Dubai Debacle



Hello all, well this ought to be good:

We landed a little before midnight and knew that we had to clear customs, get our bags and then would soon be off to our hotel in the airport for some good rest for the night before we fly again. On the flight Kailey was worried that we had not booked enough time at the hotel but Sam assured her that it was a traveling hotel and all would be OK. So we land, get through customs with little hassle then get our bags. We had to get our bags no matter what as our connecting flight was over 24hrs later. After we got our bags we saw no sign for the hotel and upon asking we were then told we should not have gone through security to get our bags, which means that we thus were exiting the airport. AHHHH, but we didn’t know and we had to get our bags… who knows where they would have ended up. So to the Emirates desk we went to speak to a supervisor as we were then told that maybe they could get us back in to our hotel.

As a side note, the Russian Emirates person who checked us in was a super stickler for the rules, we think because of who we were and our carry ons were weighed and we each had to practically empty them to make them each 7kg. It was a little bit strange, as clearly many others in line could go through with well over any weight limits and our carry-ons were not even full.

Back to our story. We are up at the Emirates counter speaking to the manager who it turns out can get us in, but we can’t take our bags with us as it is carry on luggage only. This would have been nice to have seen somewhere on a website how this hotel works and what the rules were. Who knows how the russian check in lady would have dealt with us then, but at least we would have packed our carry on accordingly. At this point Kailey was practically in tears and so tired, that she was ready to just sleep on a chair in the airport lounge for the next 24 hours.

We could raid our luggage and grab what was needed to get us through the next 26hrs, locking our luggage with the Emerates desk at the airport. This also meant that we would have to clear security and customs again of which we just go through and do the exact same thing (out and in through security and customs) 26hrs later. Argggg what to do.

So we decided to not leave our stuff at the airport and play the crazy customs security game and cancel our hotel reservation making it that we then had no place to stay or sleep. Our next move was to go to the hotel reservation desk and book a room at the Holiday Inn express which we saw upon landing and almost booked at initially. We found an agent to help us, and at 1:30am it was booked up.

Now working on plan C or D we were then told to go to the last booking person at the end of hotel reservations and speak with them. We got there and spoke with the person who had two rooms left… we would have to book two nights though which is what Kailey was worried about in the beginning and thus her intuition was right. Two nights with half a night already gone and leaving a half a night early. At this point thought it was what it was and we were exhausted. The booking person kept giving us discounts on our stay and I felt like we were back to bartering in Russia.

Finally though we got a room and there was free car service to and from the airport so all we had to do was wait to be picked up, check in and soon sleep as long as we wanted.

After some sleep and room service and naps we are off to the giant super mall to find some dinner and apparently find Starbucks!!! We were going to the City Centre Mall which is one of Dubai’s big Super malls. We go there and immediately were greeted with familiar shop names which made us miss home a little less at this point. There were all the major clothing stores, pink berry fro yo, many restaurants we recognized and even a Borders bookstore (they apparently still exist overseas). Just about everything was in English too which was another blessing. After hitting Starbucks and getting Latte’s we were then off to Borders where we found some more Nicolas Sparks romance novels, and an awesome guide for Australia called Backroads Australia that has different drives for driving across Oz, which is what we were up to. Until this point we did not really know how to specifically go about planning our Aussie road trip other than we were going to do it. The book also came with an awesome map and overall the book has pretty much been our bible since landing in Oz. For dinner we got much desired mexican food and then we went back to the hotel to gather our things and wait for 2am to depart to the airport for our flight.

Bali here we come!

~ K. and Sam

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