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Considering Dubai for 4 nights after 10 days in Greek Isles - which is best Starwood to use points at? Many Jews visiting Dubai?

Considering Dubai for 4 nights after 10 days in Greek Isles - which is best Starwood to use points at? Many Jews visiting Dubai?

Old Jul 21st, 2006, 09:00 PM
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Considering Dubai for 4 nights after 10 days in Greek Isles - which is best Starwood to use points at? Many Jews visiting Dubai?

We plan on doing the Greek Isles next year for 10 nights and then Dubai for 3-4 nights. This will be my only chance to get to Dubai, as it's close enough to Greece that I can get my wife to go for it.

We will have lots of Starwood points to use up between Greece and Dubai and think we'd use up 60000 pts at the Blue Palace on Crete and the balance in Dubai. Any thoughts on which would be the most killer, beachfront resort to stay at in Dubai? There's quite a few listed on the Starwood site, and we looked at Trip Advisor, but we were hoping some of you might have some ideas about this one versus that one.

Also, I'm a little nervous and have a few misgivings about going to Dubai as we're jewish. I didn't tell my wife yet that they don't even allow Israeli passported people into Dubai and don't really want jews visiting apparantly. I've heard that they ask what your religion is upon entry and if you list Jewish, they may not let you in? We would of course say that we're pre Christian or something non jewish related.

Thanks,
Steve and Julia
Silver Spring MD
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 06:48 AM
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I don't believe an Israeli stamp bars travel to the UAE. I am visiting the UAE and Oman in November, and I am getting a new passport because my Israeli stamp will prevent entry into Oman.

I lied on my Saudi Arabia visa application (great friend of the Bush family does not permit entry to Jews).
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 06:52 AM
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santharamhari
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Dubai is very very cosmopolitian and very Westernized. You shouldnt hv any issues.........

Hari
 
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 08:15 AM
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Hi Steve,
I looked at the Starwood site and it seems only 3 of those resorts are actually on the beach. The rest are in town.

I have a jewish friend who visits Dubai quarterly for business. He has never had any problems.

Really, Dubai is about as exotic as Las Vegas. Its highrise chrome and glass buildings, malls and waterparks. And there are so many expats there it is very multi-cultural.
You should have no problems.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Thanks guys and gals. It looks like the Sheraton Dubai Jumeriah is the only beach resort on Starwood pts that looks good. The rest that take pts are all in the city!

I appreciate the tip about the whole jewish thing. My father in law says it's not safe to go there due to the stuff that happened, port wise a few months ago, but he's also very, very conservative.

I hope we get to go. It looks really great.

Steve R
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 04:06 PM
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Re: port-wise, hey even the guy from ZIM (the Israeli shipping company) said Dubai Ports was a good deal. It was all political correctness.

 
Old Aug 12th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Hi,
Can't offer any suggestions regarding the Jewish thing, I have heard that this is one of the only countries in the region that allow entry with an Israeli stamp, not sure if this is just an urban myth or a fact.

As far as Starwood properties go, I wanted to make sure you are aware of the enourmous amout of construction taking place by the Sheraton Dubai Jumeirah.

I live here in Dubai and the comparison by Queenie to LAs Vegas is very apt... They are very western and I wouldn't foresee any problems once you are in.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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Hi,

I'm still being told by someone at Etihad Airways that I cannot enter UAE with my passport with Israeli stamps.

Unfortunately, my embassy closes down for the holiday and I need to travel before I can get a replacement passport. Has anyone been able to travel to Dubai with Israeli stamp on the passport?
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 08:17 PM
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You can get in with a Israeli stamp, many people do. A friend of mine visited me last year after doing a tour of the Holy Lands. She had no problems getting into the country through Dubai but she flew with KLM.

Etihad is the national carrier of Abu Dhabi and this might be what is preventing you from getting in.

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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:37 AM
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Usually when people travel through Isreal before coming to Dubai, they have a stamp put on a seperate piece of paper.
My husband travels to Isreal and back to Dubai frequently but never has his passport stamped.
On the Sheraton Beach Hotel, all the hotels on the beach are now near construction zones. It is an absolute nightmare out there between the noise and the horrible traffic.
We have been living here in Dubai for 13 years and are just about at the end of our rope with the traffic and the cost of living is out of control.
Dubai was "once" a gem in the Middle East but now it's just an overpriced fake place where only the very rich can survive. Especially if they own helicopters that can take them home at night from the office and not sit in the 2-3 hr traffic jams that affect every single road in this town.
Nice place as a tourist, with loads of money but don't come to live here. It is however, very very safe so you don't have to worry about any of the things you might have heard otherwise.
As a woman, I have never felt unsafe here. I feel safer here than where I grew up in Newark, NJ.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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Steve

Don't rule out Le Royal Meridien. I worked at the USO there in Dubai and that is where the oficers booked their visits. Any hotel ON Jemeirah Beach is great.

I am surprised that no one has mentioned that only 20% or so are locals the rest are expats or tourists.

For your wife, be sure to take her to Lucky Jewelry. You'll have to look for it. It is located downtown and was inside at the Gold Souk. Do not be fooled by looks... very humble. But OHHHH what they have at the workshop!!! Jaya and her husband are the owners. They are Indian and should your wife like emeralds, there's are not oiled or treated. See for yourself. Also take anything you may want plated! They can plate almost anything in white or yellow gold.

Have fun and have no fear for their is even a phone number for english speaking police, doubt you will need it. Reply if you are a bargain shopper and I will do my best.

p.s. buy your luggage there, you will need at least one extra case on return.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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Le Royal Meridien is very nice as are all of the hotels on the beach. They are just not as nice with all the noise and traffic going on around them.
Gold souk is wonderful but the price of gold is at an all time high.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 01:31 PM
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I visited the UAE, Oman and Bahrain at the end of November, and I have an Israeli stamp -- they didn't flip through any pages in my passport, and I had no problems entering the country. In fact, I cleared customs in the UAE three times during that trip.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 02:58 PM
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There is a great article on Dubai in the latest National Geogrphic.

By the way it mentions that Dubai does business with Israel ... quietly.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 05:25 PM
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Thanks for all your help. I have multiple and clearly visible Israeli entry/exit stamps allover my passport. So in the end, I chickened out and delegated someone else who is more than eager to attend conference in sunny Dubai in January!
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Old Dec 24th, 2006, 07:18 AM
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Ah, but don't you have millions of stamps in your passport, Thit_cho?
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Old Dec 25th, 2006, 01:40 AM
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i know some Israeli-born have entered with a non-israeli passport. Passports have "place of place" on the first page, thus no need to scan for stamps all over....
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Old Dec 25th, 2006, 01:41 AM
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Oops sorry! "place of birth"
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Old Dec 25th, 2006, 01:49 AM
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I'm not sure why you asked the question if you ignored the unanimous responses. Yes, I have hundreds of stamps, including several from Israel, and I entered the UAE three times in late November, as well as Oman and Bahrain. You made a rash decision, in my opinion, and you should have called the embassy instead of relying on an idiot at the airline.
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Old Jan 11th, 2007, 03:51 AM
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thit_cho,

You're absolutely right! Called the UAE consulate here in London, and they did clarify Israeli entry stamps are no probs. In the end, I decided to pass the opportunity as I was just coming back from another long-haul trip two nights before. And my colleague was really happy as he plays golf (I don't) and came back with a good tan.
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