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Sunday, 01 May 2016

The Emirates Experience

Written by Meredith Chait
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I recently flew Emirates Airline from Chicago to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 


The first leg of the trip was about 13 hours, from Chicago to Dubai. Although I was in coach, the Emirates flight attendants were very attentive. Plus, the seats were comfortable and each seat had its own TV with more than 100 channels and movies. 


The food was amazing, not just for airline food; and, there was free wine. The flight attendants came around a few times in between meals with snacks, including chocolate bars and apples. In the back of the plane, there were different drinks poured, which you could help yourself to. 

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The airport in Dubai was very large, yet very clean. It was about a 15-minute walk from our gate to the customs desk. Since I hold a U.S. passport, I could have gone through the express customs lane. However, I wanted the passport stamp, so I went to the actual desk. 


Since I had more than an 8-hour layover in Dubai, and there was no earlier flight, Emirates gave me a free hotel for the night. I took the Emirates free shuttle along with about 10 other people. 


The hotel was in the city. I had a few hours before I went to bed, so after my free dinner at the hotel, I went on a tour of the city. The tour was about $32 USD. It was three hours, which was a little long for me since it ended at 11 p.m., but I was excited to see the famous sights of Dubai, including the world’s tallest building and the world’s biggest indoor shopping mail. 

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The only downfall of my first two days with Emirates was that I had to pay for Wi-Fi at the hotel. The hotel room was a bit bare, but it was a bed for the night. 


The next day, I had a free breakfast at the hotel and took the shuttle back to the airport.


The flight from Dubai to Dar es Salaam was about 5 hours. The flight attendants spoke Swahili, English, and Arabic. 


A few months later, on the return trip, I was excited to get on the Emirates plane and relax. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time in Tanzania, but it was nice to be with Emirates again after spending a few months in the beautiful and unique country that is Tanzania.    


In Dubai, I went through the express customs check this time. There was no person there; it was a gate that opens when you scan your passport. 


Again, in Dubai, I had a free hotel, shuttle, and food. However, this time the hotel I stayed at previously was booked. 


After waiting at the airport for about 30-minutes, which seemed longer at 12:30 in the morning, we drove to Emirates’ hotel. This hotel did have free Wi-Fi, and nicer rooms than the hotel I stayed at on my way to Tanzania. 

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I got to the airport a little early the next morning to explore it. It had everything necessary. I saw a Starbucks and a Le Pain Quotidien. I also shopped for a mini jar of Nutella. However, if you do not like chocolate, you could go for the caviar that they also sold. Or, you could buy some fake gold or the famous hats the women flight attendants on Emirates wear. 


One lesson I learned while traveling from Chicago to Dubai to Dar es Salaam and back is that if you are in need of directions or are unsure, ask for help. People are usually very nice and helpful. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are lost and need to ask for directions. It is easier than walking around in circles. 


Overall, I was very impressed with my Emirates experience. If Emirates is an option to get me to my destination, I would definitely fly it again. 



©Meredith Chait


Last modified on Sunday, 01 May 2016