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|10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 7:49pm On May 11, 2018|
I woke up that certain Wednesday feeling ‘oh, the day has finally come’. I was still running up and down doing last minute packing, attending to a dozen issues while trying to remember a dozen more still undone. I am not one for last minute rush, but this time was different – delays here and there with the visa and ticket both finally coming through less than 48 hours before departure.
I called for an Uber (while silently praying for safe arrival to the airport because I have been hearing stories about Uber & Taxify drivers lately) and 30 minutes later (even though the app said 11 mins) I was on my way to the airport. Traffic was terrible; this was the first journey-to-the-airport traffic I have ever experienced, and it got to a point that I was like ‘ah, ah, have my village people followed me to the airport?’ Finally, we reach the airport though I was a bit pissed with the Uber driver because 1., he deliberately took a longer route with traffic when we started the journey (maybe he wanted my trip fare to be deliberately high) and 2., he didn’t know any shortcuts! We were just stuck in traffic; one thing about commercial bus drivers is that they would always find another way when they sight traffic ahead except if there is truly no way out. But this Uber driver just sat there because even if we got to the airport 3 hours later, it really wasn’t his concern!
Got to the airport an hour plus later and then it hit me that I was back at the Nigerian Airport! First, it was the policemen unnecessarily hailing me before I realized that they wanted me to part with money; then it was unknown personality who came, held my bag & ‘offered’ to help me carry it. I’m like ‘emm, no, thank you’ and in my mind, I’m like ‘my hands don’t look broken; I ain’t parting with no naira, dollar or even cent’. I thought ‘oh, the harassment has ended’ forgetting that I was STILL at the Nigerian airport.
I did my check-in and made my way to immigration and it was there I was reminded that I was still in Nigeria. First immigration officer was nice but wanted a tip and in my mind I’m like ‘why should I give you money because I am travelling; don’t you know how much dollar is?’ The second immigration officer was where the issue was. He checks my passport because it’s a new passport and sees no stamp, immediately starts harassing me (it was a new passport but not my first time travelling). Then he goes ‘let me just stamp for you because if I send you down there, they will harass you, but you MUST give me something’. Now, the difference between the first & second immigration officer was that the first asked nicely for a tip, this one flat out demanded a BRIBE. Is there a law that says new passport holders cannot travel? How will the passport stop being new if it is not used in travelling out? Well, since I didn’t ‘tip’ the first officer though he asked nicely, I refused to BRIBE him. True to his word, he sent me and my passport down to the association-of-immigration-officers corner thinking he has dealt with me. The lady he sent my passport to asked me for my visa, checked with my passport, asked for my travel allowance and when she saw I was legit, she gave me my passport and asked me to go and get stamped. As I left, my eyes and that of the second immigration officer met and he could see my victory stare and smile.
.... to be continued
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|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chicoMX(m): 8:23pm On May 11, 2018|
Although I have never left the shores of this country, but I think giving #200 to the second officer could have saved you a lot of stress. Judging from the fact that you were stuck in traffic and angry with uber driver.
5 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 9:43pm On May 11, 2018|
Immigration officer #200?? they are greedy oooo
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chicoMX(m): 10:31pm On May 11, 2018|
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Trenton: 11:08pm On May 11, 2018|
oga abeg keep us updated oh. i don book.my spot
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Haryoureendey4(m): 12:23am On May 12, 2018|
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chukxie(m): 12:40am On May 12, 2018|
Why should he or any traveler for that matter tip immigration, custom officers or officers of any other agencies at the airport? Nigeria is terribly messed up because acts that would land people in jail in other countries are seen as normal here.
86 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chicoMX(m): 12:50am On May 12, 2018|
Like you said sir, Nigeria is terribly messed up. Every Nigerian knows that
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chukxie(m): 3:01am On May 12, 2018|
Good thing you know how messed up things are in Nigeria. That's the more reason we ( ordinary citizens) should refrain from joining party with the people who are messing things up.
