Having done as much preparation as we could possibly do, we set off for Heathrow’s T5 for our British Airways flight to Dubai. It was a very strange feeling being back inside an airport and I don’t know if it was the time of day or whether it’s just like that all the time at the moment but it seemed eerily quiet for such a large terminal. Security was deserted and a breeze to navigate and airside wasn’t that much busier. It felt like something was missing which I suppose is people really. Checking in at home proved to be a waste of time and effort, British Airways encouraged the use of a third-party app called Verifly, I followed all the instructions including the uploading of the PCR test results. They were approved by someone at Verifly but when I tried to check in, BA kept telling me that I wasn’t ready to check in and that certain documents were missing. Everything was rectified at the check in desk but in my opinion just another case of phone technology not fit for purpose.
Our plane, an Airbus A380 had everyone onboard very quickly which was mainly due to the lack of fellow passengers and we found ourselves in a cabin only about 10% full. People were soon jostling for better seats with more room to stretch out. Our scheduled departure time was 8:40pm and we were in the air not too far off that, no queuing or waiting at the end of the runway, just taxi to the end and then straight up in the air. It was this part of the trip that I was least looking forward to, being in a plane, in close proximity to lots of others but in the end, it worked out really well for us. I got talking to one of the stewards just before we got off and he said the plane had flown at just under 50% capacity. We were really quick getting off the plane in Dubai too, the first thing we needed to show was our pre-departure PCR test results. From there it was testing time again, another PCR which was managed really well. The whole process took under 15 minutes and that included the walk to the testing area. Immigration was also swiftly dealt with and once we had collected our luggage we located our transfer to the hotel. We landed at 7:40 and were checking in at the hotel at 9:45 so not bad going.
The only downside to all this was once we had entered our room, we had to stay there until our PCR results came through. They did say that we could go and get breakfast before going up which we did.
We are staying at the Wyndham Dubai Marina and have a room on the 29th floor overlooking the marina itself. It’s quite a view from up there. And because it’s a certain person’s birthday this week, we have been upgraded to a Club Room which is located on the top 4 floors of the hotel. Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions, the Club Lounge on the 31st floor is closed so it won’t be making a big difference to a normal room albeit a bit higher.
At just after 1:30pm we received the results from our entry PCR which were both negative, a bit of a horrible wait but at least could then go out and explore the area a bit.
We ended up walking around the waterfront at the marina so nothing too energetic. We also booked the PCR test to get us on the ship, the hotel recommended a local company who will come to your room to take the test then email the results back within 24 hours. The guy was about 40 minutes later than scheduled but super-efficient and done in under 10 minutes. That’s 2 PCR’s in one day!!!
Tonight we took another walk around the marina to take in the spectacular evening views with the buildings illuminated.