The Perks of Traveling Alone in Dubai

When you find yourself alone in a suite on an all-expense-paid trip, there’s a high chance you’re going to degenerate into the unapologetically egotistical mess of a five year old that I became during my three-day stay in Dubai.

Think about it: while traveling alone can be lonely, having such a short stay in such an insanely luxurious city is fun. And fun means jumping on the bed excessively, eating a greasy burger in a bubble bath (the burger arrives in its own heated box, which was so fascinating I almost left it in there to see how long it stayed warm), running around the room naked, leaving trails of soap suds all over the wooden floorboards. Peeing with the door open, taking a phone call while peeing with the door open, playing really cheesy MTV Europe music videos loud while changing your outfit ten times and jumping on the bed again. And I contemplating stealing everything in the room, including the espresso machine, the flat-screen TV and the bathrobes. It’s a family tradition to collect slippers and shampoo bottles. Don’t ask.

For a good hour I was bouncing around everything like a hyper Energizer bunny, a threat to anyone who called or came anywhere near my room. At some point I contemplated streaking across the hotel, but with the Park Hyatt being so massive, it was going to be one hell of a walk of shame. So instead I ran around the hotel grounds barefoot and in my overalls, searching for the swimming pool for a quick dip. The swimming pool was disgustingly hot, like a steaming bubble bath. So I ran around again, got lost, found my hotel room and jumped into the bathtub again.

Three hours in Dubai Mall, a massive, scary construction full of pretty clothes, pretty people and lots of cash being spent, left me claustrophobic and missing the grittiness of Cairo’s streets and dust. But I can understand the allure of city; here you can live the high life, indulge in the sweetest material possessions, and you’re surrounded by pretty people, many of whom probably have suga daddies or mommies. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dubai. In small doses. It has Forever21 and caramel popcorn. It has great food and sweet cocktails. There’s always something going on like the Jazz Festival, tennis championships, and cultural events. And you can go skydiving or race-boating if you have the cash.

Three hours in Dubai Mall, a massive, scary construction full of pretty clothes, pretty people and lots of cash being spent, left me claustrophobic and missing the grittiness of Cairo’s streets and dust. But I can understand the allure of this city; here you can live the high life, indulge in the sweetest material possessions, and you’re surrounded by pretty people, some of whom possibly have suga daddies or mommies. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dubai. It has Forever21 and caramel popcorn. It has great food and sweet cocktails. There’s always something going on like the Jazz Festival, tennis championships, and cultural events. And you can go skydiving or race-boating if you have the cash.

My friend took me to Hakkasan, a sophisticated restaurant in Emirates Towers, where I decided to conquer my fear of jellyfish by eating one. In a salad. And it was so delicious that I literally lapped up the vinaigrette and wouldn’t let the waiter take it away when he tried. As soon as I turned my back, he swooped in and swept it away. Bastard. And we indulged in girly cocktails full of fruit and pink stuff, though he made me promise not to reveal his identity as manly men don’t drink pink stuff. I also got to spot a high-class escort in action, a common sight according to my veteran friends. Coming from Cairo, I had trouble keeping my jaw off the floor.

Little things bothered me, like the fact that all manual labor and menial jobs seemed assigned to certain ethnicities, while the swankier jobs in more sophisticated shops and restaurants are dominated by (ahem) whiter races. The other fact was this spend-now-regret-later mentality; people here seem to work hard and party hard in Dubai, upgrading their cars every year to the latest model and acquiring designer labels as you would accolades of personal victory. There’s nothing with that; but I don’t subscribe to it. Personally, I just wanted to get back to my king sized bed and switch on MTV Europe again.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Stephen8 says:

    I love that little building! and you have nicely captured the character of it.

    Burooj Views

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