My flight was about 45 minutes late leaving London but in other ways my luck held. I had a whole window row of three seats to myself, just enough to lie out flat on, which was brilliant. Emirates really do offer an outstanding flight experience in Economy. I can only imagine what Business or First must be like. The flight was on a very new-looking A380, very quiet in flight and of course with a full “upstairs” of first class suites. They have uber effective air filters and changers on board and it felt very safe and clean – mask wearing throughout, packs of hand gel and masks on every seat, no magazines, and touchless controls for everything. You scanned a qr code on the seatback screen to see the food menu. Dinner was pretty large – 4 courses – and very nice, and there was a full drinks service. I ate mine watching a documentary on the life of Tina Turner – and then settled down to try and sleep. Not entirely satisfactorily even with headphones and an eye mask and the cabin lights off….. I really dislike overnight flights and try and avoid them if I can.
Woke up about 45 minutes out of Dubai after a bit of a doze-wake-doze-wake night, feeling definitely a bit sub par. Breakfast had been round and they’d left me a danish pastry and a glass of water. I drank the water and would have loved a cup of tea. The flight attendant kindly offered to make me one, but we were already descending and she couldn’t. Nice she tried though…. We’d made up quite a bit of time and were only about 15 minutes late on landing.
Very, very smooth and easy entry into Dubai. The immigration hall is huge with a multitude of desks open, all manned by Emiratis, immaculate in pristine white robes and head gear. There is a line but it moves quickly. UK citizens are issued a free visa on arrival for 30 days. I had my photograph taken, showed my test and vaccination documents and I was stamped through. The bags were already coming off the belt and I had them quickly. Lucy had bought 5 bottles of wine at the Duty Free in the baggage hall and they were waiting for me to pick up.
She was waiting for me outside and we were quickly in the car and heading out into the busy Dubai rush hour traffic. It was by now, I suppose, 730 am and already 35C. There was quite a haze over the city and I did wonder if the authorities were preparing to seed rain clouds again as they sometimes do. But no, Tropical Cyclone Shaheen, is approaching Oman and it’s effects are being felt here. A tropical cyclone in this area is a very rare event and it is expected to bring Dubai some rain and thunderstorms over the next 2 days, plus the risk of stormy seas along the beaches and flash floods in the valleys. It has already made landfall in Oman today so it will weaken now.
I was absolutely whacked, so after chatting and unpacking, I curled up and had a sleep for a few hours – until about 230!!!!! Lucy was working from home. She has really made her apartment a very personal space now, not just with the furnishings but also with the decor and her granny’s green thumb must be coming through as she has installed a whole indoor garden of plants which are breeding well. I was most impressed.
We did a grocery order for the week. They have a range of supermarkets here and delivery services which are different to the UK. Because there is a plethora of a manual workforce available, there is no need for the special delivery trucks storing multiple home deliveries we see at home. You book your delivery time and a man brings all your bags to your door on a personal visit so to speak. And it’s free! Amazing. The shopping apps are not as good as the ones at home, I must say, but still it’s very convenient. There is a very large range of products available and all ahve the country of origin showing as well as the price, and it encourages you to buy local, because there is a big difference in price, if your food is produced in the UAE. Some of the choices made me smile….. Camel banger sausages, anyone??????? Just think about it……
So, it is very lovely to be here in this extraordinary city again. It really is a sort of fantasy paradise for adults, a Disneyland of the desert. There is absolutely every pleasure for the holidaymaker on offer here – at a price.
Tonight we lolled, ate delicious poke powls delivery….. watched Netflix…… enjoyed the beautiful vistas from every window. The lamps Lucy bought in Cyprus look great here.