Thursday, September 19, 2013

THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT

The Radisson Blu Hotel on Dubai Creek is a great hotel - that's why I went back a second time. But the Duty Manager on the night I checked out (Sept 12th) - Rahul or Majul? - clearly doesn't believe the customer is always right. I felt I had been misled by information hotel staff had given me on my previous visit. I had been encouraged to book directly with the hotel - something I rarely do - and it ended up costing me considerably more. Consequently I thought  it reasonable that my bill be discounted a little. Rahul wasn't having any of this, and persisted on telling me how hotel bookings work - something I know a bit about! - and only begrudgingly in the end acknowledged, after much prompting from me, that 'he got my point.' He did eventually discount the price and I was grateful for that, but I was annoyed at his stubborn refusal to concede that his hotel staff had erred. Most unusual for front of house staff to be this stubborn in my experience. The money wasn't really the point for me. I just wanted acknowledgement that I had been misled. Rahul - I just don't make up stories to get $30 of my bill, and I think you need to come down a peg or two if you want a long career in hospitality. But, as I said, a great hotel. Right on Dubai Creek with wonderful  views , mostly very friendly staff, and excellent breakfast. Reasonable free wifi. (Sorry if I got your name wrong 'Rahul' - but you know who you are.)

(The above posted to Trip Advisor.)

WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI

DO take an abra (traditional wooden water taxi) across the river (1 dirham)
DO visit the Dubai museum. Excellent reconstructions and model displays of Dubai's past.
DO go to Dubai Mall at sunset and watch the sound, light and fountain show for some sheer fantasy.
DO go to Jumeirah public beach for a swim. Taxis come by frequently to take you to your next destination, Metro, or hotel.
DO take the Metro to anywhere. There's a brand spanking new airconditioned city underground that is fantastic relief in the summer.
DO visit the spice section in the grand souk. Great sights and sounds. And if gold is your thing you can ogle wealthy tourists shopping  in the nearby gold shops.

DON'T
bother with the aircon tourist water taxi on the creek unless you're desperate for a cool break.
DON'T bother with the Burj Al-Arab. You can't get any further than the gate and you can see it well enough from other places.

DUBAI MARINA - DO or DON'T? If you want to see first hand the excesses of rich Dubai give it a visit. Its opulence is impressive. But if this kind of thing offends you stay away. (it's also quite a long way from central Dubai.)

Population Profile
If you get the impression that Dubai is full of young men who are on their own without family and not particularly happy, consider:
·         75% of the population is male
·         50% are from South Asia
·         the largest cohort are the 16-29 year olds