And then… SURPRISE !! For the first time, as soon as I arrived, I didn’t like the place I was. To help you to understand why, I think it is important that I explain you the circumstances of my arrival in the United Arab Emirates. I’ve just worked and lived 3 months in a farm close to Perth. After that, I’ve been traveling by myself for around 10 days in a backpacker mode. I was used to this life style, to the fact that you stay focus on the essential and not at all to all the superficial stuffs in life. I was on my way back home to make a surprise to my family and friends.
As soon as I arrive, I felt the wish of local people to feature luxury. I took a cab to go to my hotel (a Hilton close to the beach) and not an hostel… On the way, I could see that the city was building in the middle of nowhere between the desert and the sea. Here, everything made to really blow the visitors away, starting by the adds!
I do not think that I have ever seen anywhere else advertising hoarding that big. Even the ones of Times Square didn’t impressed me that much. That’s saying something !
The second element that surprised me the most was that no one was in the streets. Every one stays in the air conditioned area such as the shopping center. It wasn’t my first time in a warm country but it was the first time that I’ve find “without life”. And, for me, that’s exactly the beauty of a place. I like to hear the brouhaha made by the residents, the smells of the local restaurants… Which is sadly not the case of Dubai.
At my arrival at the hotel, everything went very well (especially for me who isn’t used to the luxury of this kind of place). But this quickly changed when I went to the breakfast on the following morning… Traveling by myself, I went there by myself… And, there, I was really uncomfortable. I had this feeling because of the way the other customers and some staffs were looking at me. I felt like they were staring at me, which isn’t really nice. Later, I’ve learned that, in this area, they thought that women traveling solo were escort girls… This explains that…
Finally, my last (bad) experience… Traveling solo and no one (or almost) knowing that I was in Dubai, I’ve decided to try a cheap and safe way to visit the city: the Hop On-Hop Off buses. In this way, I could see the best of the city without getting lost. At the first stop, I got out, very happy to be able to discover everything the city has to offer. And there, I realized that the only women present are tourists and all of them are with their husband or partner… So, I was the only woman in the surroundings. I quickly felt stressed by the look of the local people but also unsafe.
Definitively, Dubaï isn’t for me !
Apart from the Burj Khalifa tower, which is really impressive, I didn’t have a good memory of this stopover.
For me, Dubai can be summarize into two words : superficial and bling-bling. Everything is made to impress except the city itself. You can see the pollution in the sky (such as Paris during the pollution peak). There are mainly big towers and, regarding the shops, only the European luxury brands…
And you, have you already been to Dubai? Was your experience any better than mine?