Two Days in Dubai
We caught a Virgin flight from London Heathrow to Dubai International Airport. A taxi then took us to the Sheraton Hotel in Dubai Creek.
The Sheraton was lovely, with a beautiful foyer and our room had great views across the creek to the city. When it was clear we could see all the main sky scrapers. When it was hazy we could watch the boats lined up in the creek.
Day One: David was working, so I decided to try and find the Gold Souk. I don’t speak any Arabic, was nervous about using public transport on my own, so I wanted to visit somewhere I could walk to.
This was also my first visit to a Muslim country, so I was unsure of what was appropriate. I asked the concierge, who assured me that I did not need to cover my head unless I planned to visit a mosque and my dress (long sleeves, high neck line, long skirt) was sufficiently modest. She said I was safe to walk around on my own but it was very hot so most women didn’t walk.
I set off, armed with a map and an iphone which I didn’t know how to use. The hotel was right next to the creek so for a while I was distracted by all the boats unloading. It was hugely interesting to watched relatively small boats which were stacked high with everything from plastic chairs to washing machines. It was amazing that some of them had made it across the sea, they seemed much too heavily laden.
There were also lots of men. While I was staring at the cargoes, they were staring at me. It felt uncomfortable so I moved on.
I found a shopping area on a main road. Stopped to look at small supermarkets and shops selling plastic shoes and cheap handbags. All the other women were wearing black abayas (long cloaks that cover other clothes) and despite the heat, I was tempted to do the same, as I found all the men stared at me and I didn’t like it.
Found a cheap clothes shop and bought a long black tunic and hijab (black headscarf.) The tunic was fine but I didn’t know how to tie the hijab and my attempts looked silly (I looked more like a washer woman from a child’s story book!) I would have asked a random woman in the shop but no one seemed to speak English. Decided to wear it anyway.
Thanks for reading. You can read the full version in my new travel book: A Sarcastic Mother’s Holiday Diary.
A sort of “Bill Bryson meets The Durrells” – for people who like to laugh and enjoy travel.
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