Monday, 12 January 2015

I will also be ranting about customer service

Alone in my mind, doubting my sanity, upset, close to tears (or blood boiling) dwelling on the events of the day and swearing blind it would never happen again......

That's where it all started.

This blog is tribute to all those who had fallen prey to bad customer care and moved on. To all of those brave souls that made a complaint to make sure that no one else had to suffer. To all the people who though ...wait a minute they can't control this, they shouldn't have to deal with me" and raised it to upper management. This is to all of those who rose and fell in the sea of 

We will be raving (YAY) and ranting (BOO) about different customer experiences in Dubai (and maybe parts of the Middle East) so that you don't have to. If you have an experience to share, be it from the customer's side or the "other" side , please do! 

And so it begins....

@FlyDubai - Flight 666

Not so long ago I took a very short trip with my brother to Jordan, the land of :

"Eish Ya Zalemeh?"
I booked seats on Fly Dubai for myself and my brother through (Which BTW is awesome) a month in advance of the trip. 

A week before the trip I printed our electronic tickets like the good little traveller that  I am.

Keep in mind we travelled on Thursday night, spent Friday in Jordan and had to fly back Saturday morning (Please don't ask why it just happened)


On the day of the flight we got to Dubai airport three hours early, checked in at those weird checking in machines, picked our seats, printed out tickets. So far so good.

Then comes the BOOM.

That will be 470 Dirhams please.... Ummm wait a min WHAT?

Apparently (they don't bother to tell you this when you book, on your ticket , or that weird check in thingy) you're only allowed 7 KGS hand luggage on board and you have to pre-buy any extra weight.
The ironic thing is i came with hand luggage but Dad asked us to bring some stuff along in true Jordanian style (Oh your not over your luggage allowance? let me send some stuff along with you!)
 - God bless of course we will ! :)

Anyways, I pointed out that we weren't aware, the lady at the checkin counter , clearly used to people not knowing because Fly Dubai clearly doesn't commuicate it well enough, simply shrugged her shoulders and said I know it sucks I'm sorry but what can I do? 

She was so nice about it we didn't say anything and accepted to pay.

Of course to pay you have to go a counter at the other end of the airport , wait in line (to pay for something you don't think you should pay for) and then realise you don't have that kind of cash on you (BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO JORDAN PLEASE) and then have to go withdraw money, go back and pay :(

Day light robbery? Why yes please, one shovel-full please!

Anyways, we dutifully follow the carefully created maze past all the checkin points and xray machines and taking off shoes and avoiding all the perfume ladies threatning to spray you with the lastest thing and made it eventually (after a nice cup of Costa) to the boarding gate.

Fast forward , once we start boarding, so literally after they check your tickets again to make sure your going on to the right plane and when you step out of the airport and as soon as I put my foot on to the bus (you know that one that takes you to the plane) this insane woman starts screaming "MISS! MISS! MISS! MISS!" I tuned around to see what the fuss what about and it turns out the lady was calling me!!!

Apparently the handluggage that i bought from the hand luggage section of the store, that i double checked fits their hand luggage dimentions on the site (i checked before i travelled really) that they allowed me to take on as handluggage at the checkin counter , is now apparently TOO BIG to take onto the plane!

"Um excuse me but i don't mean to point out the obvious but you let me take this on", "Yes but the pilot made a mistake and we have to take the hand luggage because it won't fit on the plane"

Is she seriously blaming this on the pilot? Like he controls the size of the cabins in the plane that hold the hand luggage? Like he's in charge of putting the dimensions on the tickets? Seriously?

"Sorry I purposely package handluggage so that I could bring it with me on the plane" - "Oh don't worry" she says "you won't get charged" WHAT THE BLEEP! I can't believe she said that, i mean i know im flying economy but that is NOT why i don't want to do her bidding!!! My brother eventually forced me to give the hand luggage up (They let him keep his no wonder he didn't mind) and away we go

Me fighting over my hand luggage

Get on the plane and off to Jordan - (I must add the air stewardess was very nice)


(the day before we fly again) we thought to ourselves "Well if the service was THAT bad we might as well purchase the extra baggage allowance on the way back just to be safe".

