Dubai Mishaps: SPOTLIGHT & MEGAPHONE Incident, Sandstorm and the time we almost got ARRESTED.
Dubai will always be special to me. I lived there from 2006 to 2007 and I can say it’s been a blast. It was my first time to be out of my home country. Memorable experiences and things happened. Definitely some funny stories for my future kids and grandkids!
Mishap 1: Spotlight & Megaphone Incident at Jumeirah Beach Park (Dubai, UAE)
It was the peak of summer in Dubai where day temp can reach a high of 50 Deg Celsius (between 12noon to 3pm). One weekend – weekend in the Moslem world is Friday – I was really in the mood to swim. I asked my then boyfriend to go to the beach with me. He wasn’t that keen. It’s been a very hot morning (around 40deg C already and increasing) and he said that it’s way too hot to go outside. It will be even hotter mid-afternoon. Anyhow, around 4pm, it started to cool down a bit and he was in the mood to go for a dip in the water. He picked me up at 6pm and we reached Jumeirah Beach Park around 6:45pm (too much traffic,I was just living in Al Sattwa, travel time should have only been 15 mins!)
So we then ran and swam and enjoyed the water. Around half an hour later, we saw a pick-up with its very bright headlights on (BRIGHT!) heading towards our direction in the water. The vehicle then stopped and we had a spotlight (the vehicle’s headlights) pointed to our faces. A guy with a megaphone then started to talk, “GET OUT OF THE WATER! NO SWIMMING ALLOWED AFTER 7:30pm!!!)
We slowly crawled our way out of the water… Embarrassed, my ex walked towards the vehicle and apologized (in Arabic) to the guy holding the megaphone. Apparently, they are the beach patrol (police) and they have a sign that it’s not allowed to go swimming there at the beach park after 7:30pm! We never saw a sign on our way.
Anyway, the following weekend, my flatmates decided to go to the same beach park at Jumeirah.
I then saw the sign:
Mishap 2: Sandstorm Incident at Open Beach, near the Burj Al Arab Hotel
My ex was really so in love with me that he’d do everything to make me happy. Hahaha! I told him that I’ve never been camping in my life. So, another weekend, Friday, he told me that we’re going somewhere. I was so happy when he told me that we’re going camping at the beach! This time at the open beach with the view of Burj Al Arab. He organized the tent, food and even gave me a puppy doll.
When we were done putting up the tent and I was inside it organizing our stuff, I heard someone talking to my ex. The person sounded angry. I then went outside and asked him what’s wrong. He told me, “It’s alright. I’ll sort it.” The guy left and gave my boyfriend a shout when he was leaving. I then asked him to explain to me what happened. Apparently, we’re not allowed to camp there and that if we don’t put our tent down, they will arrest us. People will then follow what we’re doing and put up tents themselves.
Scared, I told him that we need to put it down and just go home. When we were about to put it away, some people arrived and started to put up their tents. We were confused. I asked some of those people and then they told us that it’s ok. No one will arrest us or anything. It’s an open beach.
So we stayed and started eating. The wind was starting to pick up and I went insdie the tent because it’s cold. I heard the angry voice again. The guy was back and was really screaming this time. I went out and then he just faced me and screamed “I TOLD YOU CAMPING IS NOT ALLOWED HERE! SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE FOLLOWED WHAT YOU GUYS STARTED?!” (in his angry arabic accent) His face was scary and with him wearing that white long dress thing made me even more scared! He continued talking “IF YOU DON’T GO AND PUT YOUR TENT AWAY, I WILL ARREST YOU!” The other people at the beach heard what happened and we all started to pack up and go home.
Halfway through packing up, the wind started howling and there’s sand everywhere. Someone shouted, “SANDSTORM!!” My ex told me to get inside the tent and hide there till the sandstorm stop. After 2 minutes he asked me to go out and help him carry the tent ( with all our stuff inside). We then carried our tent (which is still standing) and ran to the nearest building (of course it was closed). We hid behind a wall, together with the other people who started running away from the beach. After a few minutes, the sandstorm stopped and then we started laughing. We were covered in sand and smelled salty. As we were driving, we saw the guy who shouted at us, standing near the gate, also covered in sand checking every person who walks out. We laughed and thought that he’s probably looking for us.
Mishap 3: The time we almost got arrested at Dubai Creek Park, UAE
Dubai is a state in UAE and UAE is a MOSLEM Country. So just like how it was shown in the movie Sex and the City 2 (shot in Abu Dhabi), Public Display of Affection (PDA) isn’t allowed and if caught you’ll be arrested and put in jail.
Another Friday night, my ex and I decided to go to Dubai Creek Park to hang out. Night is the best time to be out as it’s not as hot during the day. We were taking pictures and I was happily playing at the trampoline and running around. I was very happy that night that I ran to my boy and he hugged and kissed me. Lips of course! A few seconds later, a guy in a scooter, park security, approached us. Apparently, he’s been watching us since we arrived and he saw us kissing and he talked to my ex in Arabic (together with his hand gestures) – sounding very aggravated and angry. My ex explained to me that we need to go home. The police patrol wanted to bring us to the police station and charge us. He said that we aren’t allowed to do that in public and since we aren’t married, it’s even worse. My boyfriend told him that we were in a serious relationship and that we’re planning to get married just so he will let us go. It took a while of explanation (in Arabic, again) and then finally, he let us go. He pointed us to go out of the park. I was really very scared that time. Really, really scared!
Since that incident, everytime we’re out, I try to put space in between us. We don’t hold hands. We just walk side by side. I really tried to be very cautious. Another anecdote for the grandkids.
Those times were really half-scary, half funny. Writing this post has been very entertaining for me and I know that those friends I met in Dubai will also laugh when they read this. This post is esp dedicated to: Ate Dorie, Shelvie, Ate Em, Ate Pia, Ate Mae and to my ex (though I have no idea where he is at the moment.)
My last shopping day in Dubai, I saw this photo… I was wearing shorts and a singlet. Still wondering why no one approached me and asked me to wear more clothes!
HAPPY Travels to UAE!!!