The Dubai International Airport may be the busiest airport to date but its sterling interior adorned with swooping silver arches; promenades of lush artificial palms especially at the baggage claim area; and other customer-centric features such as the validated way-finding signage and passenger flow coupled with various food and retail outlets provide passengers with timely capacity comfort. This was exactly the kind of experience that we had upon queuing up at the immigration and airport security check from a five-hour flight with a leeway at Bahrain International Airport.
There was no better way to start our journey than riding the Metro that is linked to the airport. Getting to Ramada Hotel in Deira turned out simple and easy not to mention relaxing with the prevailing humid hot weather.
I am used to climbing mountains back in the Philippines; I love dripping with sweat. Nonetheless, an antiperspirant is a must have when traveling to this part of the globe during summer which peaks in July.
We reached the hotel at about 20 minutes. It was too early to check in though so we decided to stay for a while and have lunch at Reef Mall, which is just a few meters away. We were like happy kids while ordering the food we have back home—sisig, fried tilapia, chicken barbecue, laing, halo-halo, kakanin, etc. “Craving satisfied!” is what we all exclaimed after the boodle fight in spite of the fact that they’re a little more expensive here than in Saudi Arabia, which we understand. (Just consider that comment a disclaimer.)
We then checked in at exactly 2:00 PM, had our luggage stored, fixed some stuff, slept for three hours, and woke up at 5:00 PM. We actually had no clear itinerary for this trip other than Onel’s meetup with relatives and high school batchmate. By the way, that day was Onel’s birthday so he decided to give us a treat and her aunt whom we will be meeting at City Centre Deira at 6:00 PM. We took a taxi to the centre this time around.
Dubai taxis have a good reputation based on travel reviews and we affirm it at this point.
As first timers in Dubai, the landscape of this concrete jungle registered really magnetizing in our optical organs. I couldn’t help myself taking snapshots especially when I saw this clock tower in the roundabout we passed by on our way to the centre.
This structure looked very ordinary at first glance but after asking the modern dossier about its background, it metamorphosed into something extraordinary with historical significance. The Telegraph newspaper listed Deira Clock Tower or more popularly known as Dubai Clock Tower among the 17 most beautiful clock towers in the world and one of UAE’s most prominent monuments.
Based on what I had seen from the train, hotel, and car window, there’s no doubt we’re in the City of Now.
It took us 15 minutes to get to City Centre Deira. This centre is also known for being the place for serious shoppers with over 370 stores from an array of mid-market popular fashion shops for young and adults; an extensive selection of electronics stores, fast food and restaurants, cosmetic brands, toy stores, jewelry and textile court; and a hypermarket, Carrefour.
The aunt had advised that she couldn’t make it to the agreed time and we should expect another hour of waiting. We were able to explore more about this shopping centre because of that. Most of the fashion shops such as Pull & Bear and Topman were on sale during that time. They were so tempting; each of us ended up buying a few items. We also tried biting the AED 350 for one movie at VOX Cinemas but held back after a contemplation. We were on the brink of reconsidering the decision when the aunt’s text came in: she’s at the meeting place. What a timing I must say as our sacs were already pleading for food. We landed at Chili’s after prowling the food court for best casual dining restaurant, according to the celebrator.
We spent roughly an hour and a half of casual conversation, including catching up of the kin, before we parted ways. It was fun meeting the aunt who was very chatty.
By 8:30 PM, we went to Carrefour to buy some grocery items. Our booking only entitled us to a free breakfast for two days. The groceries will help us get through the rainy days.
We opted for the train on our way back to the hotel for convenience and economical reason.
While in transit, I marveled at the flickering lights in every corner and amazed by the squeaking music coming from the train each time it stops. I was really enjoying what was taking place every minute of that twenty-minute train journey.
That night at the hotel, we found ourselves flipping channels to kill time. Prior to that, we came up with definite plans for the following day: to go for a City Bus Tour and visit the Dubai Mall. The ambiance was light and pleasant and cheerful. But when Onel and Ren dozed off, things changed.
Silence began enveloping the room and the long empty hall on thick carpet outside. It was saddening for a short time. So I thought of something better to do other than waiting for my eyes to close in the midst of two warring, snoring beds. That’s no big deal to me of course. I’m nocturnal. I opened the window, brought my camera out, and watched the lights as they effortlessly give life to the fleeting immobile streets of Deira.
I took the nighttime scenery dancing in front of me to heart. I was so moved by the scene. I was able to weave words I couldn’t normally do when I’m inspired. I felt like my mojo was punched in a good way.
The caption of this IG photo is one of my favorite travel quotes, partly because I wrote it.
Truly, Dubai is full of inspiring views and scenes meant to stir travel bloggers into writing beautiful pieces.
I spent a few more minutes enjoying Deira’s vesper urban scenery then called it a night.
Cooking for Kishore: Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (cookingforkishore.blogspot.com)
Not Your Usual Friday Brunch at Jigsaw Restaurant, Avani Hotel (themometkeepers.com)
Wandering the Gold and Spice Souks of Deira, Dubai (aroundtheworldl.com)
Visiting Dubai fish market felt like being a celebrity (nina-travels.com)
5 most impressive landmarks in Dubai (milleniumhotels.com)
10 Things To Do In Deira, Dubai (theculturetrip.com)
Deira Gold Souq (egypexpresstvl.com)
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