Trip to Dubai

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 48 total)

  • SimonS1
    Participant

    As promised to Martyn in another thread (which I can’t find…).

    So I arrived in Dubai about 1am on Sunday. Really a trouble free trip, highlights as follows:

    1. Travelled from Sussex to Heathrow by train (no coaches LGW to LHR). All trains plus the tube from Victoria to Paddington were basically empty. One tip I found. The train ticket was £47, however if I changed to the TFL train to Heathrow (30 mins not 15) it went down to £17.

    2. Arrived in T2 at 10.45 for a 14.20 flight. Check ins were not busy, security very small queue, I was airside by 11.15. Showed my Covid certificate and handed in my health form (the agent needed to use her phone to check Tuesday 7pm was less than 4 days before Saturday 2.20pm….)

    3. Retail stores and eateries were about 70% open.

    4. No real issues in the terminal but I would put the percentage of people wearing masks properly at around 60%. Plenty of under the chin/nosers and several without. Biggest offenders I would say were airport staff…..

    5. Boarding very civilised, it helped that the A380 was about 20% full.

    6. Mask adherence on board was pretty good. Crew dressed in PPE. Interestingly there was no soap in the two restrooms I used but a box of masks, gloves etc was given to every passenger. Usual in flight service (hot meal, alcohol etc) but all magazines had been removed (perhaps the death knell for them).

    7. Despite being fully boarded and doors shut 20 mins before the flight, in typical Emirates fashion we left about 20 mins late, mutterings of paperwork etc.

    8. Dubai was packed on arrival. Much busier than I thought. Egates closed, long queues at the manual desks. Actually the queue moved pretty quickly, all desks manned and they do seem to have finally trained the agents to check their whatsapps in personal time. I handed in the Covid certificate plus the other 2 declarations I had been given. To be honest I wasn’t sure the agent knew what he was looking for, and after a shuffle through the file I was handed it all back with stamped passport.

    9. Bags already on the belt and I was out the door about an hour after landing. No queue for taxis (well about 10 people), usual Dubai airport con where they try to direct you to the black limos, but safely into RTA taxi (plastic screen between me and driver) and home by 2am.

    10. As an aside, I made a brief trip to Mall of the Emirates yesterday. It really was much busier than I expected, most people in masks but often badly worn (our Indian friends were by far the biggest offenders), little to no social distancing and no attempt from the mall owners to enforce it. Most shops seemed to be holding sales. Not hard to see how a second wave could fire up here and there have been suggestions of a second lockdown and sanitisation programme.

    I have postponed the side trip to Nairobi this weekend, the flights are running but the need to get Covid tests at every turn is just too much at this point. A colleague has gone there direct from UK, so maybe next month. I did get as far as finding there is no quarantine on arrival in Kenya and visa on arrival is back but you do have to register on the Government of Kenya portal before arriving.

    All in all it was a lot less traumatic than I thought.

    One thing that did bring home the human impact. At the eatery I used in LHR T2, the server was saying that it had opened only the week before. Both he and his wife worked in the terminal and clearly had been under a lot of stress. He said that day they were expecting 2,000 people through T2 (T3 is shut) whereas before the crisis it was 13,000 on a summer Saturday (and T3 was extra). Really it reminded me of the human cost of the shut down of the travel business which creates so many jobs.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Biggest offenders I would say were airport staff…..

    Do airport workers (in the UK) need to wear masks? Shop workers for some bizarre reason, do not have to wear face coverings (are exempt).

    The number of PRIVATE Covid tests needed for multiple border crossings does seem unworkable, except for those charging the fees. At least when you are transporting dogs/pets, an internationally recognised rabies inoculation/test certificate is generally accepted by most border authorities negating the need for multiple jabs/tests for the pet passengers.


    DoorsToManual
    Participant

    Please be aware that the line in your informative review “…our Indian friends were by far the biggest offenders” is casual racism. I think you should rethink your wording.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Please be aware that the line in your informative review “…our Indian friends were by far the biggest offenders” is casual racism. I think you should rethink your wording.

    I’m sorry if you think that way, but in any case I can’t edit it. How would you propose I worded it?

