We see our fair share of tourists here in Dubai – in winter, they’re the ones in the sea or pool, frolicking in the chilly water while those of us who live here year-round don’t even put our big toe in.
In summer, holidaymakers are the ones who totally underestimate the heat, and set out on foot only to return 15 minutes later drenched in sweat, the colour of beetroot and with a mild case of heat stroke.
I’ve passed many a happy few minutes observing the habits of visitors to our glittering emirate – from the beautiful Russians who strike model-like poses for their holiday snaps to the Gauloise-smoking French who wave my children away on the beach with a flick of the hand.
But tourists round the world, I’ve realised, share many similarities – one of which is a tendency to moan. I’m sure all nationalities do this, but I did find this list, from Thomas Cook Holidays detailing some of their UK clientele’s genuine complaints (and doing the rounds via email), especially hilarious.
– “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store in Indian villages does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
– “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”
– “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”
– “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”
“We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”
“No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
“There was no egg-slicer in the apartment.”
“We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
“It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home.”
“I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.”
“There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”
“We had to queue outside with no air-conditioning.”
“It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
“I was bitten by a mosquito. No-one said they could bite.”
“My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”