Maps generated by theGreat Circle Mapper -copyright © Karl L. Swartz.
Picking up almost immediately where the last part left off, outside Muttrah Souk, It was now time to head back to Muscat international. If you missed the previous part, or indeed any of the others in this series, you can catch up here:
Arabia & Thailand 2013 1: LHR-DXB-BKK EK A380/77W
Arabia & Thailand 2013 2: Two TG Classic’s to Phuket
Arabia & Thailand 2013 3: BKK-DXB-MCT with EK/WY
So I made my way to the taxi rank and agreed a price of 10 Rials – once they had finished lunch. It was a little uncomfortable being left in a car that wasn’t moving, without any windows open in 41 degree heat but once the drivers had sorted out who was taking me and finished the last few bites of their sandwich we were off.
The taxi driver was good enough to throw in a brief tour of the other sights around Muscat too, so there was a bit of a detour along the way – I had plenty of time according to the driver, so was quite glad of this bonus tour. He was actually quite a friendly guy, showing me a photo album he had of the various sites of the Muscat area, giving me a bit of overview to the history and the future of the area and telling me about his family. Turns out he actually had family in England too – although I generally find most people do once you tell them where you’re from…
Glad I got to see this – I’d seen pictures before I left but looked a bit far out to reach.
Arrival at the airport was around thirty minutes later. Almost immediately as you enter, there’s a security check.
It was then around to the Oman air check in to grab my boarding pass.
WY even have good looking boarding passes!
As there didn’t seem to be a huge amount landside, especially after all the security checks, I headed through to passport control and was stamped out of the country. Then it was yet another security check – the third by my count. As usual, it was in to a duty free shop almost immediately.
There were also a few windows around to see what was around.
After this it was a bit of a wander, however this airport is a world away from DXB!
But for how long?
I then made my way downstairs to gate 17, although it wasn’t actually open. So I just sat and waited in a pretty dreary looking basement.
The gate was opened a few moments later, and I entered the holding pen, seeing something familiar along the way.
In the distance I could see the scheduled E175 being prepared to head over to DXB.
Guess they weren’t expecting a jet of this size when they built this hangar.
Boarding was called at 16:35, although there wasn’t a bus straight away. So why call for barding?! After a minute or two, one turned up and we made our way over to A40-EB, one of the only jets on this side of the terminal.
9th May 2013
Embraer E175 / A4O-EB
Seat: 18A / Economy
Scheduled: 17:20 / 18:20
Off Stand: 17:08
On Stand: 18:12
Once onboard, I was amazed to see seat back TV screens – on a regional jet?! In fact the cabin was pretty clean and modern in general with a colourful scheme, yet still managing to remain subtle in the process. Much better than the Dark leather of the European carriers.
Legroom was sufficient too.
There were also pillows on each seat. Again, a nice touch on such a short hop. I remember flying with BD many years ago and my mum asked for one as she had a bad back – and was told they don’t even carry them on such short flights.
One of the increasing number of airlines that are doing away with no smoking signs. Although nobody paid any attention.
The American captain came over the PA and announced a flying time of 48 minutes and a cruising altitude of 20,000ft.
The engines were started and pushback came at 17:08 – or should I say we pulled away from stand, and made the taxi out to the runway, quite a few minutes ahead of schedule. We passed some interesting things along the way.
Upon reaching the end of the runway, there was a wait for a few moments for our sister ship to land.
We took off into the haze at just before 17:20.
Passing the future MCT.
Around ten minutes after departure the service began, although this time there was a choice of chicken or cheese wrap. I opted for the chicken. It was pretty similar to what was on offer on the outbound flight.
After this it was going between the skymap and the window until descent started at just after 17:45.
As had been the case every time I had flown into DXB this week, it was pretty hazy and murky.
Touchdown was at around 18:05 and we made the long taxi over to terminal 1.
Once on stand, there was a bit of a wait to disembark. Once out the door, it was through to passport control. This was much quicker than over in T3 and I was stamped into Dubai for the third time in five days.
Not a bad looking C Class
I got slightly shouted at for taking this picture. That’s about as far as it went though.
It was then up to the metro and on to Deira City Centre for some dinner and a bit of a look around. I was taken back at how many decent sized shopping centers there were around.
I got yet another stare when I took this picture.
This was great! I’ve since managed to hunt one down in the UK.
As I hadn’t seen much of the area around my hotel, I decided to take the 30-minute walk back.
The following morning I woke up pretty late for me – around 9AM. I took my time getting ready, as the metro doesn’t start until around 13:00 on a Friday. I took another walk around the local area.
I like how traditional and modern mix here.
Unhealthy – but good – breakfast.
Watching the departures from DXB. Shame my camera was still playing up.
After spending an hour or so walking around, it got a little hot for my liking so I headed back to the hotel to cool off for an hour or so before heading back out again. Once the metro had opened, I went out to the Dubai mall and the Burj Khalifa
First impressions of this impressive mall.
Unfortunately, all the tickets for the Burj Kahlifa had sold out. Which was a little annoying as that was the one thing I wanted to do on this trip. Guess that’ll teach me for not booking in advance – something that I nearly always do. Typical that the one time I don’t do it, I get bitten!
So, after looking through the tat in the gift shop, about as close as I could get was having a walk around the base outside. I was in awe at just how tall this building was – one of the most impressive sights I’ve ever seen.
After a good while wandering around – and mostly staring up, I headed back inside.
More tradition, among the multinational brands.
At least I got to see one of Dubai’s wonders close up.
Continuing my self guided tour.
After a tiring few hours I headed back to the hotel for the night, via a packed metro and that’s where I’ll leave this part.
Stay tuned for the final part of this series that will tell the story of my final day of this trip and my flight home to London.