work everywhere you turn. The plan is that in year 2015 all the constructions will be done.
I read in a magazine that there is a 5 star hotel that is installing cooling system under the sand (beach) so the guests dont burn their feet in the hot sand???????????
Dont miss my tip of the WORLDS highest building (Burj Dubai) things to do tip. The building was completed in January 17th 2009
So be prepared on construction noise at your stay in Dubai.Related to:
Probably the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Service was amazing including your own personal...more
The Palm Jumeirah, Crescent Road West, PO Box 27722
Good for: Couples
It was a great stay! Absolutely everything was top notch! When we were planning a trip to Dubai, I...more
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