After 12 hours of flight from NY, I finally arrive in Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates at 8:30pm, local time. I was very excited about being in Dubai because I had heard so much about the extravagance of this city:buildings finished in gold, cars with diamond fixtures, a large 7 star hotel(the only one in the world) shaped like a sailboat built in the middle of the sea and on the list goes. The city is so well known that hardly anyone knows that the capital of this country is not Dubai. It is Abu Dhabi.
Unfortunately for me, I was landing at night with a 6 hour layover that was hardly enough time to leave the airport and come back in time to catch my flight. Furthermore, how much could I really see at night? But I did get to see a lot. Dubai seems to be a bustling cosmopolitan well organized city with it's neat streets and cul-de-sacs lined with large mansions surrounding by walls/gates. At least, this was my interpretation as I viewed the city from the airplane window as the plane descended. I did not not see anything called mediocrity in my time in Dubai.
I had concerns about being by myself in the wee hours of the night in a lonely airport and searched for 1st class lounges to spend my layover. In fact Emirates airlines were so helpful in advising me that maharaba.com offered such survices and I could reserve a spot in the lounge. However upon speaking with my friend in Singapore, I was advised that there were lounge chairs available for free in the airport and it is always crowded. There are even showers in the bathrooms, so one can freshen up between flights. "But I'll be there at 2am?", I said. But after major convincing, I conceded. It was all true. Even as I boarded my plane at 2:30am the airport was still bustling with people and shops. Did I say shops? I have never in my life, seen so many stores in an airport, that I might as well have been at an american mall!! There were electronics, specialty foods, liquor, shoes, clothing, fragrances, a supermarket, bars, restaurants, smoke room and more... Did I mention the pebble garden with bridge, small stream and palm trees in the middle of the airport? Across from the stream was a hagen daaz ice-cream store. So I decided I'd get 2 scoops of the caramel crunch in a cup. I was cussing so much when the vender told me $8US and proceeded to give me $2US change, when I gave him a $20US bill. But all was soon forgotten as the sweet crunchy heavenly cream melted on my tongue and but me in such bliss, I was comatose in my seat reflecting on the ice-cream I'd just consumed. Then I decided to browse the clothing in the armani store. Next door were the sexiest shoes...and I began to pull out my wallet (this stuff was all duty free) and then I thought, "how am I going to carry this stuff?" and walked very quickly away from the stores and back to the free lounge chairs with leg rests, pulled out my ipod with my bose headphones and took a long snooze and almost missed my flight to Singapore. I woke up in such a confusion about what day, time and country I was. I made a mad dash to gate B12 and was able to board my flight to Singapore - my final destination.