Can’t get away for Eid? Go around the world in Dubai

By David Light

How expensive are flights becoming over the holiday period? We all understand market economics, and I realise this opening gambit is reminiscent of every grandparents’ conversation ever, but have you noticed the steep climbs in recent years?

Perhaps it is a symptom of having been resident in the UAE for a long while and rapidly beginning to start most chats with “remember when?” Or maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention to inflation, however… remember when you could get from here to Sydney and back for Dh30? Obviously that’s an exaggeration, yet the sentiment remains: Like nostalgia, prices ain’t what they used to be.

As this upcoming Eid break draws near, I took my usual perusal of vacation deals and found a few actually did more or less fit the bill. Despite increasing package costs, there are still one or two offers about if you know where to sniff them out.

Eyeing a nice-looking short stay in Kovalam, I decided to leave off the final click until the days off were officially confirmed, just in case. Then I found myself in Union Coop in Al Wasl. A bit of a non sequitur there, but bear with me.

In this supermarket stands a little shop within a shop: The Italian Food Hub. It imports various goods from one of my favourite countries in the world and does a fine job at stocking products other than the usual pasta and sauces in jars others believe the purveying of which qualifies them as a delicatessen. It was here a revelation took place.

Now, at this point, imagine I have taken Joey from Friends’ “do long division in your head” acting advice to picture the realisation on my face. We live in a tourist destination. And not just any escape. Dubai is not only sunny and on the beach: It is a place, which looks to cater to numerous segments by making them feel at home. We possess representative brands, mock landmarks and as-good-as native culinary exploits from every corner of the globe. So why go anywhere, when everywhere has come to us?

You fancy a jaunt round the Balearics for the afternoon? Make your way to Nikki Beach. Want to explore a Hindu temple? The beautiful narrow alleyways of Al Fahidi are on our doorstep. Craving a little bit of Seoul? Mannaland restaurant in Satwa will welcome both with open arms and also in Korean. The closest café to my house is authentic Iranian, for goodness’ sake.

So if you want to put a few pennies aside this time around and recharge the batteries without the worry of rushing to the airport, always remember you can do a fair amount of adventuring right here with your time off.

david@khaleejtimes.com

David Light is a travel addict. Give him half a chance and he is (usually) off

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