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Please be aware that the line in your informative review “…our Indian friends were by far the biggest offenders” is casual racism. I think you should rethink your wording.

    I’m sorry if you think that way, but in any case I can’t edit it. How would you propose I worded it?

    I agree with you Simon, there was no casual racism read or intended from my perspective, I knew exactly what you meant and understood it as that. Frankly your summation was first class!


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Please be aware that the line in your informative review “…our Indian friends were by far the biggest offenders” is casual racism. I think you should rethink your wording.

    DoorsToManual, thanks for raising this. The whole point, K1ngston, is that casual racism is generally not ‘intended’ or conscious, it is part of the way we view the world and, therefore, at the heart of the problem, leading to institutionalised racism in the attitudes of, for example, the police in some countries.

    SimonS1, I venture to suggest that you really do not have evidence that ‘our Indian friends’ were, in fact, Indian. They could have been British, American, Singaporean, Kenyan or from a host of other countries. You went on your visual stereotype of who and what Indians are and that is at the root of unconscious or casual racism. It is a bit like assuming that all Black people are drug dealers and thieves……

    How to amend what you said? Delete it completely, it does not add anything to your otherwise informative report.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Please be aware that the line in your informative review “…our Indian friends were by far the biggest offenders” is casual racism. I think you should rethink your wording.

    DoorsToManual, thanks for raising this. The whole point, K1ngston, is that casual racism is generally not ‘intended’ or conscious, it is part of the way we view the world and, therefore, at the heart of the problem, leading to institutionalised racism in the attitudes of, for example, the police in some countries.

    SimonS1, I venture to suggest that you really do not have evidence that ‘our Indian friends’ were, in fact, Indian. They could have been British, American, Singaporean, Kenyan or from a host of other countries. You went on your visual stereotype of who and what Indians are and that is at the root of unconscious or casual racism. It is a bit like assuming that all Black people are drug dealers and thieves……

    How to amend what you said? Delete it completely, it does not add anything to your otherwise informative report.

    I am sorry but I dont get your point? I have lived in Asia for 15 years a large percentage of my friends are Indian are you saying that stating this fact makes me racist? If anyone on this site has been to Dubai Airport you will know exactly what was meant by the OPs comments and I stress again in my opinion it was descriptive,it was not casual racism or any other form of racism it was merely a fact. I thought we were all grown ups who visited here with a point of view, if Simons term offended you, then clearly this is not the forum for you as it would limit anyone describing anyone or anything …….

    8 users thanked author for this post.

    TominScotland
    Participant

    I am sorry. This does come over as casual racism and is not appropriate here. This is a publicly accessible Forum and the ‘we are all adults’ excuse is just not acceptable. Where do we draw the line?

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    SimonS1, I venture to suggest that you really do not have evidence that ‘our Indian friends’ were, in fact, Indian. They could have been British, American, Singaporean, Kenyan or from a host of other countries. You went on your visual stereotype of who and what Indians are and that is at the root of unconscious or casual racism.

    Not at all.

    Data on the internet suggests that between 27% and 51% of the population are Indian expatriates (depending on whether you are talking about Dubai or UAE).

    When it comes to wearing of face masks I was talking about hundreds of individuals, not the occasional person. Highly unlikely that statistically Indians would not have been the major group involved.

    I do understand that in this day and age people will feel the need to make PC style comments, but I stand by my comments.

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    alainboy56
    Participant

    @SimonS1
    I see nothing wrong with your description.
    They, those worst offenders were your friends, and also happen to be Indian.
    Your friends could have been Japanese, Lebanese or even Swiss – in that case would anyone have commented or accused you of casual racism?
    Some people are just so easy to take offence and find fault when there is none.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    travelworld
    Participant

    Like it or not, everyone, comments along the lines of “our Indian friends” will get the writer into trouble, at least in the UK. it would be viewed by many as casual racism unless the writer was referring to a group of his own Indian friends-in which case, as Alainboy points out, it would make no difference if they were Indian, Singaporean or any other nationality. The comment is fine if that is the case.

