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Tar Devil
09-14-2010, 12:39 PM
Suggestions? Advice? Warnings? I did see that one of my meds is on their prohibited list. Any way I can still take it with some documentation from my Dr?

Phillip Allen
09-14-2010, 12:41 PM
what's goin on?

B_B
09-14-2010, 12:53 PM
No idea re meds.
We went there in 2007 (two day layover) and did all the toooristy things - they were really big on shopping, shopping, shopping.
Things we enjoyed:
the spice market
a romp through the dessert in Landcruisers culminating in an evening's entertainment out in the dessert - decent food, henna tattoos, hookahs, falcon flying - incredibly tooristy but fun nonetheless.
waterfront - wooden dhows loaded to the gills with all manner of stuff
gold market - amazed at how much wealth (gold jewelry) was laying around that market, almost as much gold as Fort Knox

if you want to visit the Bhurj Dhubai (huge sail shaped hotel complex) be prepared to pay an entry fee - we didn't pay so can't tell you what it was like on the inside, on the outside it was mighty big ;)

Tar Devil
09-14-2010, 01:05 PM
Not sure how much free time I'll have... business trip. Thanks for the suggestions!!

BrianW
09-14-2010, 01:12 PM
Be prepared for humidity.

The only time I had a few hours to spare, we hired a driver and he drove us around and showed us the main sights.

Getting out of the airplane, you'll likely take a take a escalator ride up a bit, then walk a couple hundred yards to another escalator headed down again. Just follow the crowd. Like most airports, you'll get to a long corridor where you can ride the moving sidewalk, a couple/three times. At the end of those, you'll enter a large area where the local can check back into country using eye scanning technology (that's the sign that comes to mind when I think of that area) but you want to continue on, up yet another set of escalators to passport control.

At the top of those escalators, you'll enter a very large area and ahead will be a lot of cues to approx 20 customs desks. I've found that favoring the ones on the left leads to shorter lines. The customs officials are all wearing white thawbs and don't talk much, they just want to see you passport and maybe ask what you're doing. You'll see VIP's being lead down the far left lane.

After getting through passport control, you head to the right, past a security checkpoint where the just want to run your carry on luggage through x-ray, and baggage claim is right there off your starboard bow. Once you pick up your luggage, turn around 180 and head out through yet another security check point where they will direct you to run your checked bags through an xray again.

Once you get through there (it doesn't take long) you go through some automatic doors into a long hall that veers left and has rental car booths on your right. This is the are where you often meet hotel drivers holding up signs. The next set of doors leads outside. Be prepared to feel like a rock star, as that's where everyone else waits to meet people getting arriving. It is also where you will notice it's hotter than hell, there's a strange smell, and it's freaking humid. There's four separate lanes for traffic, mostly hotel buses, right there outside, and is a good place to watch for your hotel bus. Make sure you study the hotels logo so you'll recognize it on the bus.

The good news is everyone speaks English. The signs in the airport, and the road signs, are all in English and Arabic. As you've probably heard, the 'working class' are mostly foreigners, and most can speak several languages.

I've walked the streets, from my hotel to another which had an Irish bar, and felt very safe. The only people who approached were a couple 'ladies of the evening', and they didn't look as good as the Russian versions in the bar. ;)

I'd have no problem taking my family there, except the only thing to do is shop, ski indoors, and maybe race trucks out in the desert.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/BrianW/Afghanistan/dubai-scenery-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/BrianW/Afghanistan/Burj-Khalifa-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/BrianW/Afghanistan/wood-boat-1.jpg

Tar Devil
09-14-2010, 01:38 PM
Thanks for the info and pictures, Brian. I really am excited. Hope I get to see some sights. Our host are great folks.

paladin
09-14-2010, 03:01 PM
Take 2-3 copies of all your prescriptions, especially anything like Oxycodone or similar....insulin goes in thermos bottle with lotsa spare needles. Speak politely at all times, don't try to stare anyone down. What Brian said.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-14-2010, 03:32 PM
Be British; Sheikh Mohammed is kind enough to let us in without visas.

If you cannot manage that in the time available, do what Brian and Chuck said. Do keep in mind that it's where most of the Iranian middle classes go to get away from the Ayatollahs, and has excellent relations with Iran.

Great place, but I see it with the eye of someone who drydocked tankers and worked in the oilpatch there.

It is essentially a commercial city state, in this it is unlike its neighbours which depend on oil.

There is a story (which you may be told) to illustrate this.

