If you are a real traveler, probably not. But if you like tourist shit, escapist vacations, it's great. Lots of things to do. From base jumping to sand duning. To clubs to concerts. Like Vegas without the gambling. They may even have that, too.
I liked Dubai. In a way, it's actually perfect for "Real Travelers." You might not be able to get away with dressing like a grungie hippie, but you can definitely take a break from the malls to see how ordinary people live. I really enjoyed exploring the Dubai Mall, taking the metro to al-Ras, and walking along the Creek to the area near the Fish Market. Wander the backstreets a while and you'll hardly believe that you're in a city that's portrayed as being ultra-modern and unbelievably rich. Half the signs are in Hindu or Urdu, and virtually nobody can speak more than a couple of sentences in Arabic. You may as well be in South Asia.
Personally, I found that disparity to very interesting. As a poor student (my uncle was working in Dubai until recently, so I had a place to stay for free), I liked all of the cheap eateries, convenience stores, and Internet cafes in these kinds of areas.
I was also impressed by how friendly so many people - especially the immigrants - seemed to be. My first time in the UAE was in 2013, and I misread my uncle's directions on how to find his villa. I wound up trying to walk from the airport to a metro station several miles away in 120F/50C temperatures. People kept pulling over on the side of the road and waving at me. I ignored them because I thought they were taxis or wanted to profit off giving a tourist a ride. Ten minutes later, a guy in a newer car pulled up next to me, asked where I was going, and offered to drop me off at the metro station down the street from his job. I asked him how much money he wanted and he just waved his hand and said, "nothing - it's too hot to be walking outside."
Another time, I had a taxi driver who stopped to pick up an Arab guy whose Ranger Rover was out of gas on the side of the road. The taxi driver was helping him out for free; I said "Ramadan mubarak" to the Arab, and he wouldn't stop saying "thank you" for five minutes.
I mean... what I was getting at is that I'd figure Real Travelers would love the chance to tell their friends and family that they went to Dubai, ventured off the beaten path, and got to see the impoverished, evil underbelly of the city.
>>958865 Study Abroad. Everything but my books and plane ticket were paid for. The one good thing I can say I got out of it was that I learned Iranians are some of the coolest people you'll meet, they just have a shitty government
I'm planing to do a 48h stop over in Dubai on the way to Bangkok. IF you fly emirates, you can get the stop over plus a 48h visa for free.
I spent a couple of hours on a layover in Doha a few years back and already got curious about the people, the culture and so on just because of seeing a few Arabs in their flowing white dresses at the airport....so why not spend 2 days in Dubai when you are already there anyway?
>>958758 I had a stop over in Abu Dhabi for a day and really enjoyed it, just because it was so different to what I'm used to. Was supposed to spend a day in Dubai on my way back but my flights got changed. Once I'm done in Tokyo I'm planning to move there for a few months.
>>958938 I haven'T done it yet, but as far as I've seen you need to 1) Book a flight with Emirates with a layover in Dubai 2) Contact one of their partner travel-agencies in your country to extend the layover to a few days-stopover.
More info here: http://www.emirates.com/english/destinations_offers/dubai_stopovers/dubai-stopovers.aspx
>>958971 and if I'd just want to spend say maybe 10 hours there? Is that possible as well? Because if I understood what's written in the link correctly, I'd have to get additional accommodation too right?
>>958989 Sure, you'd have to pay for accommodation and transport and what not. They only offer you to arrange it for you.
Whether or not a 10 hour stop over is possible depends on their flight schedule. There are several flights a day to popular destinations; but if you head to a less popular one with just one flight a day or 4 flights a week (or whatever), such a short stop over clearly won't be possible.
But again: I have only looked into it and not actually done it. Might be good for you to just get in contact with their partner travel agency in your country to figure it out.
>>958903 Its pretty shitty when citizens of your own country feel safer staying somewhere else and not seeing their family when the semester is over. I was there during the Iranian elections and the arab Spring.
>>958758 I'll just chime in and say that Dubai is certainly worth a layover--as unpleasant as it can be, it's also really strange, and that weirdness is enough to make it interesting in small doses--but it's not the sort of place I'd choose as a destination in and of itself. Glad to have been there (and Abu Dhabi, as well, which is arguably a bit nicer). Won't be sorry if I have to lay over there for a few days en route to somewhere else. Won't hurry to go back.
It's a shopping mall in an oven built by slaves. Like the others said, the parts of the city where the immigrant labour live are just as interesting as the futuristic bling parts. Make sure you see both. Taxis and cigarettes are very cheap, everything else is expensive. Don't go during Ramadan.
Why do people care so much about how the migrants are treated, its their problem not yours. For a travel destination Dubai is worth visiting cause it has many landmark, its a bit bland but its different from most cities
>>959713 Dubai is an on the fence travel destination for a lot of people that aren't super rich. If you're unsure and you hear about the city being built by slave labor maybe you decide to go somewhere else. People that really want to go will go but theres no need to give them extra money to continue their slavery.
