A special guest in Dubai!

As my 3 years in Dubai are creeping up, it was time to renew my contract, and along with it, my visa. Since this can take a few days at a time, I was rostered 3 days off in a row, and after swapping some flights, I had a nice little string of days off…perfect for a visit from my mum!

She flew out from Vienna and arrived late evening, just time to have a nice cup of tea on the balcony. Certainly makes a change from the chilly Austrian autumn weather!


After a long breakfast on the balcony (now Dubai has finally started to cool down I couldn’t be without my balcony!) we decided a trip to the beach was in order.

We drove down to the public beach which is not too far from my apartment, and set up camp….quickly realising we should have brought a beach umbrella!


Spot the Burj Khalifa in the background!

After a few hours of swimming & sunbathing we headed back to the apartment. Although the weather is cooling down it was still at least 30 degrees, so we were feeling rather warm!

In the afternoon we made a trip to Dubai Mall, more specifically for a browse around Kinokuniya, which is the biggest book shop in Dubai, and probably one of the biggest in the world! Both of us could have spent all day there!

The next day I had a little treat planned for mum. Since we’d all enjoyed afternoon tea the past two times my mum/parents had been in Dubai, I thought it would the perfect excuse to try another one.

After checking a few reviews online I decided on Al Qasr, which is adjacent to the Souk Madinat, with a lovely view out to sea and of the Burj Al Arab.


After we arrived we were shown to our table, which was outside. Although it was beautiful, we realised that perhaps inside would have been better, as we were directly in the sun! A few obligatory photos with the Burj Al Arab in the background later, and we were ready to order.

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We all chose the traditional afternoon tea, which is slightly pricier than some of the others I’ve been to in Dubai, but came with refillable pots of tea each, and a whole stand full of cakes, sandwiches and even a basket with warm savoury pastries.

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Even though everything was delicious, it was far too much food!

Next the waitress brought out another huge stand, with more scones than you can possibly imagine! Along with the scones were little pots with clotted cream, jams and honey.


And just when you thought you couldn’t possibly eat another thing, out came a chocolate fondue pot with all sorts of sweets, marshmallows & strawberries to dip in!


If I’m honest it wasn’t really necessary, as none of us could manage more than 1 piece each.

Mum and I decided to have a wander around the hotel grounds (mostly to walk off all those scones!) and thought it would be nice to take an abra ride through the hotel, which has lots of canals and waterways. An abra is a traditional wooden boat usually found at the creek in Dubai.

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The abra took us over to Souk Madinat, where we had another wander through at sunset. It’s lovely sitting on the abra and sailing through the canals, seeing some of the other parts of the hotel as well that you don’t normally see.

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As it was already dark, mum and I thought we should probably head home.

As we were on our way, we had a change of plans and decided to head to the cinema! Since the film we wanted to see was only on in the “Platinum Suites” at the Dubai Mall, we thought we’d treat ourselves! Basically instead of a normal cinema seat, you get a huge squishy armchair which reclines, as well as a pillow and blanket, and a call bell if you want to order any food or drinks…only in Dubai!


The next day mum wanted to do a bit of exploring, so we took a taxi to old Dubai, an area called Bastakiya. You may remember if you’ve been reading my blog for a while that when my sister Lizzie and her boyfriend Jarett came to visit, we also came here.

So you may recognise some of the areas, we even got pictures in the same spots 😉


We strolled through, stopping at a little coffee museum that we stumbled upon. Turns out there was a tiny little cafe upstairs serving all sorts of coffee specialties. Mum ordered Ethiopian coffee to try something new – and it came with freshly made popcorn! I was boring and stuck to a good old cappuccino!

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Just for the fun of it we decided to take another abra across the creek – you never have to wait more than a couple of minutes as there is always one leaving for the other side. And at a price of only 1 dirham it would be a shame to miss it!

Before we knew it mum’s short but sweet time in Dubai was over and it was time to head back to the airport. (This time we left with a bit more time to spare than last time, no running to the check-in counter needed!)

It’s a shame we didn’t have more time together, but my parents have been very busy recently packing up our whole house in Austria as they are moving back to England, after 9 years! I’ve actually got a string of nearly 5 days off coming up at the end of November so I’m hoping to pop back to the UK to visit them, as well as Lizzie & Jarett who are there at the moment. It will be very strange staying in the house I grew up in, but haven’t lived in for 9 years!

Thanks again mum for coming to stay! 🙂

P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter for more day-to-day updates of where I am in the world! 🙂


  1. December 9, 2015 / 12:37 am

    Hello ! First I love your “diarie” it’s very passionately to see all the way that you done ! And with all this countries you visit I can travel with you a little ahah ! I’m a 20 years old french girl and after my study next year I would like to try to pass the Emirates’s tests and I will like to know if you can tell me please more about these , like , what they ask you what you need to know what they want etc .. And tell me more about your life in the Middle East ! 🙂 thank you . A French girl , Mathilde .

    • December 13, 2015 / 1:55 pm

      Thank you so much for reading! 🙂 You can check out my posts I did a few years ago, I wrote all about the interview process and also my tips for the open day. Good luck 🙂

  2. November 19, 2015 / 12:41 pm

    Visit expatconnect and learn everything you want to know through group of wonderful people living in Dubai Greta. They can share a lot of information that can help you feel at home during your stay in Dubai!

    • Anonymous
      November 19, 2015 / 3:36 pm

      Thank you very much! Greta

  3. Anonymous
    November 18, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    Hey Rachel! I love reading your blog! I’ve got a question. As an Emirates cabin crew, do they give you an US visa? How does it work? I mean a working visa, working there as a flight attendant.
    We might see each other in a few years in Dubai! I want to be a cabin crew since I’m 10, that is 11 years now. I have to finish my university and after I join the team. (Hopefully) It is so funny, because everyone who looks at me and don’t know that I have this plan, suggest me to do it. 🙂

    Thanks ,
    Greta from Budapest

    • December 13, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      Hi there, thanks for reading 🙂 Yes we get a US visa, I think I got it a few months after I started flying. Hope to see you in the skies one day 🙂

  4. Jean F.
    November 18, 2015 / 10:25 am

    How many hours to you usually work per month? I’ve read online that you can have between 80 and 120 hours per month. If the they give you for example 90 hours next month, can you request to have more flights added so that you can have more hours, or what they give you is what you get?

    • December 13, 2015 / 1:24 pm

      Yep that’s about what we work, realistically it’s more like 90-100, very rarely would I be flying 120 hours a month. You can try and swap flights, for example a US flight which has good hours, but you can’t really ask anyone for more flights!

  5. victoria
    November 17, 2015 / 11:49 pm

    hi rachel
    what a lovely reunioun.
    can your visitor stay in your appartment or you have to arrange some hotel?

    • December 13, 2015 / 1:23 pm

      It was lovely! Yes my mum stayed in my apartment, we can have up to 2 guests at a time 🙂

  6. Mari
    November 17, 2015 / 11:08 am

    Such an honor for you mom to be treated like a queen! I wish my daughter lived in Dubai lol!

  7. J. A. Hailey
    November 17, 2015 / 7:43 am

    My novel, Dune Devils, is now available on amazon.com
    As I do not know where you live, or where you fly through, i do not, FOR YOUR SAFETY, place further details here. Please look it up on amazon.com
    Stay safe.

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