Some years ago, soon after the British left in 1971 and just after the first oil price hike, Sheikh Rashid decided to get some landscape gardeners in to improve the palace grounds. At the end of the garden -to - be, overhanging the creek, was an old treadmill crane, which the gardeners proposed to remove, as it was an eyesore.

"No you don't", said Sheikh Rashid, "That crane was bought and installed by by grandfather in the 1920s and it was the very first piece of western machinery in Dubai. I want everyone to remember that before there was oil, we lived by trade, and we will live by trade when the oil is gone. Paint it and put it back!"

Sheikh Rashid's best known line was, " My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."

By this he meant that the oil would run out, and unless he could turn Dubai into a trading city state, it would revert to poverty.

A great man.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Rashid-bin-Said.jpg

Sheikh Mohammed is his second son; he suceeded his elder brother Sheikh Maktoum.

Tar Devil
09-14-2010, 03:48 PM
Norm.. going Business Class on Emirates. Not QUITE as nice as first class, but still nice! Chuck.. seems like I saw somewhere that prescriptions copies would get me a pass. Andew.. my main contact there is a British national.. he'll take care of me, I'm sure!!

Concordia...41
09-14-2010, 07:50 PM
Congratulations and I hope this is a sign of many more opportunities opening for you.

-M

Tar Devil
09-14-2010, 08:34 PM
Congratulations and I hope this is a sign of many more opportunities opening for you.

-M

Thanks, Margo. New job is going FANTASTIC, seeing lots of places. Going to Nova Scotia next week!

LongIslandBoy
09-14-2010, 08:43 PM
Suggestions? Advice? Warnings? I did see that one of my meds is on their prohibited list. Any way I can still take it with some documentation from my Dr?
Check with U.S. State Dept. regarding meds.

BrianW
09-14-2010, 09:26 PM
Thanks, Margo. New job is going FANTASTIC, seeing lots of places. Going to Nova Scotia next week!

If you're going to be traveling internationally often, I suggest you enroll in the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program...

https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/

I used it for the first time coming back into the States through Dulles in Washington. When I got to the customs entry hall, I noticed the place was packed, and the lines were looooong. But being in the program, I went directly to the ATM looking machines, swiped my passport, answered a couple questions on the screen, and got my 'get out of jail free' card in about 1 minute. Sweetness.

epoxyboy
09-15-2010, 01:14 AM
I was over there (and saudi - not as user freindly as Dubai :() about 4 weeks ago. Temperature was around 40C during the day, but everything has aircon so it isnt really a problem. It should be a little cooler now.
I cant comment on the food, as it was the start of Ramadan and everywhere but the hotel restaurants were shut until 7 in the evening, which was a bit late for this jet lagged kiwi!
It certainly seemed safe enough, the Dubai mall will satisfy any cravings you have for retail therapy. I took a copy of my prescription, but was never asked to show it, and had never had to fill out any forms to declare anything.
Taxis are cheap, and the light rail system works well too - from the airport into town was about 4 dhirrams.

Pete

paladin
09-15-2010, 09:30 AM
I gots an old passport I'll sell ya......piktoor ain't bad, beard about same color, but you may be a bit short. It ain't blue, a bit darker than that but it will get you through the gates faster.

Bob Adams
09-15-2010, 09:47 AM
I gots an old passport I'll sell ya......piktoor ain't bad, beard about same color, but you may be a bit short. It ain't blue, a bit darker than that but it will get you through the gates faster.

Ah ha! One of THOSE:cool:

Syed
09-15-2010, 09:56 AM
I gots an old passport I'll sell ya......

For how much? (Smiley not used because presumably you don't like one)

Mrleft8
09-15-2010, 10:26 AM
They got a country named after a marijuana cigarette? ;) :D

Syed
09-15-2010, 11:08 AM
Dubai camel racing, merely media based knowledge. ;)

http://www.dubaivacationpackages.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/camel-racing1.jpg

paladin
09-15-2010, 11:47 AM
It's not that I don't like smileys, Syed, but you can't add smileys on a quick response thingy....passport expires in November...probably won't renew it. Can't see me traveling anymore.

Tar Devil
09-15-2010, 01:47 PM
:D I'm afraid to ask!!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-15-2010, 02:55 PM
There has been a big kerfuffle about camel racing in the Emirates; the kidnapping of small children from Pakistan to work as jockeys is not now considered quite the done thing, I gather.

purri
09-16-2010, 02:04 AM
And they import OZ camels.

doorstop
09-16-2010, 03:59 AM
And they import OZ camels.
Thats coz ours camels are so much cuter than what they got!
;) ;) ;)