Saturday, May 03, 2008

September 26 2007 - Dubai Rendezvous Day 1

I have been thinking to do a chronological account of my time at UK and Europe. But the thing is, you see, 3 months plus of photos is really tedious to filter out. Coupled with Totji Cath keep pressuring me to blog, so I've decided to do the part that is the shortest and easiest to do 1st..

Dubai was our last stop before returning to Malaysia, all the photos are taken from Peggy and How Chen's camera, total duration 3 days, so it was relatively easy to filter. So now I present you.....


Am not going to bore you with what Dubai is, where it is, etc. You can just Google search it. But let's talk about why I went to Dubai before going right into it. Begin at May 2007.

As you might have known, or haven't known, me and my mates took the Emirates flight to the UK. Now Emirates flights will always have transits at Dubai. Part of their package include adding RM29 to topup from transit to stopover. When we booked our flights, all of my mates opted for the topup, but not me, because I wasn't really interested with Dubai at that time.

*So why the hell are you going to Dubai??*

Fast forward to August 2007. We were planning our itinery after our Europe tour. Peggy was persuading me to join them at Dubai. But I wasn't quite moved, and I didn't have the stopover topup with me. To arrange for the upgrade now would cost me RM200 penalty charge. So I jokingly challenged Peggy and said: "If I can win 30 pounds in the casino tonight, then I'll join you guys!"

And I friggin did win more than 30!! Well the casino story, I will not elaborate here. But... my challenge hit me back on my face. It came true, so now what? There's only 1 conclusion to be made, u know, it's bad to eat on your words after u make headways in your gambles so, GO GO GO!!

We departed Manchester Airport at 25th September in the evening, 8.30 or 8.45pm I think.. 7 hours later, 6.00am 26th September Dubai time, we were at Dubai International Airport! Woohoo!! 5 of us together: me, Bryan @ Brain, Cath, Peggy and How Chen. Bryan is called Brain because of a certain cartoon which I have never watched before, Pinky and the Brain~ Pinky and the Brain~ Brain Brain Brain Brain~~~

Me, Peggy, Brain and Cath on airport shuttle (HC cameraman keke)

Our Plane

We checked out, exchanged some Dubai currency (RM1 is approximately 1 dirham) and looked for cabs to bring us to our hotel. We found 2, loaded the boots, and were on our way.

WTF? 20 dirhams starting at the meter?? Bloody expensive man! But apparently, only cabs from airport is like that lah.. if you take cab outside, it starts at 3.50 dirhams..

Arrived at our hotel, the Royalton Hotel at downtown Deira. Bless us, 5 of us and we managed to NOT take any photos of the hotel entrance! Anyway, it's a 2-star hotel, the cheapest we managed to find after weeks hours of scouring through the internet back in Liverpool.

We were basically drained out of our last bit of energy, and it was early morning, so we just checked in to our rooms and get some sleep.

Woke up in the afternoon, took a shower, and we were all prepared to begin our Dubai conquest! However, the hotel boy gave us a bashing. "You cannot find food outside. It's Ramadhan. The restaurants only open at night. If you want food, you can buy the hotel food."

WHAT??? NO RESTAURANTS OPEN?? And we're starving at that moment!

We decided to go out anyway, hoping that the hotel boy is just exagerrating in an effort to boost the hotel restaurant's business. But it seems like he spoke the truth. All the restaurants.. in fact almost all the shops we encountered were closed!

After 5 minutes in open air, we felt like roasted pork. It was hot scorching out there! Later that day we found out that in the afternoon, temperature can go up to 45 degree celcius! At night, 28 is normal. Wow........

Thank Allah (since we're in an Islamic state), we saw something that resembled a shopping complex and rushed in. Don't know what's that complex called, but heck, who cares, we just wanna get indoors, into some air-conditioned environment!

Found a supermarket inside which was OPEN. Saved at last. Now we can have cheaper food!

