So on my way back from the US, I decided to do a stopover of around 3 days in Dubai. It came in free, you see, because my company was flying me to-fro on Emirates. Plus I have my cousin sister staying there with her family, so wanted to visit them too.
Had heard a lot about Dubai being visitor friendly and even though I was advised to take a visa from India itself, based on some suggestions by past visitors and my own laziness, I decided to do a visa on arrival. Oh how costly that turned out to be. Normal Visa charges in India would have been around 40 US $. But Emirates guys have some fine print that if one takes a visa on arrival from them in Dubai, that person has to necessarily buy hotel stay for the entire duration from them. I was like WTFFFF!!! Much to my angst and anger I had to shell out 400 US $, even though I was not going to stay in any hotel. So future travelers, beware!!
Thankfully, this turned out to be the only sore point of the trip. I was blown away by Dubai. This place rocks. Its like a globally cosmopolitan desert land, which has a thirst for concrete development like no other. I was told Dubai houses 25% of the world's largest cranes. Dubai just wants to be the best in everything that they construct. Add to that other very important freebies like Zero Tax and it makes it to rock harder. Though its an expensive place with rentals and real estate prices touching the roof. But an always eager rest of the world making a beeline, its sustaining the load. Was there for 2 days and checked out the different places. The Dubai Museum gave a fascinating glimpse of the Dubai of yesteryears and how under an ambitious, visionary, driven and very liberal ruler, it has transformed into this business hub in Asia.
Here are some pics of my tour. Check out the place at least once is my recommendation :)