26 Likes 1 Share
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 4:38am On May 12, 2018|
I thought the immigration at the airport had undergone reformation some years back, but I guess they are now back to their ‘business as usual’ mode of operation. Only in Nigerian airport do immigration officers harass Nigerians and ask for tip/bribe. In the few countries I have been to, not one immigration officer has ever asked for money not even those in other African countries. Clearly, it is a Nigerian thing!
Honestly, my opinion of workers (both immigration officers & airline staff) at the airport is that they probably are angry or jealous when they see fellow Nigerians
Finally, I board my Emirates flight to DXB and issa breeze. The cabin crew were nice and white (lol) I wonder why no African heck even Nigerian was on board; maybe they are on American route . Usually, my observation of cabin crew ladies was that they were HOTTTT and YOUNG. Now, these crew members were not ugly, but you could see that they were veterans in the game. Where were all the young and short-skirted ladies? Maybe they are still in Emirates Aviation Academy! I am not gay or bi but it always amused me how those young cabin crew would strut around the plane attending to passengers, very eager to please. Or maybe they were assigned to the first and business class cabins (oh Lord, bless me na), only time would tell. I always observe the uniform of the cabin crew of airlines and I must say Emirates does it for me. Their uniform from their head to their shoes with their bright red lipstick is always on point. Heck, their uniform makes me want to be part of the Emirates crew but then I know that I would eventually roll my eyes at some passengers so why start something only to get written up?
Flight EK 782 to DXB was great; the cabin crew served and served from an hour after take-off till 30 minutes before landing but Business & First class was from sitting down to 30 minutes before landing (oh Lord, I need an upgrade). It was really flowing; Pepsi to red wine, juice to champagne; food to biscuits. The aroma of the food woke me (yes, it was that strong and that nice)! I ate with a ‘last supper’ appetite while still applying decorum (of course). The entertainment was on point; though was a bit disappointed because Wedding Party 2 ‘narrowly missed’ the list of movies shown; I thought the movie cost would be taken from my flight ticket (pleaseee, I had heard about the mixed reviews and I was not about to waste 2.5k for that could-be disappointment). I guess the reviews must be correct if the movie hype didn’t last long the way the first one did!
Landed in DXB; journey was smooth, but the landing was smoother. It was my 2nd time at the Dubai Airport and things had certainly changed! The airport was like a beautiful 5-star hotel; I am not exaggerating or acting like someone straight out of the village but if you know how the airport of my birth country looks like, you will appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the Dubai International Airport. It is beautiful, elegant, classy and looks like Arab money on a mission. The immigration officers were polite but not friendly (at least the one who checked me in wasn’t but since I wasn’t stressed, why should I care? He’s done his job, now it’s my turn to do mine which is turn up). Changing money at the airport was just an unavoidable evil – expensive but necessary; the beauty was that I wasn’t changing ALL at the airport (I know their tricks & tariffs so I wasn’t falling for it). This is where I give credit to O.R. Tambo Airport Johannesburg, their rates were much friendlier. The lady the Travelex booth in Dubai Airport was like ‘oh, why not change $200? If you don’t finish spending it, you can change it back at the same rate when you come back’. In my mind I was like ‘I wasn’t sent to come and guarantee your May salary after charging 15 AED for $100’. It’s very hard to bring Dirham back to the airport because Dubai has everything that will enable you spend and even spend on credit. This wasn’t my first time in Dubai so let nobody come and give me fairy tales.
.... to be continued. Thanks to everyone reading and following
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|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by peacengine(m): 6:20am On May 12, 2018|
In America they give tips too. Maybe not to such officers but to waitress and waiters. Here, they may sack people for doing it, if it's against company policy. The immigration man wrong to insist on it but if we write and send complaints maybe it can be handled properly. Sometimes I dash police money because they ask but i didn't bribe, just gave him lunch for helping me.
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by peacengine(m): 6:26am On May 12, 2018|
Easy bro, this is Africa not West. N200 will not kill her or saying she doesn't have money will not make her miss flight. It's wrong of him to ask, but na their way. Fill complaint form and submit, things will change one day. One day we will become better than Western countries
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Trenton: 8:55am On May 12, 2018|
op kwantinue oh. my blood dy hot
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chicoMX(m): 9:28am On May 12, 2018|
Even some Nigerian are tired of being Nigerians.
