I used to be part of Emirates cabin crew as a CSA, and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to travel for free 🙂
Back then (year 2008), starting with just Dubai-New York, we only had a few destinations for Emirates A380 flights. For about 3 months, I was going back and forth from Dubai-New York and New York-Dubai… Later on, added London, Sydney and Auckland, Bangkok (then I resigned)… Today the A380 has more than 30 destinations all over the world (check them out here).
I miss flying a lot, but sometimes, life only gives you one chance. And for what its worth, I would do it all over again if I can only do so.
Here are some tid-bits about my home-base during my short stint with Emirates…
Dubai is a modern city in UAE, located in the Middle East. The weather there for most months is hot and humid, but from November-January it is cool and windy similar to Baguio climate here in the Philippines. It never rains there.
Shopping is a good past time in Dubai since there are a lot of malls with many designer boutiques and famous global brands, with mall hours extending until late at night (until around 1 am). There are crazy sales going on and you would really feel the discounts/savings. Electronics is cheaper here. I remember going to Deira City Centre and seeing how cheaper their digital cameras were, compared to The Philippines. Some colleagues of mine were also able to easily buy a large flat-screen tv over there.
Inside large malls there are prayer rooms.
In general, the restaurants in Dubai do not serve pork dishes, and most groceries do not sell pork.
Dubai is an open-city and when I was based there, I felt safe. I can ride the taxi all by myself late at night, and stroll along the mall all by myself, no problem. There was no dress code, and one can drink alcohol inside bars/clubs.
Some locals and some Muslims wear conservative clothing. For women, they wear an abaya which is a long black dress that covers the entire body, and they match this with a black head scarf. Some ladies follow a strict discipline and only show their eyes, but this dress code is very rare. For men, some of the locals wear a white long garb/dress for men, and a head scarf. The first time I saw them I was amused and wanted to take pictures, but this is disrespectful and looked down upon/discouraged.
Dubai is home to many nationalities because they hire a lot of foreigners to do labor work, to handle customer-service jobs in tourism and hospitality, and they are open to expats. It is also the home-base of the cabin crews of Emirates Airlines (who hire people from all over the world).
During my first few months based in Dubai, I had so many crushes, and was infatuated mostly with Jesus-christ-looking men from Lebanon. There are a bunch of Lebanese living in Dubai and they are beautiful/handsome.
There are no great nature-trips in Dubai such as mountains, virgin beaches, enchanting rainforests and waterfalls But Dubai has a lot of fun theme-parks, tourist destinations and activities such as Wild Wadi, Atlantis resort, Dessert Safari, Ski Dubai, Souk Madinat, etc.