First Impressions

Two long flights and a long wait at Heathrow’s terminal number 4, I arrived in the beautiful city of Dubai. In Dubai visitors are greeted with banners proclaiming Dubai to be a place that puts health first. Leaving the airport, the new Dubai has the same feeling as Las Vegas. Everything is brand new, new skyscrapers, new housing developments, International media brands like CNN, Reuters and AFP and huge hotels like Le Maridian and of course the Burj al-Arab. That’s the one that looks like a giant sail…photos to come.

I met my friends at a bar for a drink, we almost started an international incident with a Brit who was telling us we must go to the dodgy party of town so hookers will hit on us. He then introduced us to his fiancee who he met in Thailand. Interesting connection. A few comments were made, he followed us out of the bar and we nearly got in a fight with a 50 year old Brit, who “doesn’t care” for Americans anyway. I tried to defuse the situation…but I think the guy still hates Americans.

Back to my new friend Nate’s house. A beautiful villa near Dubai college. Nate works with the government and has a very cool gig and a lives a great life with very cool friends in a great part of town.

We quickly changed and headed out to a club called Trinity. This club is similar to any in the states, but drinks are about $25 each…but this is Dubai.

The next day was lazy…we hit up a Mexican place and met some American expats. The day was fun and we met some great people, but it wasn’t an Arab Experiance. After going big last night, today we woke up and went to a local water park and then to the old city. We check out the golden souk, a marketplace filled with shops, food and all sorts of goods. Across the street was a huge fish market selling everything from shrimp to hammerhead sharks. We saw a truck filled from top to bottom with dead sharks.

We’re back at Nate’s house in the Free Zone. In Dubai, there are free zones set up where expats can own businesses, there are no taxes and you can surf anywhere you want on the internet. Outside of the free zone, you can’t really read blogs and flickr is banned as being out of step with the moral values of dubai…flickr! However, here at Nate’s I can surf flickr to my heart’s content.

One more night in beautiful Dubai and then a full day and then off to India.


  1. Dubai is a very international city, loads of Brits, South Africans and a few Americans.
  2. Dubai is not cheap!
  3. Dubai is a lot of fun.
  4. There’s more to Dubai than the glitz and glamor but you have to look.

One Response to First Impressions

  1. Funny they call it free zone considering everything costs a trabillion dollars. Do you need a passport to get into the Free Zone? Seems like it would be well-regulated since it’s so damn free.

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