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Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

Norwich, United...
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Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

Here's the thing... I absolutely HATE the whole idea of Dubai, but I'm going for two nights next month..!

I hate the ostentation (soooo, tacky, but so unaware of it's tackiness), the drain on the world's resources (all that water in the desert) and the fact that it's built on slave labour. BUT, I've only ever passed through and when a TravelBag deal came up including two nights, I thought I'd better not ditch the Dubai leg, so at least if I still stand by my principles I can do so knowing I've actually experienced it. It's only two nights and then we're off to KL and Penang.

So, I have a couple of questions...

1) What to do in a short space of time? We're staying in a hotel near the Palm.

2) We intend to change a couple of hundred quid into dirham (and the same into ringgits) and use cards/ATMs - anyone see an issue with this? Is there a better way?

3) Just how expensive is it out there? Eg: A meal for £20 a head at home - what's the equivalent cost in Dubai?

Many thanks, peeps!

Staffordshire...
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1. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

I think you might be pleasantly surprised. Dubai was always on my bucket list and I absolutely loved my first visit and have returned a few times since then.

The Top Questions about Dubai on the right hand side of this page will offer ideas on what to do. There is a currency exchange in the airport open 24/7 for you to swap GBP into dirhams which will give you some to pay for a taxi to the hotel and some spending money. I wouldn't swap GBP for Malaysian currency, I'd wait until I arrived there. You can use the ATM for cash but depending on what your provider charges you may not get as good a rate as cash. If you want a posh meal, then you will pay for a posh meal, however if you want a cheap meal (eg the food hall in the Mall of the Emirates) then you can pay a fiver.

I do hope you enjoy it. It really is a fascinating place. It's not all glass and glamour.

Edited: 13 August 2014, 08:21
Norwich, United...
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2. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

PS - it's a couples trip - we both enjoy exploring the local area and having a bit of fun on holiday. We can enjoy the beach life once we get to Penang, so fellow TA bods Dubai favourites would be nice to peruse and consider. We'd like a nice, slap-up meal somewhere in a seafood restaurant and Mark will undoubtably want to find a bar or two serving alcohol! Dubai as a shoppers paradise only has certain appeal - I won't want to "shop til we drop," especially at the first centre of a 3-centre holiday..!

Norwich, United...
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3. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

Thank you Daisy :) My bucket list includes storm-chasing in Tornado Alley! Couldn't be more different to Dubai, eh? LOL

Abu Dhabi, United...
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4. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

I do understand as I have a love/hate relationship with Dubai and they do say it's rather like Marmite !

A couple of suggestions: focus less on the bling and conspicuous consumption, and more on the historical and cultural elements, e.g. the Jumeirah mosque and cultural centre where you can meet some real Emiratis (www.cultures.ae). They're lovely people and you can begin to understand their life and culture. Visit 'old' Dubai, the Creek area and Deira, take in the museum, souks and the Bastakiya area.

Or you could get out of town all together and take a desert safari for half a day. Also consider Sharjah which is a much more traditional and authentic experience and focused on history, culture and the arts (It's virtually a suburb of Dubai).

You can use cards virtually everywhere so you only need cash for (v cheap) taxis and incidentals. Food prices are on a par with London although alcohol is very expensive. There's somewhere for every budget and the fast food outlets will be disappointingly familiar, although there are good value restaurants of every variety ... take a look at Time Out Dubai.

When are you coming ? The weather will determine how much time you can spend outside.

IMHO, the trick with Dubai is not to take it too seriously. It's only Disneyland for grown-ups :-)

(And I didn't mention that you really should have come to Abu Dhabi instead)

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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5. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

Goodness what a completely negative attitude! If you can look on the short stay here as something to make the most of rather than something to endure you'll have more fun even if it doesn't change your overall opinion of Dubai.

I think Sharp's suggestions to concentrate on the cultural side and not the bling make sense. It's definitely not all shop till you drop - I was on my third visit to Dubai before I visited a mall. One of my favourite things to do is to take an abra across Dubai Creek for only a dirham, visiting the souks on either side. Desert safaris are great fun, very touristy but nothing wrong with that. The dune bashing is like being on a rollercoaster on the sand. It's expensive compared to prices in Malaysia though and not something worth going cheap on as you get what you pay for.

Suggest you read through the forum and Top Questions on the right to get a feel for what might interested you to do. And I hope you enjoy it - it's part of your holiday after all - even if you don't fall in love.

England
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6. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

I admire your attitude.

Ostentation .......... perhaps, not tacky, normally if its gold in colour then it probably is gold in Dubai.

Water, desalinated.

Slave labour, mmmmmm K.L and Panang must have cleaned up there act.

With an open mind you will thoroughly enjoy Dubai. The culture and the food and smells are awesome.

Also a bit of pampering has never hurt anyone.

Tyne and Wear
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7. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

There is a lot more to do in Dubai than shop - in fact whilst I think the malls are great for a nosey about they are expensive compared to the UK and the majority of the shops are the same as what you get back in The UK so I wouldn't recommend shopping until you drop in Dubai.

If you are there in the cooler months then an abra ride across the creek, a walk around Bastakiya and the souks may appeal to you.

If you are not interested in the beach and want to sightsee then staying near the palm may not be well suited to you - as this is the new part of Dubai and a fair trek to the older parts of Dubai. Not to mention that most of the hotels around this area are 5* and could well be considered ostentatious!

Dubai has no shortage of seafood restaurants but a slap up meal in a top end hotel in Dubai will be on par with London prices - Pierchic, Geales, Aquara are all in Jumeirah as is Aprons and Hammers (which is a boat).

If you are looking for unlicensed places there are numerous places acorss Dubai.

Northampton, United...
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8. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

If you truly believe what you are saying , why would you want to go ?

Thailand
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9. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

Surely travelbag have other options for a stopover on route to the far east? maybe a little more expensive of course but what price principles?

Dubai, United Arab...
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10. Re: Help - I'm Not Really Looking Forward to This..!

Here's the thing with me... I would NOT consider a visit to a place i 《absolutely HATE》 and 《hate the ostentation》and dislike how they 《drain on the world's resources》 and the fact that it's 《built on slave labour》simply because in everything I do or see I will be reminded with what I hate about the place!