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Dubai might not be best places for female travelers. My visit was quite short – about 11 hours – and yet I felt sexually harassed several times. The first time even before leaving the airport. For this reason, if I ever visit Dubai again, I prefer to do that in male company.
Last time, when I was traveling between Asia and Europe, I felt like seeing some new place and Dubai seemed like an interesting option. I have not explored Middle East too much (I visited just Egypt and Turkey) and I was attracted to visit Burj Khalifa, the world tallest building. After landing in Dubai at 5 am, I dropped my luggage and rushed to visit this iconic tower.
I was stopped by one of the airport’s employees who started to ask me questions about my visit, at first he was quite friendly but after some moments he started to offer me company for going around the city and I could not really get rid of him. He even wanted to pay my transportation ticked, I rejected but I had problems to avid him doing it, as he kept accompanying me all the way to the metro. Finally, I managed to purchase the ticket and enter one of the carriages.
Planning a trip to Dubai? A fellow blogger has a great post about How to spend two days in Dubai, UAE on a backpacker budget!
Metro in Dubai is probably designed with the local men’s mentality in mind. Some carriages are reserved just for women and children. It took me a while to find out why the hell there are almost only men around me (apart from few couples) – yes, I was in the men’s carriage. I wonder whether the guys who kept staring at me felt justified by the fact I did not choose the carriage for female passengers, or by the fact that I was just wearing summer shirt with no sleeves. I am sorry but in the 40 degrees heat that was out there, I couldn’t really imagine wearing something more.
Tower Burj Khalifa is located within in the world largest shopping mall. It has around 1200 shops and fortunately ( I am not much of shopper) most of them were closed when I had to pass the mall on my way to the tower early in the morning. I booked my ticket weeks earlier online for 35 dollars – so much cheaper that to buy it on the spot. I had some extra time so I was spending it at nearby the lake that normally hosts fountain shows (I heard they are great but the timing did not fit me). Some guy from Pakistan approached me, followed me around and even wanted to go up with me – which I happily managed to avoid.
Yet, I had little trouble entering the tower. Visitors are not allowed to bring food and drinks up there, so the security employee was not happy with little bottle of wine in my backpack (Emirates airlines stuff) and advised me to store it in the locker. The other two male employees in charge of lockers were not too happy – they told me alcohol is not allowed in this shopping centre:). I told them that this wine is too good to trash it, so either I can drink it on the spot or I can deposit it and drink somewhere else:) With permission of the manager, we agreed on the second option.
The observation deck is located on the 148 th floor, where you get by super modern and super fast lift just within seconds. Experiencing the visit of the world tallest building was cool experience, although the Dubai panorama was spoiled by smog so one could not see very far. I just felt like I am on fancy tower in a fancy city surrounded by desert. The temperature outside was like 40 degrees, even my ass was sweating.
I decided to use the remaining time and traveled to Jumeira Beach. The public transportation in Dubai sucks a bit – the metro is fine but the bus was dirty and not air-conditioned. The hot air made me asleep and when I woke up, one of the male passengers was staring on my boobs and getting already too close. The beach was OK, of course not comparable with beaches in South East Asia, but I really felt like jumping into the water at that hot day. My swimsuit remained stored at the airport in the luggage, so I went swimming in my clothes. Unfortunately, the sea was quite warm so I had shower on the beach and started returning to the airport (this time, desperately fully awake).
See you, Dubai? Maybe. If I come, next time I bring boyfriend or boy-friend.
If you have multiple days to visit Dubai you will for sure appreciate this post one week in Dubai by a fellow blogger.