Friday, August 30, 2013

Dubai is a sauna and the view from my hotel’s rooftop

Sauna is probably the best fitting word to describe Dubai during the summer months. My skin felt lovely actually; you know, when you get out of the sauna, you are not only sweating buckets but you reap this pampered effect of having soft fresh skin and rosy cheeks. That’s Dubai for you in the summer. And that’s probably the only positive thing out of this oppressive heat in the city.

The fog is not a camera issue or a trick, this is Dubai during the summer months. Misty, er I mean, steamy.

Free sauna in Dubai

My first experience of the sweltering heat was when I stepped out of the rooftop of my hotel early in the morning. The temperature was a soaring 40-something degree celsius. I was caught off guard when I opened the metal door to the rooftop pool area. The heavy hot air instantly confronted my very startled I-did-not-expect-it-to-be-this-hot face. Humidity was skyrocket-high and I was sweating in seconds. My hairs started to annoyingly curl under my neck and ears as well and I began to worry if my light makeup will melt. I know it's petty but a lady does not want to look ridiculous, right?

It was really too hot to be walking on the rooftop of the hotel but I endured the sizzling dilemma just to take pictures, even if the lens of my point-and-click Sony camera was fogged up due to the steaming temperature. I am sure that if I break an egg on the floors of the rooftop, the egg would just cook by itself. Because of the humidity, there is not much to be seen from afar. Water in the air. Steam. Mist.

What can I say? The city is indeed a one big sauna oven and I can never thank Wills Carrier enough for having invented modern-day air conditioning!

The water in the pool looks very refreshing but it is too hot to be swimming on the rooftop in the summer. No way!

Traditional trading boats docked on the Deira harbour along Dubai Creek. 

That is Hilton on the left. But last minute I switched to Samaya because of their offer.

A mosque on Al Rigga, Deira district, just beside the hotel.

Samaya Hotel Deira

I stayed at the Samaya Hotel Deira because I want to be in the old part of Dubai. I only have a day in the city and the places I wanted to see were mostly in Deira and Bur Dubai. Luckily, both historical places are located beside each other and are only divided by the fascinating Dubai Creek.

For a better understanding of the city, I will give an overview of the districts of Dubai in my next entry.

Initially, I had my eyes set on the Hilton, until I saw Samaya offering a much lower rate. Samaya is a 5-star hotel that have seen better days, which is quite obvious in the hotel’s lobby and reception, however, the hotel rooms were still very nice, spacious, elegant and well maintained. Totally worth the switch I reckon.

I was also right with the location; it couldn’t have been any better. The hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Gold and Spice Souks, the Abra (traditional wooden boat) station and the historical Bur Dubai district. However, during the sauna months in the city, it is almost impossible to be walking outside, thus one would need a personal chauffeur or a taxi to get to these places. Taxi fares are cheap in Dubai anyway, at least from a Dutch-Euro stand point.

The hotel has a glass capsule lift.

UAE currency: Dirhams. 1 EUR (Euro) is 4.8 AED (Dirhams). Taxi rides cost between 10 Dirhams to 30 Dirhams within the city. A 30-minute ride would probably cost about 40-50 Dirhams. That's nothing compared to the Netherlands where a 3-minute taxi ride can cost you 10+ Euros and a half an hour ride between 80 and 90 Euros.

In addition, the hotel is very close to the airport. You’d be surprised that there is traffic in Dubai, after all the city is constantly evolving, bringing new contruction and expansion sites, i.e. new infrastructure, new architecture and new road works that sometimes invites traffic.

Travel Period: July 2013
Destination: Deira – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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