Monday, November 3, 2008

Layover in Dubai

PA110307Well, it has been a week since coming back to Japan and finally things are starting to get in order and I am catching up on my sleep - thanks to being able to get over jet lag finally. See, it is never as bad as traveling to the US where the  time difference is 13-14 hours (with EST) but still, it takes a while to get one's body in synch with the local time zone...


PA110304 In the last few weeks I went back to Cyprus (as I have mentioned earlier) but also I had a chance to see a little bit of Dubai around the airport (for this I need to thanks Emirates Airlines for their 7 hour layover between the flight from Osaka and flight to Istanbul). The Dubai airport is pretty modern and big though the construction still goes on in parts of the airport as well as outside it. There are so many duty free shops selling things ranging from the typical (alcohol, fragrances, cigarettes,...) to very unlikely to be found at an airport (big ticket electronic items for example). I guess this layover thing is common (or may be there are lots of delays?) that you see people sleeping in big groups on the floor sometimes, flanking moving walks or escalators.

PA110293  Of course UAE did not make my life easy. If you are like me it turns out you need to pay a certain amount of money in order to get permission to enter the country. Since it would be "too convenient" to pay this in cash, it turns out one needs to get this special e-Dirham (UAE currency) card with this much money on it. The immigration lines are ridiculously long and slow which discouraged me a lot and served to kill all the anticipation - but I digress...

PA110292Once I got a chance to get out the airport which was ridiculously crowded in so many ways, the hot Dubai air welcomed me. It was early in the morning but still it was pretty warm. On the way to the hotel which Emirates put me up in I caught a glimpse of different things including the amount of construction going on in the area. The hotel did not have a single English channel on its TV or a hairdryer which was a first for me. Still, I think that even though certain things (the way people at the immigration treat visitors for one thing) discouraged me from ever coming back to Dubai, I believe I would enjoy another trip to Dubai for a longer period of time that would let me see more of the city.

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