Saturday, January 15, 2011

The first visit to the Arab country

I've known people from Arab countries, but had never visited one.  Right before the end of year holidays, my hubby and I all of a sudden decided to go to UAE, as we found out it was fairly close and that there was a direct flight from Vienna.

UAE stands for the United Arab Emirates, and it is located on the southeast side of the Arabian Peninsula bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia.  It consists of 7 states; Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.  Abu Dhabi is the capital, but Dubai became the business hub and is attaracting lots of tourists with massive resort hotels and shopping centers.

My impression of Dubai can be expressed with the formula below:

Dubai = (Las Vegas) - (alcohol, drugs, gambling, and prostitution) + (lots of praying, smoking, and no lining)

The minute I walked out of the plane, I could feel the warm and dry air.  People wearing kandura; one of those white dress, welcomed us at the customs. Big hairy men wearing kandura sitting in front of the PC and checking everyone's passport was rather an interesting sight for me.  

It was around 9pm, but the airport was full of people still (I later found out Dubai Airport had 4 million visitors just in the month of November, 2010).  Lots of people were at the Duty Free Shop buying wines and alcohol for their hotel room consumption :)

The hotel pickup we were supposed to have wasn't there, so we decided to take a cab to the hotel. It was already around 11pm when we settled in, but we were wide awake because of the 3 hr time difference between Dubai and Czech Republic. We headed to the hotel bar and got us a plate of Arab appetizers and a glass of wine before tucking ourselves into bed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment