Five days in Dubai
Who says dreams do not come true? Barely six months after my transit through Dubai on my way to China in 2019, I found myself in one of the world’s famed tourist destinations not for pleasure, but for business.
Just the previous year after spending few hours at the Dubai Airport, I had prayed that the next time, it would not be a transit but an actual visit to the city state.
That was in September, 2019 and not long after in February, 2020, I had my wish granted. I was selected to be part of a five-member team for a media family trip at the behest of the Emirates airline.
I could not believe that my desire to visit the United Arab Emirates was going to be fulfilled within this short time that I had nursed the hope. Miracles still do happen and dreams do really come true, I said to myself.
So fast track into the past, on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11a.m. GMT, I found myself on my second Emirates flight headed for Beijing and all I could hear about 39,000ft up in the sky on the jumbo jet Airbus A380 – 800, was the sturdy whine of the two huge jet engines and the sound of the aircraft cutting into the cold air outside.
My first flight aboard a smaller aircraft, the Boeing 777 – 300 from the Kotoka International Airport in Accra to the Dubai International Airport had ended over nine hours earlier.
I had heard a lot about the Emirates airline and prayed I would one day taste of their much talked about superb service, and voila! I had a double dose. Two flights in 24 hours. For the first time, the instruction was not “put off all mobile phones and electronic gadgets”.
So while on my second Emirates flight on that memorable day headed for China, I took out my laptop from the overhead carriage and wrote “Passengers are actually allowed to put phones in flight mode just temporarily – before take-off and during landing. Once airborne and they fasten seat belt signs are off one can actually use an on air wifi–internet on air (I have not been able to log-on though the icon on my laptop says I have internet access).
“Well I have had two firsts too – landing on the famed Dubai soil in the United Arab Emirates. Although there was no opportunity to go to town to see the famous Dubai city. I guess that would also happen one day.
“For now, let me be content with the masterpiece of an airport. Gratefully I had to wait five hours to connect my second flight, so I had all the time to not only look for my boarding gate which was like going around in a maze, but I had the opportunity to feast my eyes on some beautiful things in some shops.”
Well I did that from a distance, since one needs a lot of cash to do some few purchases – something I couldn’t boast of. As I always believe, one day it will all change. I know this wish will also come true soon.
But I must say that apart from the fact that I did not quite fancy being sandwiched on my first flight as I was in the middle, the service onboard wasn’t bad and it was a relatively smooth flight with an equally smooth landing.
“Dubai from the air/sky really looks beautiful with all the lights everywhere. When we were airborne during the second flight to the Peking International Airport in Beijing, China, I couldn’t also help noticing that the city of Dubai is well laid out and compact. No space allowed to go waste. Well, I will have more to say when I get an opportunity to visit the city someday,” I said to myself.
While onboard the jumbo for the first time I continued typing away; “The Boeing A380 – 800 jumbo jet taking us to China has an upper cabin, which means it has the capacity to take more people. Before I even check its capacity I would not hesitate to hazard a guess that it can take over 500 passengers because of its twin cabin.”
Checks later showed that although the aircraft typically took 525 passengers, it had a maximum certified capacity for 853 passengers.
This time round I got my favourite seat – at the window and I continued to scribble; “We are soaring like an eagle above the clouds – it is always beautiful to behold the earth from the sky.”
One of the intriguing things I learnt was the fact that the crew came from 18 countries and spoke 13 languages – who can beat that! Emirates is truly an international airline, I said to myself.