Dubai... or rather Mumbai????

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Feb 02, 2010

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Friday, January 1, 2010

We landed in Abu Dhabi early in the morning from Istanbul. I rented a car online but I wasn't allow to drive the car without an International driving license as I was told that Abu Dhabi are very strict when it comes to driving. Tired and frustrated, we quickly book a night's stay at a nearby hotel costing RM650 per night. UAE is a special country with no hostel or backpackers, and to compound the damage, the hotel rates are sky high (perhaps people there are too rich to notice such a scratch on their wallet). The airport transfer was also costly as well. Our hotel smells arabic, from body wash, shampoo, all the way to the bed sheets.

After a brief "nap", we got up to get down to Dubai. The taxi driver charge us AED45 to get down to Abu Dhabi but instead drop us off at a shabby place full of mini vans. We were the only alien looking people there, and of course they would warmly "welcome" us as we're the jackpot of the day. The driver told us the fare AED20 and we thought it's a rip off. The mini van will only leave when it's full occupied. The ride to Dubai was a gruesome 2hr. The driver stopped by a petrol station and starting to collect money, initially we thought the driver was about to drop us at this middle of nowhere and run. But in fact, he was just collecting fare and everybody paid AED20. So we were wrong, our skepticism automatically label people as evil even though they're genuine.

By the time we reach Al Ghubaiba bus station, we were in for a surprise. It's full of Indians... they were everywhere. For one moment, we thought we were in Mumbai. The bus driver, taxi driver, cleaner on the street are all Indian. So naturally lunch was Nasi Briyani :-) We took a bus to the Burj Hotel, the rain was so heavy that causes flash flood in much of the seaside. I though South African police driving 3-series beamer was already a bit too much, here even a traffic police drive 5-series beamer... wth! We snapped a few picture at the Burj Hotel gate as we were not allowed to enter without an invitation letter. Sarah was eager to take picture with some authentic Arabian guys so we went in to Jumeirah hotel to hunt for one. The staff there all dressed in Arab costume so we have no problem getting one willing enough to take picture with her.

We thought of going to the Burj Dubai but it will only be open in 12th Jan. The building is so tall that you'll see it from a distance. Dubai is just full of amazing structure. We come to know that since today is public holiday so all Indians in UAE all gather in Dubai to celebrate their day off. By the time we're about to go back to Abu Dhabi, there were HUNDREDS of Indian in queue for the Abu Dhabi bus. Luckily they have priority ticket lane for women and they even reserved a bus for woman and their companion. So instead of waiting for hours, we manage to board the bus after an hour. We got dropped off in Abu Dhabi and we had chinese food for dinner (hooray~). At 3am, we ended our holiday with a good 7hr sleep on flight back to KL on AirAsia.

~ By Philip
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anne chung on

Nice pictures and interesting commentary. I'm also from Malaysia but from Sabah. I've met a few Malaysians while traveling, a couple in Prague, a guy on a train going from Zurich to France. It's always nice to interact with my own kampong people, Selamat Jalan!

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