Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quick Trip to Dubai

I was in Dubai for the weekend. Qatar Airways was having a seat sale and I had some good friends in Dubai that I had not seen for a long time so I took advantage of the sale to book a 2-day, 1-night trip. It was great to see my friends again.

Booked a hotel through a “last-minute deals” website and wound up in a really nice five-star hotel in Dubai Marina, and was immediately upgraded to a suite. Shame I was only there for one night -- I think my hotel room was bigger than my apartment.

With all of the recent grumblings from people in Doha about traffic and construction it was nice to be able to compare and contrast it with Dubai. I do have to admit that Dubai just seems more “finished”, whole neighborhoods have little to no construction. Traffic was not bad except for a few areas around Jumeriah and JBR but it was the weekend so I didn't get to see rush-hour traffic. My friends tell me it still isn't too bad, having the metro helps as well.

I don't think Doha will ever reach the grand scale of Dubai but then again I'm not sure it wants to. Doha does not appear to want a lot of package-holiday tourism where thousands of vacationers sit on the beach and drink themselves silly for a week. Dubai is also more glamourous, kind of like Vegas, whereas Doha wants to remain more conservative and retain its Arabic character. I don’t have an issue with that, Arabic character is one of the reasons why I prefer traveling to Oman. Shiny malls and tall buildings do not impress me too much.

I just wish Doha could improve the traffic situation.

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