Two words:

Big. Mistake.

If you think their ground staff were bad then there telephone staff are even worse. OMG the pillava we had to go through and in the end didn't even get the service we wanted!

First of all, we waited for 30 mins on the phone on a long distance phone call. Second of all, apparently you can't pay it on line, and you can't pay it over the phone. You have to go the Ansari Exchange (IN THE UAE) to do it.

So after making a few desperate phone calls, my brother gets one of his friends to go make the payment. When he gets there they tell him that the FLIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Angry Freaking Out animated GIF

So another 30 minute hold later, we finally get in touch with them and (i don't know how i did it ) but calmly explained the situation - only to have the lady on the other end say "So you want the extra baggage allowance?"

NO. NO I don't want it now. - But brother now insists. Anyways it doesn't work we fight and drop the topic with me saying "look, ill just pay the extra it's really not worth all of this - at least they've confirmed the flight"

I did make sure however to email them my complaint.


Off to the airport, three hours before , with only our "hand luggage" head to the check in - hand luggage granted  only for the guy at the desk to say.

"Your names aren't on the system - Go talk to that guy"


Beaker Confused animated GIF

You can image the state I was in by then.

Turns out they placed the "order" for the extra weight allowance and if we don't pay then we can't fly.
WHY DON'T THEY MENTION THIS STUFF WHYYYY. I decided at this stage that I had to leave before I caused a scene. We paid , got the tickets and went through to find the gate. In this time however, I made sure to lodge my complaint on Twitter as well.

They didn't even reply

Here come the good guys - they are the only ones who replied and it wasn't even to do with them. But I love them more for it:

So there you go, that's the experience. 
What are your thoughts? what was your experience like with Fly Dubai?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Cheap & Frugal #Valentine #tips in #Dubai

Are you looking for something cheap and frugal to do in Dubai on Valentines?

Well you're in luck, whether you're married, just dating , taking a friend out instead, or doing something special for your mother ❤ (RIP mum) -  and Valentines' day has sprung up on you I'm going to give you a few cheap ideas on how to celebrate.

- Of course, you could always say that you don't believe in celebrating only on one day, or that you don't like celebrating made up holidays that were created by marketers back in the day and that are backed up by capitalism. However, due to peer pressure and expectations I think that's just not going to cut it.
If for some reason you forgot about valentines, or are haven't budgeted to do a huge show of valentines, here are a few ideas - I warn you in advance you might find them lame.
Also, if you're with the type of person that will judge you based on the value of your present then you either dump them or realize that you are like that too!:


Looking your best
Lame I know, but suprisingly a lot of people really just don't make the effort. Just wear some perfume, a nice outfit and put on a winning smile. Throw out a few compliments and be considerate. It's free, it's thoughtful, it's important to do everyday.

handsome (567) Animated Gif on Giphy

Make a promise.
That niggling habit of picking your nose in public? That annoying trait of yours to always prove that you're right? The constant complaints about your life? Make a promise to improve yourself and be a better person.
26 Decisions That Are Incredibly Difficult For Third Culture Kids

DIY Gifts.
Cute, Lame, Thoughtful and everything in between :)

Aed 50 or Less:

  • Make your own food - Dinner at home, or a picnic in the desert/ beach . Make a pot of tea, Throw in some dried rose buds or cinnamon sticks in the fire and make it smell magical!
    -We eat out too much these days , make something you really like and have  a quality day out


    • The traditional Chocolate + a single red rose (Boooring!)
    • A  printed T-shirt / Mug
      - I made one for my brother on his birthday that said (If Found Please Return to the Gym) and he still wears it! (Or so he claims) - Go to the basement at Mercato Mall under spinneys you'll find a printing shop there, bring a USB with a picture or just some text

