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travelforever Jun 5th, 2008 02:25 PM

Dubai
 
Has anyone gone to Dubai recently?
Did you take a tour or a cruise?
Would love to hear your recommendations/suggestions!

TracyB Jun 5th, 2008 03:39 PM

I was in Dubai 3 years ago and am going again in November on the way back from Jordan...

A tour is not necessary...U can take the Big Bus and hop on and off to all attractions, or just simply take a taxi.

Hotels are very expensive in Dubai!!

Hope this helps.


W9London Jun 6th, 2008 07:20 AM

travelforever,

In case you haven't done so, you might want to post the questions on Middle East forum.

Yes I've been to Dubai for an overnight transit. The place gets seriously hot in summer though you rarely have to venture outdoors and everything indoors are air-conditioned. The place is quite modern, a somewhat of a letdown as I was expecting more local culture/unique sights. Agree hotels and restaurants are expensive--you can have alcoholic beverages at hotel restaurants.

Cicerone Jun 6th, 2008 11:34 PM

I am not really a fan of Dubai as a place one would go on a dedicated trip. I called it the ersatz Middle East. (I actually call it Singapore with Sand, but that is an insult to Singapore, a place I like very much, but which does share certain similarities with Dubai). It is a very large city (much of it still under construction), with a small desert area and a beach. It is virtually all shopping centres and office buildings (Dunkin’ Donuts and Toys R Us and then Gucci, a strange mix of stuff). What is shocking to me in the “city of the future” is that there is no public transportation at all, and so traffic can be just awful. In addition, almost no one you come in contact with will be from Dubai or even the Middle East, as most everyone working in the tourist industry (or in places like the shopping malls) are from the Indian subcontinent or the Philippines. Perfectly lovely people, but not who you expect to meet as the “locals”. There are of course Lebanese there who have to work wherever they can, and you would meet them. As noted above, it is also very hot, and as you may not expect, very, very humid for many months of the year. The best months are about early November to early April.

Dubai is fine as a stopover on the way to somewhere else like the Maldives or India or SE Asia, but places like Jordan (with the lovely Petra) or Egypt would really be much more interesting, IMO, and actually representative of Middle Eastern culture. Both of the latter have real desert areas too. Even Muscat might be a better choice than Dubai.

sharon1306 Jun 7th, 2008 02:52 AM

I just got back from Dubai last night. This was my third trip there as I usually stop over for a couple days when I fly Emirates to Europe. Dubai is excellent for shopping and not much else. We did do the Desert Safari this time, and while it was fun, it wasn't really authentic. Like Cicerone says, you'll never really interact with any locals as such.

We rented a car at the airport, and it was very easy to get around. Gas prices are dirt cheap. There's a lot of construction going on, and we found a lot of the roads had changed since the last trip. They're working on the metro, so there are lots of diversions, so that should take care of the public transportation problems when its complete. Also, all parking is now paid parking, which is also a new change.

Finally, we went to the Mall of Emirates and went skiing at Ski Dubai. It was fun.


simpsonc510 Jun 8th, 2008 11:39 AM

Sharon
How do you like Emirates for your flights? I'm trying to get cheap options up DH when he flies from Zurich to Bangkok in December/Jan. Swiss is outrageously expensive, as they are full in economy.

DH wants to know, specifically, about baggage limitations. The web site makes it sound like you can check 2 bags (I forget how many pounds/kils). DH doesn't travel light! haha

Thanks for your input.

Carol

MichaelBKK Jun 8th, 2008 06:39 PM

I'm just back from Dubai as well. I'm not sure why the place has such a great reputation for shopping. Prices are generally double what they are in Bangkok for the same thing. When it comes to electronics, it seems like they never have the most current gadgets.

It definitely is some place to see, but two nights is enough, and you're unlikely to find a reason to go back.

sharon1306 Jun 9th, 2008 10:34 PM

Carol,

Emirates is one of my favorite airlines. As for baggage allowance, for economy, according to the piece concept, you are allowed two bags. Total dimensions (length, width and height) of each piece must not exceed 63 inches (158 cm). Overall dimensions of the two pieces should not exceed 107 inches (273 cm). Weight of each piece not to exceed 50 pounds (23 kg). This applies if you are flying to/from a piece concept country like US/Canada. Otherwise, its 20kg (which isn't much...)

http://tinyurl.com/5k6ank


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