Posted by: englishdubai | August 13, 2006


This weekend I hosted my first guest in Dubai. Guest perhaps is the wrong word it was my Mom – who stopped over for the weekend on her way down to see my nephew and sister in Perth.

fortunately the flight was not delayed despite the security measures implemented at British airports on the day of her depature – it seems that Heathrow was most effected but at Birmingham it was business as usual but with the hand luggage restriction.

I arranged the Marhaba greet and meet service which made navigation through airport, customs and baggage collection a breeze for my Mom. The same couldn’t be said for my attempt at parking in the airport.

My plan was to drive down to arrivals and valet the car. However the traffic on the lower level was awful and a official looking traffic officer decided that the Valet parking facility was “closed” despite pleas from a rather hot looking car valet – so another trip around the airport loop. Mental note to self when picking someone up at Dubai International – drive up to departures and use that entrance to car park A.

It was a fairly cool 33C at 1am in the morning at the airport – I realized I most becoming slightly acclimatized to the heat as my Mom exclaimed the weather was like “Central Heating!” or “Like a Sauna”

In the short couple of days while my Mom was here we visited a few shopping malls, some nice restaurants and I made my first trip to the “Old Gold Souk” in Deira. The last time I had visited a Gold Souk was the one in Abu Dhabi twenty odd years ago. It felt like not much had really changed in the interim years. It felt the same with gleaming jewelry in the windows, endless shops and intricate darkly lit side streets where I am sure more ilicit goods such as fake watches, handbags and DVDs could be obtained.

The display of gold and other goods was simply dazzling…..

I am not really one for jewelry myself as I wear and own none – not even a watch. However this changed as my curiosity got the better of me and I ended up purchasing a “genuine imitation” Omega for 200AED. I really should know better – but I found the whole process of being led to a hidden locked room to do the choosing, haggling and transaction fascinating. They even provided a service to remove a couple of links in the bracelet to fit my wrist. I was even more surprised when I actually found out how to adjust it to tell the correct time.

On reflection I wish I had have put the money towards a G-Shock or a nice Seiko – but the experience while clandestine was interesting.

My Mom really enjoyed her visit to Dubai and plans to come back early in the new year when the weather is cooler and outdoor activities such as Wild Wadi are more enjoyable.


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