    Aed 100 or less:

    This bouquet of red roses with free delivery on valentines

    This iPhone lens kit - (Or this battery pack
    -Tech is always a great gift I don't care what anyone else says - Shoutout to Tbreak Media ! Check out their website for the latest in consumer technology

    Experience a 4D movie together at VOX

    Go trekking in Fujairah
    - And totally show off your super Hiking Skills
    - Cost is for fuel and food :)  !  (Or pay 250pp here)

    Aed 200 or more:

    Make some memories together
    -Go to cafe ceramique and spend the day painting a mug for each-other :)

    Play Games
    Check out Sega Republic and have a laugh!

    Share an experience
    Do a Try dive experience together and share a new love for diving!

    I just HAD to add this GIF OMG Isn't this GIF cute!

    Sunday, 26 January 2014

    Top 5 #free #running tracks in new #Dubai #MyDubai

    Though you sweat buckets in the UAE, which is basically like walking through a giant sauna/steam room, running has become quite fashionable with the Jumeirah Janes and Johns
    (or shall I say Jumeriah Jameelas and Jafars) of Dubai.
    double-click to open in new tab

    If you're looking for a cool (most importantly free) place to hit the tarmac (or shall I say, special squidgy red running track thingy) look no further.

    1- Jumeirah beach
    Good for: Family vibes
    Bad for: sand-phobes
    Hidden behind the luxourios villas dotted along to coast line of jumeirah beach, is a feel good paradise of sand sand sea and beautiful scenery. Bicycles for hire, scuba divers flipping across the sand, people staring at almost innocent sun bathers is a running track on the beach, fully equipped with squidgy red stuff. Great for those "I want to pretend I live In Miami" runs

    2- Marina walk
    Good for: Scenic city scape (esp at night)
    Bad for: Looking like a showoff ,no squidgy running thing

    Behind Dubai Marina Mall lies a little mina (port) with a few fishing boats, mini yachts and bigger yachts (haha im so smart). Twinkling in the artificial light of the buildings surrounding it is the marina. Just hugging it is a lovely little walk/runway that will take you along the wannabe mini thames. Conveniently, reebook has put up markers along the way to keep you going.

    3- Safa Park
    Good for: Nature, everyone
    Bad for: Maybe the location, depends on where you live
    Admittedly I've only been to Safa Park a few times, just outside the park entrance is a running path (squidgy AND red -yay!) Plus, you won't look weird to other people, they expect you to urn. Go inside the park and you'll be struck by the gorgeous rolling greens surrounding you.
    Go ahead spend the day.

    Good for: Newbie Runners / Sand
    Bad for: Veteran Runners
    Basset Hound Running in Slow Motion

    At the end (or beginning) of al Khail road lies Jumeriah Village Circle, dotted with apartments, townhouses and sand it seems a bit incomplete. Look again and you'll notice a cluster of palm trees randomly placed around what looks like the beginnings of a park, and around this park is a cute little circular running track that is only 1.7kms long. Newbies rejoice!

    5- The Palm

    Good for: Scenic views, sea air & privacy
    Bad for: No squidgy running thing
    You can try the often run jogging track on the palm (Check out Gulf New's link below) OR you can try this:
    Drive up all along the trunk of the palm and turn left away from Atlantis and you'll drive up along the outskirts of the palms branches along a beautiful coastline across the marina and JBR. There you can just run and run and run.

    Want more ideas? Check these babies out
    1. TimeOut' Dubai 5 to Try Running Routes 
    2. Gulf New's Is this Dubai's Longest Jogging Track?
    3. Dubai Runner's Safe Venues for Running in Dubai
    4. Dubai Running Routes 
    5. The National's On Location Al Barsha Park Dubai

    Note: This does NOT mean that I am a runner, I wish i was but I'm too lazy  to give it a real efort. Also, I don't so much run as jog, sort of, everylike 2 mins, then walk for like 20mins... where's my cookie?

