Replies: 10 - Last Post: Aug 18, 2012 9:16 AM Last Post By: swampeastmike
Aug 10, 2012 3:54 PM
Dubai VisitMy traveling companion wants to finish our 9-week holiday (mainly spent in Turkey) in Dubai during early November.
We are two middle-aged men from the USA who travel extensively. Am I correct that as has occurred in other Muslim-dominate (but not under strict Islamic law) countries we have visited that an eyebrow might be raised? 1 room + 2 men + 2 beds + 0 room "guests" = No problems?
I am telling my friend that Dubai is a "playground for the rich." I say that to NOT stay in an expensive, high-style and likely beach-front hotel is rather like going to Cairo without visiting the pyramids. Is this a reasonable assessment or are the "value-priced" hotels OK for those who do sometimes splurge on hotel expense and enjoy a cocktail or two and a glass of wine with dinner?
Edited by: swampeastmike
Aug 10, 2012 11:32 PM
1I find the way you've stated your questions quite confusing but let me try to answer what I think you are asking.
1 No eyebrows will be raised at two men sharing a room with separate beds.
2 It's absolutely not necessary to stay in a 5 star beach front resort to enjoy Dubai. There are plenty of fantastic 5 star hotels away from the beach that will have excellent facilities but be less costly than being right on the beach. If you like high end, very stylish and with an excellent location then consider the Address Downtown hotel.
There are now also lots of good budget options, look at chains like Holiday Inn Express, Ibis, Novotel, Premier Inn. There's nothing to stop you staying in a budget hotel and going for dinner and drinks at the fancier hotels.
Aug 11, 2012 2:22 AM
2As above, I'm not really sure what you're asking.
1) 2 men checking into a decent standard hotel will hardly raise any eyebrows. The people doing check-in are young staff from India or Philippines and you will generally not elicit any reaction from them. Dubai is money driven; they want your custom.
2) The quintessential Dubai experience is generally about staying in higher end hotels on the beach, but there are excellent standard hotels away from the beach if you don't want to pay the premium that the beach attracts. There are plenty of hotels around the Sheikh Zayed Road, Satwa or Burj Khalifa area which is only a couple of miles from the beach but are much cheaper. It's easy to travel around from these places and have dinner or lunch at a more opulent place on the beach e.g. one of the restaurants at Mina Salam /Madinat Jumeirah. But if it was me, I'd stay on the beach if I could afford it.
Edited by: dxb1969
Aug 11, 2012 3:15 PM
3Thank you both. You have helped even if you weren't quite sure of one question ;)
Am still debating about Dubai as the sort of hotels I believe are the "Dubai Experience" are priced well above my normal for a very nice place to stay for a week or so before returning home from a long holiday. We can fit in anywhere but this seems to be a place where many spend the sort of money in one week that we will spend in nine with what many would consider a very generous daily budget, a.k.a "too rich for our blood".
Edited by: swampeastmike
Aug 12, 2012 4:26 AM
Aug 12, 2012 5:25 AM
5#4 Am still considering Dubai but the only time we have to visit this year is early November. No "deals" then...
Aug 13, 2012 2:59 AM
Aug 17, 2012 3:54 PM
7I've done some more research (to include the weather) and now understand why summer is relatively cheap. Here I thought that the mid-Mississippi valley had terribly hot, humid weather! Even late October/early November when we could visit seem to have weather of the sort we experience a few months each year that makes us want to stay indoors with the air-conditioning!
No offense meant, but the UAE is pretty much off my list of places in the world to enjoy in our style as I see little value for the price.
My friends' idea to visit came mainly from "Sex in the City" which I am happy to say has never been among what I call "entertainment". I'm fine with extremely conservative places but have a bit of a problem when the locals are forbidden from the sorts of things that only enrich those who own the "sinful" places while traveling to other countries to perhaps partake. My desire came from the architecture I see in my books. The photographs will have to do until I can arrange for an overnight layover and just enought time to say "I've seen it."
Aug 17, 2012 4:25 PM
8Without wishing to cause offence, the "Sex in the City" film is possibly the biggest load of tosh I have ever seen - and more to the point, whilst it was supposedly set in the UAE, it was filmed in Morocco.
Not sure I understand the point about "the locals are forbidden from the sorts of things that only enrich those who own the "sinful" places.....". All of the tourist infrastructure in the UAE (malls, hotels, entertainment, restaurants) is ultimately owned by local UAE companies (which are generally family owned) or by the government. The locals are not forbidden to enjoy it - they are more conservative - but are quite happy to make money out of it.
Aug 18, 2012 12:56 AM
9You're correct, Emirati people are not permitted to hold an alcohol licence. This is because they're Muslims, and alcohol is haram (forbidden) under Islam. However, I wouldn't say this necessarily makes these people oppressed; they have some of the highest per capita income in the world, access to the best jobs, free healthcare, education and subsidised housing. It also doesn't mean they can't get a drink. Go into any upmarket bar in the more discerning parts of town and you'll see a few Emiratis enjoying a drink. The fact they don't have a licence makes no difference. Those who are not drinking may simply prefer not to or are just respecting their religious faith.
You're also right that by coming to Dubai you won't really be able to connect with local people or go to their homes; partly because they're only 15% of the population and also because they are rather protective of their culture. It's nothing to do whether you're poor or rich; the attitude to Westerners is the same and frankly if you can afford to travel in Turkey for 9 weeks then you're not poor. Dubai is not really a cultural experience; it's more like the Las Vegas or Singapore of the Middle East, minus the casinos.
Aug 18, 2012 9:16 AM
10Thank you again #10! I'm very aware of Muslim customs, sensibilities and beliefs and have great respect even if I do not share all of them. I can certainly understand how the citizens are rather protective of their culture when they are only 15% of the population! Please do not misunderstand me--I do not believe Islamic law is necessarily oppressive. Just as in the very religiously conservative area of the USA where I live there is quite a bit of "looking the other way" with regards to outsiders and insiders as well provided rules of public behaviour and courtesy are followed.
I also know what you mean by "rich or poor the attitude towards Westerners is the same" even if such reminds me of the attitude of many of my fellow US citizens toward Arabs (or anyone that "looks" Arab)...
No I am not poor but am closer to "poor" than to "rich" by Emirati terms.
Your comparison to Las Vegas and Singapore was very helpful as I have no real desire to visit either. That is one of the great things about travel and forums such as these. People travel for a great many reasons and some frank, honest discussion can help one determine if a destination is their sort of place.
Thank you again.
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