Wednesday, 12 March 2008

My Dubai Trip-Day 1

Finally, I managed to select a few pictures taken in Dubai to be featured here (trust me it was NOT easy!!). Yup, I was lucky enough to make a trip to Dubai on the 23rd February, Saturday....Well it was a business and also partly leisure as well. There were organizing a food Exhibition, called "Gulf Food" where all the food manufacturers and hoteliers will be exhibiting there.
Burj al arabWe wanted to check out how we will fare if we were to participate at their event on 2010 as packaging designer. We wanted to explore a wider market with our service. Plus, I always wanted to see this 7 star hotel, "Burj Al Arab" after watching on some documentary channel, the way they construct the hotel from scratch. Oh and not forgetting the man-made island that shaped like a palm tree located at Jumeirah. It was truly magnificent! Well, I'll just summarize what I did and you guys will get a clearer picture. Read on....

11.30am: Boarded the plane at KLIA. It was the first time I took the Gulf Air. Hey, it was the cheapest package. I really wanted to try the Emirates but the price was a "killer". I got the package with returns+hotel+half day trip+night cruise at RM3600 in comparison with Emirates that charges RM 4800. So, you do the math! I was nervous of course, thinking it'll be full of middle east people with cloak over their head and we'll be the only Chinese. Luckily, there were some "Kwai Lo"(means Englishmen in Chinese in a polite way. Impolite or rather direct translation would be "ghost man"). The good news was their service was good cos they kept serving us snacks before and after our main meal. We were even given a decent menu, laminated card to choose what type of food we want. You can choose either their local style of "Briyani" with chicken or Pasta with chicken. I chose the latter one.



7 hours later: We reached Bahrain as our pit stop. On the screen where they show you where you are now, and we just passed by Dubai to stop at Bahrain! So, now we had to wait for another 2 hours at the Bahrain airport just to transit back to Dubai. What choice do we have cos Gulf Air is own by Bahrain and no matter what, you have to transit there.

2 hours later: We finally touched down at Dubai but there were 4 hours time difference between Malaysia and Dubai. It was only 5pm in Dubai but 9Pm in Malaysia! My stomach was growling like nobody business and I can't wait to get to our hotel in which the tour agent told us was a 4 star. Along the way I was imagining a hot long shower then jumping into a nice comfy bed. To our shocked, we were driven to some street that looks like our "Chow Kit" or "Bukit Bintang" back area where they are filled with 2 stars hotels for prostitution activities! When we got out, I asked Laura, "Are you sure this is our hotel". I was standing at the front door in disbelief....

At the hotel: When we stepped in, the concierge was rude and threw us some weird look. I looked around and saw 2 Asian girls sitting at the sofa and 1 "Kwai Lo" sitting by himself. To my left was a tiny shabby-looking cafeteria. To my right was some run-down pub with some kind of cheap music/band playing at the background. After handing over our passports, he gave us the key and asked the bell boy to carry our luggages up. I was standing there tapping my shoes waiting to collect back our passports and guess what happen next? He told us to go up to our room and he'll send it back tomorrow morning. I said, "What??, No, we want our passport back!" Luckily, Laura's uncle is currently working in Dubai at some construction company called "Zealan" . We called to check. And he told us that there is no such practice in Dubai. So, we sat stand at the counter, refused to budge and he had no choice but to give in. When i asked for our complimentary breakfast voucher, he told us he will send it to our room tomorrow. Pointing towards the "cheapo" cafeteria, i asked, "Is that where we are going to have our breakfast??" He just answer like he doesn't bother, " Yeah".

In the room: Upon unlocking the room, it was a tiny room with 2 single beds, a T.V that doesn't work and shower head that fell apart. The best part was that there were NO WATER at all. I thought every hotel should have at least 2 complimentary bottle of water! Ok, so i thought to myself that maybe water is expensive in Dubai cos we are in a dessert after all. Well, at least give us a pot or something to boil our water right? Well, there was none to be found. And the refrigerator is the best joke of the day cos there was NO snacks in it!! So i just looked at Laura and said, "Confirm.This is a hotel is for prostitute and 1 night stand people, so who needs water right?". Laura looked at me in distressed and felt like breaking down any moment. And,right at that moment, the phone rang and it was her uncle. He was so worried about us and offered to pick us up and stay in his company's condominium.

11pm(Dubai time) @ Laura's uncle Condominium: It was definitely a luxury for us. What a big difference! I felt like heaven here compare to the stupid hotel (Btw, the hotel name is "Fortune Hotel" located at Rigga Road) that looks like hell. The whole place was so spacious with huge kitchen and dining area. There were 3 rooms with 1 maid's room.




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