    Where's your favorite place to run?

    Thursday, 23 January 2014

    Free things are awesome

    Hooray! I just got gifted this voucher from a colleague at work! FREE blowdry!
    Couldn't be bothered to rotate it. Whoops!
    They're probably trying to tell me that my hair looks like this:

    The other enemy: moisture in general.
    Which it does. Really I;m not kidding I'll update with my pic later

    But who cares? Its FREE!

    And the moral of today's story? If someone else is will to give you something (Harmless) for free, then take it. If you're worried they're going to turn around and say, "Remember that time I gave you that free hair voucher" you say "Thanks, I didn't ask for it"  so they can't hold it against you.  :P

    There's is such a thing as a free lunch, but it wasn't free for the person who made it. :P

    The 5 ways all Dubai Expats waste money

    We've all been guilty of this at one point or another, here are some quick surefire ways to save money in Dubai now!  
    1 -Morning coffees, Cigarettes and Eating Out at Work.
    Spending AED 16 - 25 everyday on that morning Extra Skinny, Double Shot, Skip the Cream, Extra Foam Hazelnut Cappuccino is a big no-no. Seriously, that's about AED 550 a month.

    And for you pack-a-day smokers, that's about AED 300 a month.
    (YAY i quit so now I can preach :P )

    As for Eating out, if your just spending AED 20 a day at MC Donald's that's AED 450 a month on LUNCH. Forget Breakfast, Dinner, Snacks, Beverages, Sushi Meetings and the like.

    If you spend AED 250 at the supermarket and bring your own food you've save 200 a month.
     Your welcome, I've just saved you AED1,000.

    Have to Get Through The Day Somehow

     2- Not Driving Economically
    Yea yea, we live in an oil rich country. Fuel is cheap compared to the rest of the world. So you drive like you don't have care in the world.Driving like a jerk means that you use too much fuel, your passengers are uncomfortable, your sex appeal drops by 2000%.

    Also, turning the AC on too high, not maintaining your car, and keeping the tire pressure at optimum uses up more fuel.

    I saved AED 50 a week , and I still drive like a jerk (well not all the time)

    Find out how to drive economically here
    3- Setting the AC too low at home
    Setting your AC Temperature at home to 24 degrees celsius can reduce your electricity bill, not to mention you help hurt the world less.

    I saved AED 100 by doing this (I used to keep mine at 18 degrees celsius, I now keep it at 22 degrees celsius)

    Find out more tips on DEWA's page here

    When You Don't Want to be on Camera but Have to Walk Through the Shot

    4 - Keeping the water heater on
    All those appliances you aren't using but leave in hibernation mode (like your laptop, tv, and washing machine) all use up electricity at home and rack up your electric bill
    -Also, don't leave your AC on all day

    Plus if the building electrics suddenly implode, your appliances will be safe :) 

    5- Buying Groceries at "High-end" supermarkets
    Stop shopping at Waitrose, Spinneys, Geant Express and Carrefour Express. 
    Your best bet? Buy your groceries at the veg souk (It's real!) and your other items at  The Union Co-op. Trust Me, you could save anywhere from 10% - 40% off your bill.

    Trust me, you're friends aren't going to ask you to prove where you bought your groceries from.

    Check out the top 10 cheapest supermarkets here
    Goodluck! Share your tips with me and then we can be cheapo friends! Who never call each-other cuz we never have credit, like ever.

