You must be new here....Arriving in Dubai

Trip Start Sep 25, 2013
Trip End Oct 04, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Thursday, September 26, 2013

The long flights are always easier in a great seat. Christine and I watched the loads with optimism with hopes that we would at least make it into business class , helping make our 14 1/2 flight to Dubai a comfortable one, considering I already had a 5 hour morning flight from San Diego to meet Christine In Washington Dulles. The feeling you get when you are embarking on a new unknown adventure makes it hard to get any sleep, but we tried, since we still had almost 20 more hours before we would reach our final destination, our island in the Maldives.We were to have a 12 hour layover in Dubai, a city I have not yet visited, so it gave us a chance to discover somewhere new along the way. Thanks to my buddy Julie, we booked a great rate at the JW Marriott by the airport ( thanks Julie!!!) and arriving in the afternoon and no where to go in a hurry, we decided on the convenient train system that runs from there beautifully efficient terminal into the city.Only $1 each to ride the train, so we bought our tickets and we on our way. In Dubai the restrictions on what a women can wear are very relaxed. If you are not Muslim, you should be considerate and respectful on how you represent yourself, but there are no rules or restrictions on how much you need to cover up. But I was soon to discover that the other, very strict rules are still very much present and enforced. We stood in Que for the train that was arriving. An employee approached us and pointed to a platform that was for women and children only, ahhh segregation! I remember this in Cairo when Maureen and I visited and took the local train service there.A couple traveling together that just arrived from the states had to separate as well, which can leave you a little uneasy I'm sure when just arriving in a new foreign city.We made our way onto our designated train and I took my water bottle out for a drink to refresh after our walk carrying my heavy pack on my back for the last hour. " You must be new here" I look over to see a girl who is local, covered elegantly with a traditional headscarf getting my attention. " I smile, why Yes I am" if it was obvious enough with my unkempt, long journey look and look of amazement. " No food or drink on the train" she stated to me , " Big fine, they're watching" I quickly put my water bottle away and she pointed to a sign on the wall. NO Drinking, NO Eating, NO chewing gum- Fines up to $250. I thanked her for looking out for me and helping the new girl. And reminded myself to be more aware that I am in a very strict county.Some of the other strict rules here. No public displays of affection between an unmarried woman and man, and you are not allowed to share the same hotel room in a non-western hotel here in Dubai. A marriage certificate will be asked upon check-in to verify that you are legally married. No alchol can be found unless you are in a western Establishment such as the Marriott hotel where we were staying. We treated our selves to a German Beer on tap in the hotel Piano Lounge, complete with stylish couches and decor to help make up for the $10 Beer that we were slowly enjoying. ( when alcohol is limited, you are sure to bet its going to be expensive!)With a great tip from the friendly front desk clerk, we ventured off to eat dinner at a local restaurant a few blocks away. It was a warm evening, and a great night to sit outside. We ordered a large variety of local dishes and were in awe how cheap our meal was. 4 dishes, and less than our two beers at the Marriott.It had been going on 35 hours since our journey started. We were too excited to sleep, and besides our flight to Male, in the Maldives leaves at 3 am, and there no time for resting for the weary.
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Joyce Nokes on

Looking forward to this adventure. You have soaked my interest. Btw hiw did u ever find this place? U amaze me!

Peggy Marciniak on

Hi Eliz,
Another adventure. How fun is that. I, too, have visited Dubai & Qatar last year with my girlfriend. So did you get business from IAD-DUB?

Cyndy on

Strange culture isn't it? Can't wait for beach pictures!

maureen mason on

Just a matter of time before "Lonely Planet" hires you! Was very excited to see "hi from Dubai". Like Oprah says -if you are a woman in living in the USA you are the luckiest woman alive. How we take our freedom for granted. Soak it all up culture vulture from Maureen the other culture vulture who is an armchair traveler for now. xoxo

Rich Hoffner on

Yes, did you get the biz class seats?

Sarah on

I am so glad you got good seats on the long way over to Dubai! I am amazed that there are places that are so strict. A women and children only line? What if your husband wants to watch the kids? Not fair. Oh and the $250 fine for chewing gum? My students rarely get a detention for that! Haha!

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