Haha, the supermarket has CNY greetings in chinese words :D

Some pictures taken in the supermarket

There wasn't anything special about the supermarket. In fact, it looked like any other supermarket you can find in Malaysia. We just bought some food and water, and headed back to the hotel.

(TIPS: They have implemented rounding up to 25 cents. So if you see for example something 1.59 dirhams, it's actually 1.75 dirhams)

Plan A: Dubai Conquest in the afternoon

Time to call upon Plan B: Hotel Room Conquest in the afternoon, Dubai Conquest at night.

How we spent our time in the hotel room. Clockwise from top left: Me copy photos, Brain sleeping (nice posture :D), HC and Peggy camwhoring, Cath copy photos also.

At long last, night hit us. Time to go out again, yay~ :D We headed to the Al-Ghurair street to look for something nice for dinner.

Al-Ghurair City

We saw many restaurants that looked really nice. Settled for a Filipino restaurant called Golden Fork.

Immense Hunger Posing Syndrome

Salted Fish Fried Rice is fried rice with salted fish, Nasi Goreng Fried Rice is fried rice with nasi goreng? Hahahahaha :D

Finally, our food. Don't know should say nice anot la, taste like, roasted meat lo, hehehe~

After dinner, time to exercise abit, hehehe. Walked around the streets of al-Ghurair, and also the shopping complex.

A cafe at al-Ghurair street

I'll teach u Arabic words. It's read as SWATCH

After some walking, we took a cab to the overrated magnificent 7-star hotel Burj al-Arab. Actually, it's the mall near the hotel to be exact, the Souk Madinat. We figured it's better to walk to the hotel from the mall, and see if we can bump into other interesting things..

(TIPS: Public transport in Dubai is bus, train, boat, cab. You can't find buses on the roads, but you can find cabs 24-7, on any streets in any parts of Dubai! Their meter starts at 3.50 dirhams and jumps at 10 cents 50 cents each time!)

I'm tired of typing, let's just let photos do the talking..

Inside Souk Madinat

Trinkets on sale

Nice view outside Souk Madinat

Another nice view with boat on the lake

Childish Lenglui

On the way to Burj al-Arab

Finally there~ Group photo 1st

Then solo~ 7-star hotel wei~

It will even change colours!

Then, a big let down. As we approached the security kiosk, the guards told us: "Strangers off limits beyond this point. Only guests with invitations allowed to enter."

WTF!? Can't even get closer to take photos. Erm, let me explain with the picture below.

Up to this point, we were only taking photos at the spot indicated by that pink square. The hotel is on a small man made island out in the sea, and there's still quite a distance to it. But no, strangers not allowed, so that was as far as we got. I swear to Buddha that if the guards said something like: "Visitors pay 20 dirhams to go in and take photos." we would have taken it!

Disappointed, we trudged on. There was still time to visit another hotel, 6-star Jumeirah Hotel, just down the road.

Air conditioned bus stop on the streets! Better don't emulate this in Malaysia, since the cost would probably turn out to be something like RM50million per bus stop!

Jumeirah Hotel

A special building in front of the hotel's main building

Jumeirah Hotel upclose.

The guards at Jumeirah hotel are much much more friendly. They didn't stop us from taking pictures as long as it is OUTSIDE the main hotel building.

After that, we were getting tired. It was already past midnight. So we took cab and headed back to Deira. Had supper at a mamak Pakistani restaurant before going back to the hotel.

Chicken Fried (That's how those Pakistani call it), costed me a whopping 6 dirhams!

Cath and Brain

Me, Peggy and HC

That's about it for day 1. Gosh, tiring to blog like this... continue tomorrow...


RO said...

Dubai looks like a nice place to visit :)

RealGunners said...

I would say.. it was worth going once.. but doubt there would be a second time...

But then, I'm using Esso Smiles card, if I win this coming Dubai royalty package, will definitely go again lah.. since 4 nights at Burj al-Arab :D