TravBuddy website censored in Dubai.

Dubai Travel Blog

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Despite an early morning arrival in Dubai, I woke up early and just couldn’t get back to sleep. It seemed TravBuddy was calling out to me, so I set up my computer and tried to log on. Instead of that familiar blue banner, I was faced with a page that read,

“We apologize the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates.”

TravBuddy, censored? That just doesn’t make any sense at all to me. I don’t see how the content could be construed as offensive to anyone. And if the site doesn’t fit with someone’s values, can’t that individual choose to avoid the site? Someone or some group is out there deciding what is appropriate for an entire population?  I will stop now lest I go into a rant, but I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.
Starbucks at Wafi Mall. I took this before I realized there are Starbucks EVERYWHERE.


Dubai is much bigger and more spread out than I anticipated. I had a hard time figuring out where to go first since it was clear there would be no walking from sight to sight…it’s WAY too hot for that. So we ended up taking a cab nearby mall, Wafi. It was very quiet there, and the stores were mostly upscale designer brands. We had no luck finding a pair of Teva sandals for Steve, although I did find some of the Clarins lotion that eluded me all through Asia.

Next we grabbed a cab and headed off to the Dubai Museum. I wasn’t feeling well at this point -- I was not only very tired, but also sick to my stomach. So I don’t think I got as much out of this visit as I could have. The museum had dioramas showing Dubai’s past lives, back when metal was hammered out by hand and the primary transportation was camel.
The fort that houses the Dubai Museum.
What a difference a few decades can make! The past fifty years have seen Dubai transform from a sleepy fishing village to a glitzy metropolis featuring the biggest, brightest, and most innovative architecture in the world. Like it or not, you have to be impressed by what’s been accomplished here.

From the museum, we walked to the nearby Dubai Creek. I don’t know why it’s called that -- it’s very wide and busy with water traffic… not at all what one expects a “creek” to be. Although it was very hot out, there was a nice breeze off the water, so we decided to stroll around the Fabric and Clothing Souk in that area. For me, the word “souk” conjures up narrow winding passageways, tiny shops filled to the brim, and aggressive hawkers.
Dubai Museum outdoor display. The sun was blinding, so we didn't look for long.
There was none of this. Instead, we found a rather new-looking walking mall lined with quiet shops, many of which had AC! Very civilized, and very un-souklike.

Next we continued our search for Teva sandals at Dubai Festival City. This mall was still being built and only partially occupied, but it seemed very busy nonetheless. (We had no luck on finding the sandals there either.) We ate lunch in the food court, where I studied the very wide spectrum of dress to be found at the mall. There were tourists (and ex-pats…foreigners who obviously were living in Dubai) wearing short skirts and tank tops, which seemed at complete odds with the conservative dress many of the Muslim women wore. This ranged from highly conservative (i.e. full-on burqa: a shapeless black gown to the floor, gloves, veils, and no skin showing at all) to “Muslim lite,” a black gown or robe thrown over regular clothing, with the face showing and the head loosely covered.
Diorama at Dubai Museum.
It seemed the married women were the ones wearing the more conservative version, while the younger girls wore the more relaxed version.

Some of the men were wearing jeans and t-shirts, but many were wearing more traditional-looking dress. With their crisp and cool white robes (either to the floor, or to the knees and accompanied by loose white pants) and distinctive white and black or white and red headdress, I think the men got the better end of the bargain here.  

After lunch, I didn’t feel well, and we were both tired. We made a quick trip to the grocery store in the mall, and then back to our hotel. Naps, reading, and general laziness followed. It feels terrible to lose a half day like this when we only have three days total in Dubai…tomorrow I will hopefully be able to pick up again and see some of this city!   

stabber911 says:
Travbuddy management must do more PR! :D
Posted on: Dec 04, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips! cant get there fro… can't get there fr…
Starbucks at Wafi Mall. I took thi…
Starbucks at Wafi Mall. I took th…
The fort that houses the Dubai Mus…
The fort that houses the Dubai Mu…
Dubai Museum outdoor display. The …
Dubai Museum outdoor display. The…
Diorama at Dubai Museum.
Diorama at Dubai Museum.
Stop staring at me! Dubai Museum.
Stop staring at me! Dubai Museum.
The Dubai fort that houses the Dub…
The Dubai fort that houses the Du…
Dubai Museum.
Dubai Museum.
Looking across the Creek at Deira.
Looking across the Creek at Deira.
Festival City Mall shoppers.
Festival City Mall shoppers.
Our room at the Sheraton Four Poin…
Our room at the Sheraton Four Poi…
photo by: vances