    I think those readers who have objected have interpreted the comment however as referring to those of South Asian heritage who were in the mall and not known to the writer.The issues are that the subjects of the comment may not be Indian (they could be Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan etc) and the use of the word “friends” in that context is patronising (as they weren’t known to the writer)). To emphasise the point, if the same comment were made about Pakistanis but referred to them with the first four letters of that word, I suspect BT would have pulled the posting.

    Yes, I know that this will have many up in arms and seething- I am simply reflecting the vIews of a significant number (particularly those who are younger) and highlighting the way the world is going. As a partner in a large international law firm, I can say that if the comment were made in the context of the second paragraph above it would be unacceptable in our offices.

    Before those of you who are still reading throw your tablets, phones or laptops out of the window, let’s not forget that 50 years ago in the UK it was viewed as quite appropriate for a bunch of white men to appear on prime time TV dressed as black men in a programme called the Black and White Minstrel Show. No one would think that was a good idea now, but back then I am sure the vast majority in the UK would have seen nothing wrong in it. Times change and whilst we are free to write and say generally what we like, the takeaway point is that the listener might take offence at what you say.If the listener is someone from whom you hope to win business, that’s something about which you should be aware.

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Like it or not, everyone, comments along the lines of “our Indian friends” will get the writer into trouble, at least in the UK. it would be viewed by many as casual racism unless the writer was referring to a group of his own Indian friends-in which case, as Alainboy points out, it would make no difference if they were Indian, Singaporean or any other nationality. The comment is fine if that is the case.

    I think those readers who have objected have interpreted the comment however as referring to those of South Asian heritage who were in the mall and not known to the writer.The issues are that the subjects of the comment may not be Indian (they could be Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan etc) and the use of the word “friends” in that context is patronising (as they weren’t known to the writer)). To emphasise the point, if the same comment were made about Pakistanis but referred to them with the first four letters of that word, I suspect BT would have pulled the posting.

    Yes, I know that this will have many up in arms and seething- I am simply reflecting the vIews of a significant number (particularly those who are younger) and highlighting the way the world is going. As a partner in a large international law firm, I can say that if the comment were made in the context of the second paragraph above it would be unacceptable in our offices.

    Before those of you who are still reading throw your tablets, phones or laptops out of the window, let’s not forget that 50 years ago in the UK it was viewed as quite appropriate for a bunch of white men to appear on prime time TV dressed as black men in a programme called the Black and White Minstrel Show. No one would think that was a good idea now, but back then I am sure the vast majority in the UK would have seen nothing wrong in it. Times change and whilst we are free to write and say generally what we like, the takeaway point is that the listener might take offence at what you say.If the listener is someone from whom you hope to win business, that’s something about which you should be aware.

    Well put thank you for your time for doing so…… Now perhaps we can get on with this thread or others without being accused of things that were not there in the first place!

    Simon, I work with a a whole team based out of Dubai, and they are saying that things are getting bad again there, have you or did you see any signs of this when you were there? And one final question, should I need to travel back to the UK for personal reasons is Dubai as good as say Doha or other hubs to go through?


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Simon, I work with a a whole team based out of Dubai, and they are saying that things are getting bad again there, have you or did you see any signs of this when you were there? And one final question, should I need to travel back to the UK for personal reasons is Dubai as good as say Doha or other hubs to go through?

    Infections have definitely picked up (back to early July levels) and the authorities did say this week that further curfews and sterilisation programmes may be needed.

    In reality this is probably what you would expect bearing in mind i) high prevalence of shared accommodation, ii) return of people from abroad and iii) like most places the Government are grappling with the need to sustain an economy that was already in recession before Covid.

    I think Dubai is a better bet than Doha as a hub. Infections there are also a problem plus a lot of this is common sense. With a bit of effort you can minimise risks in the airport and the flights are (with a few exceptions) not that busy.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    A perfectly reasonable comment now highlighted as racism!
    Atter cringeworthy nonsense.
    Likely calling a Frenchman French will soon be deemed politically incorrect and recist by the self appointed guardians of public morality who love nothing better than an opportunity to spout their inflammatory rubbish.

    9 users thanked author for this post.

    talparis
    Participant

    Guys the topic was trip to Dubai and not casual racism. I get fed up with people high jacking a topic in order to put forward another topic.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
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