Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christmas in Dubai (Part 1)

This year for Christmas we decided that Dubai would be the site for our first overseas Christmas experience and what a choice it was. We had some highs and lows, but all in all everyone enjoyed it.

We traveled to Dubai on Thursday the 20th and returned almost exactly 8 days later (actually 8 days and one hour, but who is counting ;-). From the moment we landed in the airport we knew it was going to be a different experience than we have had in Saudi. For starters while the official religion is Islam, Dubai caters to all people and nationalities. They are obviously a very proud country as flags drape numerous homes sometimes from the roof all the way to the ground, sort of like a giant slide.

As I mentioned we were able to tell immediately that there were distinct differences from Jeddah (JED) and Dubai (DXB) with the greatest being the level of cleanliness throughout not only the airport, but the whole city. The service was also very good, which is an additional distinction from Jeddah. We arrived at passport control and found lines and respectable ques to keep people in order. The biggest surprise was that we thought that we would have to get a Visa, but US citizens can stay for 30 days with nothing but a passport :-) We were directed to a "Fast Track" line and though there were about 20 people in front of us we were done in about 20 minutes.

From passport control we went and collected our baggage with one of the numerous carts that were freely available. After a little bit of a walk we collected the rental car and headed out to our hotel.

Barbara had found us a great deal on 2 rooms (the joy traveling with 6 people) through at the Premier Inn Dubai Investment Park. The rooms were comfortable enough that we didn't mind being there, but we also didn't feel a great need to just sit around since the sitting couch is also made into the bed for the 3rd person in each room (if you have a 4th person there is a rollaway bed that fits between this couch-bed and the queen sized bed. The kids liked it and left it up in their room, even though Ben stayed with us). It was a little bit away from various locations, but compared to staying in the heart of the action we saved more than enough money that we were able to rent a car and commute to them.

Barbara didn't realize the scale of the map that she was looking at and in hind site thinks that next time we will try and sacrifice the money so that we can be closer to the sites and use the public transit systems since getting lost was not an uncommon occurrence. The driver in me is not sure that I am willing to give up my ability to flee, but the married part of me says that I should at least give it a chance and see where it goes because it did seem like we spent a lot of time in the car trying to find places that hopefully the cabs or buses would already know their way to.We will see how that goes on the next one.

I will post some of the ups and downs of the experience later, but long story short, we had a great vacation in Dubai and highly recommend it to anyone considering the trip.


  1. This aint no drupal site is it? It plays nice mobily. Glad youre having a good time. Were looking for new peeps at MSU. HAPPY NEW YEAR Clawsons.

    1. Nope. It is just a Blogger site that BWC set up. What kind of peeps are they looking for? Best wishes to the Stiggies ;-)