Travelling to the Middle East

  • Flying_Pig 1 Jan 2019 20:13:04 16,300 posts
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    I'm due to travel to Bahrain and Dubai for a week later in January with work.

    I've never been to that part of the world before so was wonder if anyone had any tips or things to watch out for.

    I'm aware of the obvious stuff around drinking alcohol etc, but any insight would be appreciated.
  • fontgeeksogood 1 Jan 2019 20:18:48 6,992 posts
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    I haven't been to Bahrain but I hated Dubai, it's so fake and like a police state. I actually hated most of the Middle East I've been to with the exception of Jordan and Israel.

    This is one of the less helpful posts I've made. You're welcome x
  • Flying_Pig 1 Jan 2019 20:32:40 16,300 posts
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    @fontgeeksogood thanks. I think :)

    I've heard that Dubai is a lot like Las Vegas, but without the fun :)
  • fontgeeksogood 1 Jan 2019 20:38:33 6,992 posts
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    You know what though, if you're going for work and it's just a week and not in the height of their insane summer it might be okay.

    Depends what sort of thing you like. I like golf so a day off would be spent there, but that's not really being very touristy
  • JamboWayOh 1 Jan 2019 20:40:39 15,064 posts
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    Flying_Pig wrote:
    @fontgeeksogood thanks. I think :)

    I've heard that Dubai is a lot like Las Vegas, but without the fun :)
    I fucking hated Dubai tbh, it all felt so fake with ridiculous things like a massive aquarium in a mall because they can. Plus if you're the wrong kind of brown and not white you're less than dirt to the Emirati.
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 1 Jan 2019 20:43:39 6,522 posts
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    Been to Dubai (albeit for less than 48 hours) and was pretty thoroughly depressed by what I saw. "Vegas without the fun" is bang on the money. Only it's even less tasteful than Vegas and has all the obvious trappings of a police state.

    Not been to Bahrain. Can't imagine it's any more pleasant.
  • senso-ji 1 Jan 2019 20:45:38 9,854 posts
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    Dubai is vacuous, but if you have time you could book a side trip out into the desert. You can rent a 4X4 and join a convoy or rent a quad bike. If you enjoy the outdoors like hiking then all the best spots are in nearby Oman. Getting there by car takes a few hours but you'll need to pay for visa to enter the country.
  • ZuluHero 1 Jan 2019 20:45:56 7,562 posts
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    If you take medication, double check what they class as A class drugs, some of mine is, so you have to get a cover letter from your doctor validating it as a prescription drug.
  • You-can-call-me-kal 1 Jan 2019 20:51:03 17,161 posts
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    Thereís plenty of fun to be had in Dubai if youíve got the means and the knowhow, but yes, itís a vile status-driven place. I hate it there. That said thereís cool stuff you can do in the desert if you have down time.

    Never been to Bahrain. Might be nicer, or at least more authentic.

    Only tips Iíd really give are get taxis everywhere, tip generously, and just watch how you interact with Emirati. Iíd just steer clear as much as you can to avoid any accidental bumping into them and ending up in jail incidents etc. And donít get into lifts if thereís only women in them.
  • JamboWayOh 1 Jan 2019 20:56:55 15,064 posts
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    Well yeah, women get thrown into jail if theyve been sexually assaulted. Loathsome place.
  • cowell 1 Jan 2019 21:11:15 2,014 posts
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    So I went to Dubai on a work trip maybe 5 or 6 years ago and had some fun. We were chaperoned by a local partner so that probably meant we stayed on the right path, but there was no shortage of great food and booze. Thereís a lot of Brits working out there, partying at night and having a good time.

    Other than the pool and the endless malls and hotels, thereís nothing to do in the day time. Hopefully work will keep you occupied during the day. Nights out can be a lot of fun.

    Enjoyed it, without being a bellend. Didnít get arrested

    Edited by cowell at 21:11:47 01-01-2019
  • Khanivor 1 Jan 2019 21:27:58 44,110 posts
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    Had the worst stomach bug in my life on a stopover in Dubai. Never been so glad I could lean over the sink while sitting on the toilet.

    On that front, make sure to eat local food.
  • BurnoutJunkie 1 Jan 2019 21:30:22 1,128 posts
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    I was in Bahrain for a couple of days a few years ago. I had a good experience but it was extremely hot. CRAZY HOT. Can't speak for Dubai though.

    EDIT: didn't the BBC do a documentary on one or two of the Dubai princesses or something going missing? Probably taken by their own family?

    Edited by BurnoutJunkie at 21:31:12 01-01-2019
  • Trafford 1 Jan 2019 22:02:25 8,389 posts
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    Last year, ( when I was working in the travel industry) we had a visit from the Bahraini tourist board selling the place.
    Apart from the rep being incredibly attractive, Bahrain looked pretty cool and we lapped it up. Lots of little islands to visit and an ancient tree which is very important to the people there.
    Like Abu Dhabi it's more focused on Arabian culture. Very difficult from the shopping Mecca of Chavlamabad.
  • Trafford 1 Jan 2019 22:04:41 8,389 posts
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    *different, not difficult.
  • Gunzberg 1 Jan 2019 22:16:43 2,723 posts
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    Bahrain is a bit stricter than UAE but overall you will be fine.

    Don#t do stupid stuff like drugs, have sex on the beach etc and you can concentrate on having a great time.

    Nothing to worry about really. Just enjoy!
  • MadCaddy13 1 Jan 2019 23:30:31 3,044 posts
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    ZuluHero wrote:
    If you take medication, double check what they class as A class drugs, some of mine is, so you have to get a cover letter from your doctor validating it as a prescription drug.
    Fuck that I wouldnít dare. End up doing 15 years hard labour or something!
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