As I seep my morning cup of Milo, I am feeling the post vacation blues like any other travellers out there. Below are the overall details on my babymoon adventure for 6 nights in a city called Dubai.
I decided to create a separate posts on different areas of my adventure since it beginning to stretch a whole lot of details as I drafted them.
8 hours of direct flight on Emirates from Singapore Changi airport, we had no trouble departure. Upon alighting from the plane at Dubai International airport, we had some issues in finding the way to the customs. We had a long walk by following the Arrival sign by taking the airport tram and board a lift down to the customs on the different side of the Airport. Then after, we retrieved our check-in luggage. Total time taken, approximately 30-40 minutes of walking aimlessly and clearing customs.
Before we headed for the taxi stand, we walked to the Metro station to purchased our silver Nol cards in advance for AED20 each.
We chose a nice cooling weather during our travel. From November till April are their cooler season. It is best recommended to travel during these periods to avoid the scorching desert heat. During our final day, we encountered a slight fog that deter our vision during the Burj Khalifa tour. Oh if you are curious on the sandstorm, the locals said it only happen during the changing of season around February to April. Not as dramatic like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. But it is wise to stay indoor during the storm or they are not liable for any damage cost.
The time difference between Singapore and Dubai is 4 hours delay, UTC/GMT +4 hours. Expect a little bit of jet lag.
The national language is Arabic. However, the working language is English. So, it is quite easy to communicate.
This might be unnecessary for some. But I got the time schedule for daily prayers from this official website. Mosques and prayer rooms (with ablution section included) are abundance everywhere. Even the Adhan is quite noticeable throughout the whole city. But there is no mirror in most female prayer halls or ablution areas, so it is quite hard for me to adjust my hijab.
Culture & Local Law
Dubai is a city in United Arab Emirates which is a Muslim country. Even though they are quite modern and liberal, but Sharia law is still applicable and practice there. For more info on the local law, click here. The common rules are:
- Wear modest conservative clothes (applies to male and females) except for public beaches areas
- Refrain on displaying public affection
- Co-habiting is forbidden (opposite gender who lives together)
- Alcohol limitation
- Traffic laws
We have not manage to communicate with the local Emiratis during our stay. They are more reserved in nature from my point of view. But other residents are okay. Don’t expect a warm gestures like the Australians (who are the nicest people I ever met). The boundary between male and female communication is obvious. I mean they talk to my husband more than me. The shop keepers (non-emiratis) however would tout us to visit their stores in Old Dubai Souk and Naif Souk.
We arrived the departure hall in Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3. I assumed the airport is solely catered to Emirates passengers because I was not able to see other airlines booth. The departure hall is a long walk to the security customs. After clearing customs, passengers will have to board the tram to head to the other side of the departure according to their designated boarding gate. Again, taking the lift down to the boarding gate is where the Duty Free Shops (not that interesting) and dining areas are situated.
Honestly. there are not enough seats at the boarding gates. I have to seek refuge on the airport floor under the terminal screens. No one bats an eye to a pregnant lady. To add salt to my frustration, were the insufficient toilet cubicles are available for the ladies at the boarding gates. Maybe there were no control in letting passengers to the boarding gates early. I held high hopes for one of the World’s Busiest Airport on their services. Quite a disappointment.
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city to roam around. I mean they met the basic necessities for modern travellers like me in terms of public transportations, modern hotels, numerous massive shopping malls and the usage of english as a common tongue.
In this modern era where travellers are armed with google maps, mobile applications (relying mostly on hotel wifi) and online reviews, we apply high expectations on a city that is constantly growing. We can still see patches of constructions on different areas of the city. These areas are still left raw and undone.
As a muslim, I appreciate the modern culture that the Emiratis are embracing while observing the conservative Islamic rites. We have no issues in finding prayer rooms or mosques. Halal food are abundant even on supermarkets. They do provide non-halal food options and alcoholic beverages on a separate section. I can see the frustration look on travellers who do not understand the significant meaning behind Adhan (Muslim prayer call) in shopping malls. Even the in tallest skyscraper in the world, the magnificent Burj Khalifa, Muslims are constantly reminded on our obligation to perform the daily prayers. All sorts of entertainment are halt at least 10 minutes after Adhan was announced. The local Muslims are consider lucky as compared to Singapore, where musollah are a mystery to a commoner unless you searched it online.
I would return to this thriving city in the next couple of years, maybe after the completion of the inter-city train ride to Abu Dhabi. Was I culture shocked during our stay? Indeed I was.
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