Dubai weekend vacation – COVID19 times…Back to Forum
Decided to book a long weekend vacation to Dubai. As a very regular visitor to the city, wasn’t quite sure what to expect in these surreal times. A few thoughts…
-Exceptionally professional and efficient testing at the airport on arrival (as you would expect with Dubai). You have to download the DXB Covid app on your phone as a pre-condition to travel etc. But the strange thing was that you had to provide a local number as a contact point (presumably many incoming tourists won’t have this). Anyway, my local number contact was sent a text approx. 16hours after landing saying I was COVID free (you have to self-quarantine in your hotel room until this point). Great news. Strange thing is my COVID app is still showing my test results as “pending” – (30hours after landing).
-Staying at a very reputable 5* hotel (prefer not to name as this isn’t a tripadvisor review). On returning to my hotel tonight at midnight I discovered my room hasn’t been cleaned/towels not replaced etc. When I called to inquire, I was told that due to COVID my room would not be cleaned to “minimise human contact”. Was definitely surprised by this – and moreover, coffee pods, water etc apparently will not be replenished during this four night stay.
-Hotel pool cannot provide towels so you have to bring your own from your room. Which is fine for day one, but given they don’t replenish the towels as there is no room service, the concept of a 5* hotel experience is long gone. Apparently this though is a DXB wide rule.
-Minibar is empty and non-existent. Similarly hotel facility details, laundry service menus, room service menus etc also no where to be found.
It’s nice to be back, and I understand in these times we all have to re-adjust expectations, but definitely a very new “5* experience”.30 Jul 2020
it’s not only Dubai where there is a new 5* hotel experience.
I was sent this video which was apparently shot a month ago by an investigative USA journalist team “Inside Edition”
..judge for yourself…. but worrying you could still be sharing bed sheets with the previous guest… even in a “Presidential suite”31 Jul 2020
While no where near 5*, I have negotiated with my hotel the days on which the room will be cleaned and the linen changed. Refuse is separated from recycling, bagged, and deposited outside the room. They do the floors, I do the surfaces – it means that they aren’t in the room for long and I know that the touch-points are sanitised. I provide my own water and order delivery food once per day.
I negotiated air-con over refrigeration (air-con is my friend!). Alcohol has been an issue in India, and restrictions on supply have been enforced city wide. Alcohol affects inhibition, and ‘proximal interactions’ often ensue. I will relax once I am out of India.31 Jul 2020
Just so people are aware, the Dubai regulations change tomorrow.
1. Covid test required less than 96 hours before you leave your departure country or refused boarding.
2. Covidctest required less than 96 hours before you leave Dubai to return or refused boarding.
3. No tests on arrival other than for list of designated countries.
They have a list of designated clinics at £120 a pop payable when you book online. Clearly someone is on to a good thing.31 Jul 2020
Am I the only one that will question why you felt the need to book a longhaul weekend away during a global pandemic?
…… and then to complain about the lack of service when half the staff will not be working or severely limited with what they can do due to regulations etc?…. Just beggars belief. No wonder parts here are back in lockdown.31 Jul 2020
SimonS1 – did you decide keep your August trip to Dubai, Tanzania and Zambia as planned.?
Yes but EK is restarting Nairobi next week so I will look to do that instead of Tanzania. Likely 21/8. I was delaying to see if Gatwick became operational but it seems not.
I did Luxembourg this week, and came back Weds night. Subsequent events show how tricky it can get.31 Jul 2020
Yes but EK is restarting Nairobi next week so I will look to do that instead of Tanzania. Likely 21/8.
Apologies for the thread drift…
SimonS1, I believe you are the first contributor on the BT Forum to confirm a long haul business trip as the world opens back up again. I know its 3 weeks hence (and a lot can change) but I hope whether on this or another thread you will share the long haul travel experience, especially in terms of the additional post covid protocols in airports and hotels.31 Jul 2020
1) It is not a long haul weekend as I currently live in the region. 2) It is the Eid weekend so I am visiting family friends. 3) I have taken 5 separate tests throughout the global pandemic to this point and have followed all regulations. But I am also as an avid traveller, I am keen to support the tourism industry in any way I can to get it back on it’s feet. After much research and consideration, I felt confident that travelling to Dubai posed very little risk vs. the benefits. 4) The Dubai Government is proactively pushing tourists to return, and thus if they return, then many will return to 5* hotels. I on purpose made it clear that I wasn’t specifically calling out the particular hotel by name nor was by any means trying to shame. I was simply posting the new reality of what it it like to stay in a 5* hotel during these times given I realise most forum members will have yet to resume travel such leisure travel.
I was apparently the first non-resident that passed through immigration with the particular gentleman who processed my entry that day and he thanked me for coming and said I was very welcome back.
What beggars belief to me is that so much of this forum always takes such a negative and unnecessary tone in their response to posts.31 Jul 2020