From decision to arrival it was about six months of planning and it was all somewhat slapped in the face when I arrived at London Gatwick on Monday 31st August with my Mum and 3 heavy bags of luggage to be told my flight was delayed. There had been ‘issues’ in Dubai and the flight left late and would arrive in London late, therefore leave London late… resulting in me arriving in Dubai late and in fact too late for me to make my connection to Seoul. I had 2 options, say goodbye to my mum and jump on a bus to Heathrow… or stick around take the flight and instead of spending three hours in Dubai, spend 23 hours… for various reasons I decided I would go with the second option and my journey to South Korea ended up starting with a mini break in the United Arab Emirates!
The original flight to Dubai was supposed to land at midnight and I would have 3 hours chilling in the airport before getting a flight to Seoul at 3am.. however we left 3 hours late and as we hit the tarmac in Dubai I swear we passed the Seoul flight leaving…however.
Now I have never flown long haul before, I have never been on a plane for more than 5 hours (and that was a delayed flight to Tenerife!) and I had never flown with Emirates before, although I had heard good things about them and to be honest it wouldn’t have taken alot to make me impressed, and despite the delay and extra stress it caused me I was very impressed by the end.
On arrival in Dubai and feeling slightly angry, I got in a queue along with a bunch of other angry people not really sure what was going to happen, the queue took forever, for some people who had missed there connections it was a wait of a few hours however for me I knew flights from Dubai to Seoul went every 24 hours at 3am… I was there for a while… It was in that queue i made my first ‘friend’, Andy, a guy heading to China to teach english…. his flight to Beijing was as regular as mine and left at 320 am everyday.. so armed with our boarding cards, a hotel voucher and the good news we didnt have to check out our bags then check them back in again we headed through security and off into Dubai.
I knew Dubai was hot, however because it is hot Dubai is also very air conditioned inside the terminal… to get to our hotel we had to take a shuttle bus and that bus was outside the terminal and stepping outside was like hitting a brick wall of 40 degree heat, it was surreal to say the least and something I was not expecting and throughout my whole time there was something that I did not get used to at all… the air shocked me everytime. We caught the bus to the ‘Millenium Airport Hotel’ which was gorgous and managed to check ourselves in and then headed off to our rooms to get some sleep. Through conversation we had decided we both wanted to make the most of our time in Dubai and decided to meet up at some point after we had woken up to go and do some exploring…. I mean we had a lot of time to kill and I didn’t want to waste it staring at 4 walls.
I woke up at about midday and headed down (with my food vouchers) to the hotel restaurant to grab some food, which itself was amazing – there was a huge buffet with a colossal amount of food and at this point I was feeling a little bit hungry… shortly after I found Andy and we headed out to explore Dubai….