You're that guy who thinks you need a trust fund not to eat complete garbage all the time, aren't you.
Dubai doesn't have to be expensive if you aren't staying at the Burj Al Arab. It's not any more expensive than other developed countries and it's cheaper than a lot of them. Real life =\= Sex and the City 3.
>>958805 >it's shit if you're looking to experience something new.
Unless you have never experienced anything like it before, in which case it is a new experience.
I liked it. The cludging together of Arab culture and modern nouveau riche all-out consumerism is oddly interesting, the beaches are OK, there are plenty of good places to eat and the obsessive World's Biggest Toenail Clipping Pile!!!!! approach to things is surreal.
Fucking with the guys selling fake Rolexes at the Gold Souk can kill an entire afternoon all by itself...
You mean like Art and Theater and Concerts? I think you are wrong, though obviously a lot of that is going to be imported.
If you mean culture like "the indigenous culture is so fascinating, the way they live and their folk traditions and all," then you are less wrong. It exists, but you wont have access to it because unless you have some "in," the Arabs are not going to be interested in interacting with you at all, in most cases. But there's another wide open culture going on there -- hookup with some of the mad Indian entrepreneurs hustling their way through life trying to grab the Brass Ring of getting some Arab interested in some scheme they've got going. Those guys live a bizarre life, and can be a ton of fun of you can get to know therm -- which is at least easier than getting close to the native Arabs.
The place is not everybody's cup of tea, obviously. But unless you only want to experience the right sort of "different" ways of living while on your travels, it is worth a visit.
Pic from dinosaur-decked penguin display at big-ass aquarium in World;s Biggest Shopping Mall in Dubai related.
>>958891 I spent some time with an Iranian in Dubai earlier this year. I was working a festival, he kept bringing me energy drinks and orange soda,because he was interested in what I was doing, Eventually wound up picnicking with his entire family for a afternoon on Jumeira Beach. Great folks.
While we were there, we noticed a big camper with "Iran Is Great" painted on the side, so we went over to see what that was about. It was a French Family who had rented the thing in Turkey, and were driving slowly to South Fucking Africa, where they would take a plane to Chile or some damn where and drive north (GAP'S CLOSED!) to Oregon, taking a couple of years and showing their 8-10 year old children a slice of the world. They were also nice folks, and were delighted to have an Iranian family to come see their camper, and we spent a lot of time together just being amused at shit.
Dubai seems to offer lots of opportunities for these weird connections with interesting people -- but you have to keep your eyes open for them, and not decide that Dubai sucks and be cranky about it.
Shit, anyplace where you got pic related going on is going to have some interesting cultural dissonances going on, if nothign else...
Provisionally agree. I've eaten very well there pretty cheaply (some Indian places, for example, are excellent and pretty reasonable,) hotel prices seem high for what you get but if you don;t need much, you can not spend too much.
>>959787 They were amazing -- their patter was all about how fake the watch was, and there were more of them than there were people to buy fake watches. Really got to resemble a Monty Python sketch after a bit.
>>959822 >>959832 Didn't partake, but a hotel bar in Dubai is the only place I've met a Djiboutian--a very pretty hooker who wasted a few minutes trying to chat me up. >And they say Dubai has no culture! It's a crazy melting pot of South Asian, East African, Filipino, Euro, and Russian hustlers. Plus Iranians! Thousands, some of whom are many generations resident. Low-end globalization at its bleeding edge.
>>960588 There are mad Ethiopians in Dubai. You didn't notice the Ethiolians working restaraunts, retail, and especially salons? There are Ethiopian night clubs. I smoked at a hookah bar ran by Ethiopiams and had mostly Ethiopian clientele....not to mention the Ethiopian hookers, which I also did not partake >>960594
A lot bars and club close for that whole month. Most restaurants close during the day. A lot of businesses close during the day, because the best way to avoid getting hungry and thirsty is not to do shit. A lot of expats leave during Ramadan and visit home or East/SE Asia.
>>960661 I don't go to bars/clubs so this isn't important to me. I did go to one while I was there because I wanted to see their take on it. The place served only Redbull or water, no alcohol. And this was two days after Ramadan had ended.
At first I thought it was a nice change since I don't drink anyway. Then I saw the prices and fuck no.
Loud sex could get you in trouble if it annoys a conservative muslim in the next room. Holding hands in public is fine but if you're naturally prone to ass grabbing and fondling back home, like some disgusting couples are, then you're probably better off just not doing anything that may escalate.
You don't want to make a big deal out of not being married either. It's almost unheard of for those rules to be applied to tourists, and most people won't care, but I feel like if you are even asking what's ok, then it's going to escalate into some kind of "keep ur sharia law off muh body" drunken screaming match in a hotel lobby, followed by an angry looking Emirati police officer showing up to haul your ass away.
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