I have never been too interested in Dubai. No appeal. All those really tall skyscrapers and super-modern flashy buildings don’t cut it for me.
So why did I decide to spend three days in Dubai on my way back to Europe? Well: with Emirates being my airline of choice in the last few years, I had seen the Dubai airport many times already and thought it was time to step out and see the city. And tick off another country for my travel map ;-).
I arrived in Dubai in the very early hours of the morning, after a 7-hour flight from Saigon and missing Vietnam already. Walking in the empty streets of Deira (the old part of Dubai) to reach my hotel from the metro station was awkward. It was 6am and there was hardly anyone. The few men I saw stared at me like I was an oddity.
Dubai didn’t stand a chance at that point. The fact that my hotel receptionist recommended the Dubai Mall for my first trip out into the city didn’t really help either. Waitrose, Marks&Spencers, Monsoon, Holland&Barrett: am I back in London already?!?! Nonono, this is not what I am interested in, I can have it all back home.
On the plus side though, the metro system in Dubai impressed me and within an hour I was already familiar with procedures and station names and able to move around confidently. Get a ‘nol’ card, top it up, then touch in and out at the various stations. With only two lines, Green and Red, it was quite easy to navigate.
In the following days I discovered that Dubai had something for me too. Keep following me if you want to know what it was :-)