Waking up ridiculous early (4.30am) so as to give ourselves plenty of time to make it through any hypothetical protests, we packed out of our hotel and were on our way to the airport (pre-arranging a price this time to avoid any airport transfer shenanigans). We needn’t of bothered, no protests encountered, and we made it to the airport with plenty of time. An exciting 6 hours of sitting later, we arrived in Dubai. We were staying out by the airport instead of in town (all connected by metro station anyway, so fairly easy to get round) so we couldn’t see the city en route to the hotel – other than the Burj Khalifa. One massive spire, impossibly thin, stretching up into the clouds. Really impressive even at a distance.
One of the cool things about the Dubai is how international the place really is, living up to the claim as a ‘global city’. The Emirates airline is very proud of the diversity of their staff (“…today, our on board staff come from 13 different countries and speak 23 different languages…”) and the same was true of our hotel, with all the desk staff having little flag badges indicating languages spoken – normally around three. Apparently only 17% of people living in Dubai are UAE nationals, which is pretty crazy.