    Wednesday, 22 January 2014

    Cheapest areas to rent in Dubai - #DubaiTragedies

    You just landed yourself a new job in Dubai, and you want to live the lifestyle and save.
    However, as it turns out, instead of leaving with lucrative savings and tan, most expats leave Dubai with DEBT. I'm not kidding.
    I googled "Living the High life"  and this is what I found, No joke.
    The Palm, Dubai Marina, JBR, JLT, Emirates Hills, the Greens, the Springs, the Meadows, JVT, JVC, Sports City, Motor City, Dubai Land, Barsha, Al Khail, Downtown, Deira, BurDubai, Al Wasl, Midriff, Warqaa, International City, Silicon Oasis...and MORE
    So many areas, crazy prizes, everyone says Live in Marina! Live in JBR! But then you look
    If you live and work near or in Dubai Media City, You're in luck! I'll give you a few pointers about where to rent.
    Here's the average cost (currently - thank you Expo 2020)  of a Studio/ Shared Room in some areas of New Dubai:
    • The Palm          6000 - 8000 per month (all inclusive room to rent)
    • Dubai Marina    80,000 upwards annually
    • JBR                  7000 upwards room to rent
    • The Greens      70,000 upwards annually
    • TECOM            65,000 upwards annually
    • Barsha             65,000 upwards annually
    • JVC                  45,000 upwards annually
    • Sports City       40,000 upwards annually
    • Motor City        55,000 upwards annually 
    • Discovery Gardens 50,000 upwards annually
    My reaction when I saw the jump in rent from last I checked - May 2013
    A ridiculous amount of money to earn as an inexperienced advertising
    account executive with a bachelors degree and can only professionally use one language is upwards of AED 14,000
    If the universe is fair then you are NOT that person and you are looking to save some money because you don't have anyone's bank to use as a safety net - Daddy's little boys and girls yes I mean you.
    anne hathaway gif
    I am a bitter, bitter human being that needs to grow up
    The "In" crowd

    If you  want to fit in with the "cool crowd"  (These are the rich kids, or the kids that think they are rich kids, or the ones who pretend to be rich but really have maxed out 3 credit cards and have loans from people they barely know) then I suggest you live in JBR, and spend the rest of your money eating out, tipping extreme amounts,  getting sloshed every other days buying designer clothes and getting your nails, hair and toes did every weekend.
    I'm BAWLIN' Dawg

    The "In" crowd's other friends

    If you want to be able to eat out on the weekends (and I mean at expensive places like at leave 200AED Per Person for the Main and a drink) and get sloshed on weekends, see the latest concerts and have designer accessories (but not clothes cuz that's what a Dubai Hipster Does
    "Oh yea, this outfit? I got this 3 months ago, it's practically Vintage!"
    then you should live in Dubai Marina.
    Problems 20120416_Page_01
    Loving #DubaiTragedies, poor poor #DubaiHipsters
    The In-Between-er

     You want to eat out on the weekends, (About 70 AED a main meal +coke), Get sloshed once a month, see a concert twice a year (or otherwise hyped event) , buy clothes from Highstreet stores, then you should live in  Motor City

    The Sheesha addict
    Sheesha isn't addictive! - I only smoke it once a day!
     You shouldn't be on this list, since you're just going to smoke sheesha all day - it doesn't matter where you live, or how much you earn, you'll find it and you'll spend on it.

    The Sexy Frugal
    You eat out on Weekends (Yea, at a friends place, or at SeaShell Cafeteria) , treat yourself to a 60AED meal+drink offer once a month, never attend "it" concerts and events. Go to as many free events as possible.You're more than happy to accept gifts and gift back cheaply. You go shopping once a year (ok twice, and only during the festivals) -with a shopping list.You don't really get along with the "in" crowd, except sometimes - at work.
    You should live in sports city.

    badass shit

    The Crazy Budgeter
    Me and you wouldn't get along, because you would live in Ajman ,at 10,000 AED for a studio, thinking you'll save money. But really your spending about 30000 on fuel, salik and car maintenance and another 15000 on health fees because your too stressed from driving so far. You think paying less all the time means you save more and fail to realize there's a balance of value for money vs. health that needs to be maintaine

    So in the end, the place that I feel has the best value for money is in Dubai Sports City, or Jumeira Village Circle - Happy Renting!

    For More fun, read Panarabia Enquirer's Landlord Awards Showcase the Very Best in Dubai Increases