Ain’t Nothin’ to Fly, All the Way to Dubai
October 15, 2009

“There is no such thing as a man and a woman in public here” – Kavita Colaco
After a month of staying in small hostels, I decided it was time for a change while in Dubai. Dubai has very few hostels and heaps and heaps of hotels. Since the oil boom in the UAE, Dubai has been spending a large amount of money building tall skyscrapers, manmade islands, and infrastructure for tourism. I landed in Abu Dhabi and took a bus to Dubai. From there I walked through the depths of hell to get to my hotel. The man I was sitting next to on the bus suggested a taxi, but since the hotel was only about two and a half miles from the bus station I figured I would just walk it. Big mistake. Unlike the places I’ve been before, Dubai is unbearably scorching. After 5 minutes of walking, I was sweating beads out onto my forehead and walking past other people who were not enjoying their walk as well. Men would walk past me on the sidewalk with their tshirt drenched in the armpit and chest areas. And nobody’s smiling. Every is grimacing rather because it’s hot and gross as Satan’s ballsack. Another reason nobody walks here is because there’s nothing to explore in Dubai. There’s no farmer’s market or large statue or beautiful parks where people are hanging out. In fact there’s really no hanging out. Everyones either in Dubai to get a piece of the oil money so they’re working really hard indoors, or on vacation with their family and are at one of the many malls spending a lot of money indoors. You’re either spending money or making money here, and culture is tossed into the wayside. However, that’s not to say that there is no culture of control.
Guys and girls rarely co-mingle in public, and so it was difficult for me to get into the scene as well. The laws are very strict here and you can get in trouble for any public display of affection. You can’t even hold hands in public, no wonder people are angry all of the time here. Two years ago, a powerful attorney invited her boyfriend to come to Dubai to visit here. After a couple drinks at the hotel, they went out to the beach where it was cooler. A short time later they were having sex on the beach in the middle of arabia under the bright moon and crashing waves. Somebody spotted them in action and ratted on them to the authorities. The police rolled by and kicked BOTH of them out of Dubai. Drunk driving is another offense that will get a person kicked out of Dubai permanently. They don’t mess around here.
Even though I do appreciate the perks such as much needed privacy of a swanky hotel room, I finally decide to venture out and check out Burjuman Mall. At the door I see this:

Other than that, it’s not much different from nice malls we have at home like Fashion Island or some parts of South Coast Plaza. Slap burkas on the cougars and you have, eerily, the same exact feel. So as it turns out, there’s nothing to explore. Dubai has over 33 malls. Brands like Guess?, Lacoste, Adidas, Virgin, Starbucks, and many other brands have huge storefronts in Dubai.
One mall I semi-enjoyed was the Mall of Emirates. The Mall of Emirates has Ski Dubai. When I saw it on TV I knew I had to try it. It was cheap, for $40 you get your lift ticket and rental of pants, jacket, boots, and snowboard. Not bad. The snow is man-made snow but technically it’s snow. It feels exactly like it in the morning I bet but towards the afternoon it gets a little more packed and less soft. The snowboarding itself was enjoyable, but barely. But it’s great snowboarding considering it’s 39°C outside! If you love snowboarding like I do, it’ll do the job. The run is at an acute angle and is lots of fun. The 400 meter run I was able to do in about three to four minutes down.
Dubai is a growing city and is on it’s way to be a great modern city in a couple years time. However, a few things immediately let me know that they have a good way to go. First off, there are few places you can buy food by credit card. When McDonalds couldn’t accept my credit card I knew I was going to be in trouble if I didn’t line my wallet with more Dirhams. What am I in mongolia or something? Accept my credit Dubai.
I took a safari out to the middle of the desert which involved a crazy drive around in the sand dunes. The land cruiser almost flipped over a couple times. Right when we stopped to check on another land cruiser I saw a chick throw up in the other car. The we were off for more sand duning. The camp in the desert was fun I got a henna tattoo and smoked some sisha (hooka). The meal was good and we got to watch a bellydance.
Good ethnic food was harder to find than in other countries. There was panda express, KFC, McDonalds, Jollybee, and Subway. All sorts of fast food. After awhile, I got depressed of all the malls, hotels, and fast food. So I decided to take a trip to newly built Jumiera, which is a group of island shaped as a palm tree. When I got there i realized what it also was, a mall!
Jumiera Palm Island also has a waterpark which I didn’t feel like going to alone and an aquarium I didn’t feel like paying $50 dollars to get in. This is why Dubai is for family vacations and not backpackers.
Drinking is banned in Dubai. The way the tourist authority gets around this is allowing hotels to serve alcohol only. So this means that every club is within a hotel. Big clubs are inside nice hotels and smaller clubs are in smaller hotels. There is a couples rule which keeps the girl/guy ratio in check. I got around this by spotting groups of girls and coming in with them. At Chi friday night at The Lodge there’s four rooms with four different music. I met three Indian girls there and halfway through the night we decided to leave and go to an Indian club. I stepped into an Indian club with 3 cute girls and got mean mugged by all these Indian guys. It was pretty cool.
On the taxi ride home, I talked to the driver who was from India. There are many taxi drivers either from the Philippines or India. As we were heading down Mankhool street, he told me that this was a street for prostitutes and tells me his favorite kind. Asian. We were at a stoplight on Mankhool street when he waves to one of the girls on the corner. “I think she smells very good” he says. “I bet her hand smells like a thousand cocks though, man” I don’t think he understood me, however.
Anyway, I love subway systems and the Dubai system is a good start but is too early to use to explore the city. It goes between two malls which is useless to me. Using taxi cabs is expensive as well. It’s an expensive place overall. There’s nothing fun about this place yet since a lot of people who are here and here to work for money so that they can send it home. It’s like there’s an influx of people there only to eat at this oil money. It feels exactly like Vegas: too hot to walk, taxis everywhere, lots of hotels, shopping, massive over the top attractions (swimming with dolphins and snowboarding). The only thing different is that there is no gambling, and I hear even that is being worked on. So I’m sorry you’re really pretty and things were nice but Dubai I’ll see you after you’re past developmental puberty.