Thursday, September 17, 2015

dubai (1)

As predicted, J and I hit the ground running once we landed in Dubai. We dragged our six suitcases off the belt and into a taxi van, which took us straight to our residential hotel. We will be here for the next 30 days, or until we find a flat. It is a short walk from the Mall of Emirates and the metro, so we can get around quite easily. Our room is really nice with a decent-sized kitchen and living room area. When you're staying long-term, these two things are necessary. Sidenote: I'm so very happy that J packed the coffee press.

Our view from the living room area is less than ideal...

...but we do have a tiny balcony we can stand on if we want. I can't really say I've wanted to hang on the balcony all that much since arrival--it's hot here. Really, really hot. A fascinating heat, really. Going outside, you feel like you're standing behind the hot engine of a car or blow dryer, so your basic instinct tells you to move away from this heat, but when you move the blow dryer follows you right in the face. The coolest day was 96 degrees. The rest are about 106(and in the spring/summertime, it's much worse). I knew this about Dubai, but it's still a kick in the face when you go outside. I've been in a vicious tango with an on-again, off-again migraine since our arrival, and I think the heat gets partial blame here. Stay hydrated and suck it up. That's been my motto.

Coming from Cairo to Dubai feels a bit like traveling through time. I'm adjusting to the environment of "everything works" again after being in a place where "most things don't." We are also another two time zones forward, which puts us 8 hours ahead of the states. It's strange to be in a land of high rises and highways--driving here is something I am not in a rush to do. The public transportation systems here are great, plus the speed of cars on the road is fairly intimidating. During our first night here, I watched a car haul ass down the road only to squeal to a stop behind another car, swerve, gun it again in the right lane, and slip out of eyesight. A few seconds later we heard crash-boom-thud. Oof. For now, I'll stick with my metro.

I find myself at the Mall of Emirates a lot. It is close to our current hotel, and our closest metro stop is located inside. As I have described in a previous post about Dubai, malls here are a much bigger part of daily life than your normal mall in the states. Think U.S. mall on many, many steroids. The Mall of Emirates is not only host to a metro stop, but also a grocery store(Carrefour), an indoor ski slope, bowling alley, movie theater, three story toy store, as well as designer stores that I am still stunned to see in person(Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Chanel). These higher-end stores are located on the higher floor, away from the stores most normal civilians can afford. Still, they are interesting to walk by and peer into. Malls here are very much a hub of activity and traveling. Every time I go there, I end up getting lost at least once. Yes, even with a map in my hand. I've gone to one of the food courts to have lunch on my own, and doing so was a bit like being in a high school cafeteria again. So many tables, all of these strangers, and me with my tray.

We have an impressive list of things to do, including establishing residency, which is a process that will be delayed due to the holiday Eid Al Adha. The process will take roughly two weeks. We have to have residency to secure a flat to live in, so much of our to do list is dependent on the thing(or two) listed before it. One of the big things we did yesterday....enrolled me into sports/fitness college! I'm so excited about this. I still need to write an entry about all of my personal training's coming, I promise. Right now I need to get started on errands. More soon! I have a lot to say and seemingly very little time to do it.


  1. Thanks for your post. It was very interesting to read it. I will visit Dubai in a few months, and your info is very important for me. What can you advice me about transport from airport to the city? Should i use public transport or book taxi in advance via I heard that taxi from the airport is expensive.

    1. There are plenty of taxis at the airport--you won't have to book one in advance. The cost is approx. 60-70 dhs, if I remember correctly. It's not too bad. Taxis are great there and always available. At the airport, they also have a specific taxi line just for families and women. They are usually pink-accented and have women drivers, but I've never ever felt unsafe using a taxi. Enjoy your trip! And if you have more questions, feel free to email me: