United Arab Emirates (Dubai)


#14 United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

Although I would love to say that I explored Dubai, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, where they have gold-plated vending machines with gold bars sitting in them and the police drive Lamborghinis, the truth is that I only got to see Dubai’s airport en route to Australia.


Even so, I would like to describe my experience flying on Emirates and eventually landing in the Dubai airport. While I cannot complain, since my destination was Australia, I was a little concerned about taking two 14-hour flights.


However, Emirates treats its passengers like royalty, or at least in comparison to other airlines I have been on. The flight attendants wear adorable red hats, walked up to me asking, “Hot towel madam?” one of the menu items was lamb, and there were hundreds of television, as well as movie options to watch. I also enjoyed how the airlines feigned twilight with fake stars on the ceiling of the plane as if it were nighttime. Although the peasants in coach did not get to experience the bar on the second floor of the airline or the beds they have for passengers, the other classes had the option of enjoying that as well. Yet one of my favorite parts of the flight was watching the commercials set in Dubai, especially the Atlantis Resort that is located there.


The Dubai Airport was beautiful. Of course, we fulfilled the American stereotype and our first step when we arrived was McDonalds. Although the prices eventually translated on our credit cards, it was comical seeing Hamburgers listed as costing about $20.


Here are some fun facts about Dubai Airport, as well as Emirates, according to Wikipedia:

1). It is the 7th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic and the 2nd busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic.

2). The airport contributes majorly to Dubai’s economy and employs about 58,000 people.

3). Emirates handles 64% of passenger traffic and is the largest airline hub in the Middle East.

4). The airport has three terminals and Terminal 3 is the second largest building in the world by floor space.

The inside of the airport is also a giant mall. Although I did not get to explore the city, being in this atmosphere was exciting in itself.


Dubai8 (Leaving Melbourne Airport for the flights home.)

Dubai15(Back home in the winter cold!)

So has anyone ever been to Dubai Airport or stayed in Dubai in general? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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40 Responses to United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

  1. Rima Hassan says:

    Hey there,

    I’m Rima and I’m an expat who enjoys every bit of living in Dubai. It has become a home for the past 4 years and I love living here even more than USA. I work here as a wedding photographer. You may check my blog to see Dubai through my eyes at http://www.rimahassanblog.com 😉

    P.S. I never saw a gold plated vending machine here. lol. Someone probably told you that as a joke. I did witness a gold plated car. The police definitely drive amazing cars. And the McDonald meals are about 20 dirhams (US $5.45) 😉

    • Hi Rima! That’s awesome you live in Dubai now and what an awesome career you have there too 🙂 I will definitely check out your blog! And haha, really?! Oops, that’s funny, but guess I will have to make an edit about that and the McDonald meals! Lol

  2. I lived in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for a total of 18 years before coming back to Canada in October 2011 to care for my Mom who has Alzheimer’s disease.

    About six years ago, I started posting letters I had written from Abu Dhabi back to Canada from 1993 to early 2001. A few of them are here: http://amazingwomenrock.com/letters-from-abu-dhabi/

    I’ve flown Emirates on many many many occasions and agree with you, it’s top notch!

    • Wow, that is awesome you lived there for so long! I will also be sure to keep you and your mom in my thoughts. I love the idea of posting your letters; I’m going to check it out now 🙂 And yes, Emirates was wonderful!

  3. Uncle Spike says:

    Dubai. Yes, love the place. Been there 4 times en-route to India, but grabbed 2-4 days there each time. Not much, but if you get out and about, away from the tourist bits, it’s an interesting mix of cultures. Favourite times, as always, are taxi adventures. We took a 4 hour ‘tour’ in a cab, just asking the driver to ‘show us around’ 🙂 As for Emirates, never had better, seriously.

  4. paranoiasnfm says:

    OMG! You’re so lucky!
    It’s one of my dreams: to visit Dubai…
    For what i saw here… you enjoyed! 😀 I’m happy for that! 🙂

  5. btg5885 says:

    Great trip. It’s a bummer to leave a warm (or hot) climate and then get off the plane in the cold.

  6. Megan says:

    Dubai is on my list! Especially after reading this 🙂

  7. lightaustralisphoto says:

    Hi, nice. Reminds me of my trip last year, we too flew Emirates and would always recommend them to anyone (was lucky to fly Business). We stopped off in Dubai for two days and can only say you need to see it to believe it, such a great stopover and worth exploring more, I will be back.

  8. Wow, gold plated vending machines that vend out gold bars! It sounds like a fairy tale place. I wonder what they use the gold bars for?

  9. lesleycarter says:

    It’s on my list too. Hopefully, you’ll get to see more than the airport in the future.

  10. oldpoet56 says:

    Thank you very much for the information in your post. I have been all over the U,S, 48 and Canada and all over the U.S. Mexico border but that is the extent of my travels, I am almost 60 and I have never even owned a passport. The only world traveling I have ever done is through the TV or on the computer screen. So, keep up the great post, you are a good writer and a good read.

    • Wow, that’s awesome you’ve gotten to see nearly the entire US! As for me, I’ve only been on the East Coast so far, so I’ll have to go to you for tips if I go beyond that! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  11. Denise [But First, Live!] says:

    gah! Dubai! i will visit one day 🙂

  12. Oloriel says:

    Hello! Very interesting post!
    I have been to Dubai several times. The architecture is wild and amazing. It is jsut so damn hot and sunny for my taste.
    Regarding the airport, I remember it was the first place where I ever seen a “Burger King”.

  13. nathanghall says:

    Have you watched the National Geographic Channel show Ultimate Dubai Airport? I think it was about 9 episodes or so. Really interesting look at what happens behind the scenes there. This is the website, but you can also find episodes on YouTube: http://natgeotv.com/uk/ultimate-airport-dubai

  14. Laura says:

    I was in Dubai and Abu Dhabi last year, and it was AWESOME.

  15. bbali868 says:

    I plan on visiting Abu Dhabi later this year. I have a brother who teaches English as a second language there. From the pictures he has sent me it looks like a awesome place.

  16. Dale says:

    I had the pleasure of flying Air Emirates last year myself. You’ve nailed the experience and the airport. Unforgettable service … and a building one doesn’t forget. Thanks for the reminiscence.

  17. Mark Bivvens says:

    On a recent return flight from Delhi, I had scheduled a long layover in Dubai hoping to gain another stamp on my then virgin passport book. In hindsight, it would have been far better to have booked the layover for my entry into India as the opulence of Dubai was far more shocking after returning from my tour of rural India.

    I left the terminal with my pack loaded down and walked from the airport to some random mall to wander around. Talking to the locals, I discovered I was still a long way away form my target: the Burj Khalifa. So off I walked again. My feet were torn up. The whole place seemed to me nothing more than malls stocked with decadent everything. For instance, I found a honey kiosk selling some truly unique and delicious honey some of which cost more than 1000 USD per kilo.

    I feel I saw most of what the place had to offer in less than 10 hours. Granted, I had no idea what Dubai had to offer so no doubt I missed out. The people were quite friendly, the local women were beautiful, and the architecture truly world class–the Burj Al Arab may be one of the coolest buildings in the world. But unless I strike it rich and can afford to buy and private island in The World, I have no ambitions to return. Australia, I’m sure, was a far better experience.

    Very cool blog btw. Keep the bucket list growing!

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