Pls, tag me when you post any update
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chukxie(m): 11:18am On May 12, 2018|
This is Nigeria! Not "this is Africa..." Corruption is prevalent in almost every sector of the economy in Nigeria. The way the police, custom, immigration, NDLEA officers at the Lagos Airport demand for money from travelers is shameful.
24 Likes 1 Share
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by obonujoker(m): 3:05pm On May 12, 2018|
U mean wen our generation has gone or wen will Nigeria be better than Western countries??
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 7:06pm On May 12, 2018|
Got my Dirhams & luggage and headed out to take a taxi to my hotel because the hotel which so nicely offered me complimentary airport shuttle did not honor their word. It wasn’t new to me; some Dubai hotels are fond of standing you up when it comes to airport shuttle. I knew the drill, so I went and boarded a cab. Nicer hotels or should I say 5-star hotels were already waiting for their guests’ arrival so maybe next time I should aim for a 5-star hotel so that I wouldn’t be ‘scammed’. I ended up with a bill of 35.50 AED for a ride to my hotel and I couldn’t even be angry. Last time, it was 54 AED but it was in Bur-Dubai but this time it’s in Deira and next time it would be in Downtown Dubai (Amennn).
I got to my hotel and I must say now I understand how Nigerians feel about the ‘change’ they voted into power. I have been scammed!!! That’s how I honestly feel. It is a nice hotel (4-star for that matter) don’t get me wrong but I still feel scammed. They over sold and under delivered! There were services they listed on their site as provided but when I got to the hotel, they said they didn’t offer and never had offered such for example, complimentary area shuttle. I asked for currency exchange and was told I had to also make a short journey. I just couldn’t believe myself; I truly have been scammed! Right now, I have come to expect less from this hotel else I leave with a broken heart. But let’s give credit where it’s due, the hotel has something I really like – the rooms are controlled by an ipad. The lights, tv, movies, dining, cleaning and even utilities are all controlled from the ipad. I don’t need to go to the switch to put off the lights, I’d just press a button on the ipad and the lights go off – that’s fantastic (as if I will not go back to status-quo in Nigeria very soon). You can even browse on the ipad but I don’t because the keypad are in Arabic; I never asked if it could be changed since I brought my laptop. I promised myself I would visit the gym and use it (in fact there was a mental picture of me gyming before I came here) but as they say ‘it’s easier said than done’; thankfully, I’m more petite than heavy so I should be eating instead of getting trim (right?).
Spent my first night in the hotel and woke not having adjusted to Dubai time. My phone and watch were still on Nigerian time and by the time I woke up, Dubai was already popping. This trip just feels different; normal me would have been in the closest mall to me but this time I’m holed up in my room. I guess my head is screwed on right; I’m not just looking to spend more but I’m also searching for inspiration. I’m in another country all by myself with no distractions; just me and some very much needed fresh air so I’ve got to make use to this opportunity after all it is a business vacation.
Finally, I gather momentum and decide to go to shopping. I chose Mirdif City Center; I hadn’t been there before and felt that it would be an experience and believe me, it was! The traffic I experienced getting there made me shed silent tears in the cab; all I could think of was the fare meter. It felt like a journey from hell; for a split second I felt the cab driver was just taking me on a merry-go-round because it seemed like we would never get there but atlas, 50 Dirhams later we were there! I already knew I was never coming back to this mall again but the moment I stepped in, all my annoyance about the cab fare vanished because guess what? The whole mall was on sale! I opened my mouth (in my mind) because I have never experienced such before – the whole mall on sale?? It was going to be an interesting experience.
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 7:09pm On May 12, 2018|
Food is ready
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chicoMX(m): 7:37pm On May 12, 2018|
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chicoMX(m): 7:37pm On May 12, 2018|
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by samee72(f): 10:58pm On May 12, 2018|
Next time take the metro to Rashidiya metro station and from there take a cab to Mirdif City center, that will be cheaper, hope you had a great time there?
