I was only going to be in Dubai for 24 hours so I thought somewhere closer to the airport would be the way to go. A client, having just returned from a stay at the Raffles Dubai, recommended I give it a try. The hotel is a short five minute cab-ride from the airport and is attached to the Wafi Shopping Center. The Raffles Dubai is easy to spot as it is built in the shape of a pyramid similar in many ways to the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.
The hotel is located right next to a busy expressway though, so I was a little hesitant about the noise. This turned out to be a non-issue as the sliding glass doors and windows were very thickly paned.
After nearly freezing to death in London, I was happy to note the forecast was for sunny and 32 degrees celsius. I was still a bit sleepy from the flight and decided to take a quick nap and head down to the pool after lunch.
I woke up in a panic thinking I had overslept and missed my flight to Doha. I’d actually only slept about an hour but my room was pitch dark. I looked outside and new my visit to the pool would not happen. Haboob!! (love that word 🙂 ) A large sandstorm had begun to blow in from the desert while a coldfront was coming off the Persian Gulf. Result–dust, thunder, lighting and wind followed by a downpour. This mixed with the dust and the previously enticing pool looked like there was a mud fight going on!
Alas, my first time to Dubai was spent in my room and walking around the nearly empty Wafi Shopping Center instead. The Raffles Dubai opened in 2007; it’s seems to have fallen off the radar somewhat. If you’re in Dubai for business and need to be close to the airport though, I think you will like it. Rooms are really big and well-appointed, staff were eager and friendly and the room rate was very reasonable.