Travelog: Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2024

Written by Azat MardanJune 29, 2024

Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2024

Here are my key impression from 2024 trip to Dubai where we got flooded by unexpected and unprecedented precipitation:

  • The Dubai city is roughly two cities: downtown to the north and Jumeirah to the south, with a highway connecting them.
  • The food options consist of a lot of American chains and brands. Also, Turkish restaurants and ice cream stands are popular. There are some Russian and Georgian restaurants but they are not good.
  • Overall, restaurants are more pricey than in LatAm but less than in the USA. The quality of service and food is way way below Mexican and Colombian restaurants.
  • The meat is mostly imported from South Africa, Australia and even Pakistan but unfortunately not Argentina. There are good butcher shops that sometimes also have restaurants (or restaurants with butcher shops?).
  • There are a lot of Indian and Bangladeshi workers almost everywhere.
  • In Jumeirah Beach Residence, the beach is full of people and cigaret butts and lacks showers or places to dust off sand off the feet.
  • Traffic is bad. Places (like malls) are crowded to the extreme especially if you have to wait for an elevator.
  • Buildings in Jumeirah Beach Residence are old and reminiscent of Las Vegas - yellow color and bridges between them. They even have a Heart Attack restaurant just like in Vegas.
  • At Burj Khalifa, it was nice to have a fast pass with lounge access (and unlimited dates!).
  • The airport is terrible: very large and you have to walk 30+ minutes to get to the gate where there are no seats to wait. Of course the flip side is that you can fly almost anywhere in the world directly.
  • Taxi, airport porter, hotel staff service is great. There are shops and pharmacies in almost every building which is super convenient. They even offer to bring groceries to your hotel room.
  • Uber taxis are new and the drivers are not intrusive with the talks (which I always hate in the USA). And the waiters in the restaurants are not obnoxious about demanding the tips (unlike in the USA).
  • Etihad Museum which is about the founding of the country, was less interesting to me than the Masmak Fortress in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And The Museum of the Future is more interesting on the outside due to its architecture than inside.
  • No drainage on the streets so during the unprecedented rains, all the water had to stay on the streets.

Despite some inconveniences of a large cosmopolitan city and being overpriced, Dubai is very livable. There are a lot of things to do if you don’t mind the traffic and summer heat. Most people travel to Europe during summer months. Dubai could be a good home city for someone who is doing business in the Middle East or Europe.