22 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Teeboy22(m): 12:44am On May 13, 2018|
Sapphire86:lol haha. I paid immigration 2k,20dirhams, 10 south African Rand's. Those priory wicked. Even the guy standing near me paid 100$ n the other paid 20k why some paid nothing...
Depends on ur street OT haha
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by snowlordng(m): 2:47am On May 13, 2018|
what a beautiful place
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 5:39am On May 13, 2018|
Yes I did... I might just do that in my final days
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by loomer: 8:41am On May 13, 2018|
you fine sha
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 9:33am On May 13, 2018|
Before I could say my name, the spirit of shopping had entered me, and I was going from store to store looking for the best prices. The more discounts a store offered, the more likely I would be there. There were stores waiting to take your money – Victoria’s Secret, H & M, shoe express, you name it, Dubai had it! I couldn’t go to all stores because as a normal human being, I knew what I had with me so why bother with what I couldn’t afford at the moment? Even those I could afford, I eventually got tired of going from one store to the other but made sure I made good of my expensive cab fare to Mirdif. The mall was going to be on sales for 3 days straight, but I knew I wasn’t coming back so let me just buy what I could and leave.
Had a full day the next day (Friday) – went to church in Bur Dubai and after service decided to take a stroll before cabbing to my hotel. My aim of the stroll was to – buy a sim card, possibly change money and shop at a supermarket. For some reason I can’t explain, I love supermarket shopping especially when I’m outside Nigeria. The bigger the better and the cheaper, the happier I am. I entered a plaza and the whole plaza was on a 4-day sale, I was like ‘ah, ah, Dubai is not playing’. I entered and changed money (I change according to my day and needs; I didn’t want to do bulk changing) before proceeding to shop. I entered a store and got 1 charger, 2 watches and a Guess perfume for 200 AED! I was loving my time in Bur Dubai. Then I went to the supermarket and all hell broke loose. Supermarket was on sale! I am talking about real sales not what Shoprite in Nigeria will call sale. Shoprite will say they are on sale by reducing Pepsi from 100 to 94 NGN! But here, I saw SALES!! First, I was on a chocolate mission to be precise Lindt Chocolate mission. I was tired of Shoprite charging me 1200 to 4500 for Lindt chocolate so I went ham at the supermarket. From Lindt for myself to Toblerone for my brother to Galaxy and KitKat for give away, I just bought, and I think my chocolate bill was almost or over a 100 AED (please, don’t judge me). When I was satisfied with my craving, then I toured around. They really know how to give discounts in Dubai – buy 3 Listerine and get one 1 free all still at a discounted price and so it was across all items – soaps, toothpaste etc. and people shopped! Oh, people shopped, and I wasn’t excluded. Maybe I should open a supermarket (hmmm).
Once I left the supermarket, I knew it was time to head back to my hotel. I had shopped enough for the day (or so I thought). I entered my room and slept off (after a hard day’s job shouldn’t I be tired?) but upon waking up, I decided to finally go sim-card shopping and observe my environment. I started walking without any direction in mind until I got to a bubbling area in Deira – there I saw Burger King, Dunkin Donuts etc. and finally another mall – Al Ghurair Centre! I said to myself ‘we are not shopping, just looking for an Etisalat store for a sim card’ oh boy, how I was wrong! I entered and of course, the mall was on sales (as usual) and now it’s beginning to look like it was a government decision because everywhere was on sale. Let’s just say I came out with 3 shopping bags and no sim card of any network in hand! I left the mall because I wasn’t supposed to be shopping but looking for sim card store and I don’t like to spend over budget. Heading back to my hotel thinking while giving myself a pep talk on curbing the shopping spirit Dubai has unleashed by declaring sales in every plaza and mall because slowly BUT surely, money was leaving my purse. Sufficient is the stress of Friday shopping, Saturday is another day.
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by chicoMX(m): 10:09am On May 13, 2018|
From an etisalat sim-card to a shopping spree, very nice!
Wonder why you had to carry lots of cash on you, just to get an etisalat sim card.
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 10:12am On May 13, 2018|
|Re: 10 Nights in Dubai by Sapphire86(f): 10:13am On May 13, 2018|
You say it grudgingly... why na? But thnx
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