Why my passport got confiscated in Dubai || My first time in Dubai

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you


This was my first ever holiday outside of Europe. I was living in the UK for about 2 years at that point (I moved from Poland) when my English friends invited me to visit them in Dubai. To be honest, I didn’t even know where Dubai actually was or know anything about this country apart from what my friends told me. They were young professionals living and working there for a few years. Lots of my other British friends visited them before and they said is amazing so I was super excited to go. I booked my flight for April. I was going with my other English friend.

We flew to Dubai with Royal Brunei. It was a different world to me, especially before I only flew with Ryanair. When we got on the plane, we got offered a hot towel to refresh ourselves, drink and a little bag with all the essentials we might need during our flight.

Why I got my passport confiscated in Dubai

Arriving at Dubai Airport

After 6 hours we arrived at Dubai airport. I was glad I was with my friend at the airport was so huge I would most probably get lost. We got to the passport control. My friend went through with no problem. Shortly after it was my turn to show my passport and this is where it all started…. the border official asked me about my visa. I thought it was like in Turkey, where you need to go to a little kiosk and pay £10 for permission to enter the country. I politely asked him where I can get one? He called someone over and give him my passport. I then got escorted to a different room. Bear in mind, my friend was on the other side of the passport control waiting for me. I sat patiently with many others. By that point, I didn’t really know what was going on but I wasn’t worried. I started worrying after 3 hours of not hearing anything, not having my passport and not knowing what was going on as no one would give me any information. My friend asked if she can come back to see me. They agreed. After a few hours of waiting around mixed with tiredness, I broke down into tears. The Emirati officials sat with me telling me that everything will be ok but still not giving me any substantial info about what was going on. I was very close to just asking for my passport back so I can fly back to the UK. After about 6 hours and an interview, they told me that because I wasn’t staying in a hotel I needed to apply for a visa and that might take 5-14 day! Say what?! They let me see my friend who was waiting for us at the airport. We decided that as it was evening it’s best if I stay at the airport hotel. Have some sleep and he will apply for my visa in the morning.

I booked myself into one of the airport hotels. The rooms were charged by the hour. It cost me £300 for 6 hours. By that point, I didn’t even care. All I wanted was to have a hot shower and go to sleep.

The next day in Dubai

The next morning my friend started my visa process. He lied to the officials that I was his cousin visiting him after years of not seeing each other. He even pretended to cry. Somehow after this little performance and paying a deposit of £2000, I was granted a visa. But that wasn’t the end. I had to have my fingerprints taken and my eyes scanned for security reason. My friend would get his deposit back after I left the country. Even the border security officers were surprised that I got granted my visa so quickly. One of them even came over to say goodbye to me saying ” I told you everything will be ok”

We went through passport control again. This time I went first. My friend went second. And… now they stopped her. Are you kidding me??? When they scanned her passport the warning came out that her visa was cancelled the day earlier. I was thinking not this again! But luckily they realised that her visa was cancelled because she came back to the airport to see me. I can tell you that I could not run from this airport quickly enough. Just in case they changed their mind haha

We had an amazing time in Dubai but I definitely learnt my lesson. Now, every time I go somewhere, I triple check if I need a visa. I also realised how lucky I was to have such a nice border security official helping me. Especially after reading so many stories on how easy you can get arrested in Dubai and how difficult is to leave if you have been stopped. Since then I visited Dubai a couple more times and every time I’m dreading going through passport control.

If you fancy reading more about my holiday nightmares check this out!

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed this post, share it with the rest of the world.

Love, Natalia


Is Emirates business class worth the money || What is really like to fly Emirates business class

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you


I think it is every traveller’s dream to fly to their destinations in style and comfort. Every time I check in I try to pull every trick under the sun to get upgraded to business class. Somehow, it never works. I have to say, I never flew business class until my husband upgraded our seat to Emirates business class on our flight back from our honeymoon in Dubai. I have to say, this wasn’t cheap and to be honest I didn’t really want to do it because a) I didn’t see any point in spending that much money and b) we just came back from Japan which wasn’t cheap either.

What is like to fly Emirates Business Class || Is Emirates Business Class wort the money?
Pin it for later

A couple of days before our departure from Dubai, we got an email from Emirates offering us to upgrade our standard seats to Emirates Business Class at the reduced cost. The deal was pretty good if you think about it as for an extra £500 per person we could fly in style, which was massively discounted if you think about it. Of course, there was a catch. To get our tickets at this price we could not use chauffeur service or have access to Emirates business class lounge at the airport. Somehow I could live with that lol

Emirates Business Class check-in

As a part of our upgraded, we could use the dedicated check-in service and security control. The minute we entered we walked to a check-in desk on a red carpet. This was pretty cool. At the check in there was no queues. We also had separate security control which means we were done within 20 minutes. As we could not access the lounge ( you can if you pay full price for the Emirates Business Class ticket) we spent the next couple of hours wandering around the shops and trust me, at Dubai airport, there are hundreds of them. When we finally got called for our flight, we had priority boarding. So far so good…

Entering the Emirates Business Class

What is like to fly Emirates Business Class || Is Emirates Business Class wort the money?
Champagne Lifestyle

We flew on the amazing Airbus A380 which has two levels. As Business Class passengers, we were at the top deck together with first-class customers.
The minute we stepped on the plane, a welcoming and well-groomed stewardess took us to our seats and this is where the magic happened. OMG, my seat had a so much leg room I could not actually reach the footrest, haha The seats were more like comfy armchairs. Each of us had our own mini bar with soft drinks and water and a menu. We also had an iPad to operate our seat and tv. The seat reclined into a bed and if you wanted, the stewardess will bring your mattress, duvet and pillow. Each seat also had a privacy screen that you could have up or down.

Shortly after we sat down, we got offered hot cloth to refresh ourselves. Our steward came to introduce himself and offer us a drink. We opted for champagne. And it wasn’t cava or prosecco. It was actual, unlimited champagne. You can guess how I spent my next 6 hours.

For dinner, we could choose from the menu. The food was delicious. Restaurant standard, not the ready meal you would get in economy class. The food was served on a tray with white linen napkins, proper crockery and cutlery and even a flower in a small vase. The steward offered us to match the wine with the meal but we stuck to a glass of champagne.

What is like to fly Emirates Business Class || Is Emirates Business Class wort the money?

At the back end of the plane, there was a social area with a bar serving drinks and snacks. We decided to stay in our seats though as we could watch films and stretch out on the bed/ seat.

As it was our honeymoon the stewardess gave us a full-size chocolate cake, a bottle of champagne to take home and took a picture of me and Chris. I honestly felt like royalty.

Is Emirates Business Class worth it?

To answer the question: ” Is Emirates Business Class worth the money?” my answer is YES, YES AND YES. I could almost guarantee that we got our money back in all the champagne we drank. The only reason I regret I flew Emirates Business Class is that now I don’t want to fly any other way and all of the sudden, all our holidays became much more expensive haha

And to think, I was the person trying to convince Chris that upgrading our tickets was a waste of money. I’m scared to think what the first class must be like haha

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed this post, share it with the rest of the world
Love, Natalia

4×4 offroading in the desert and Arabic night || visiting Dubai

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you


I love Dubai. I love the sun, hot temperature and over the top everything! That’s why we decided that after our hectic few days in Japan ( you can read all about it here) it would be nice to stop over in Dubai for a few lazy days in the sun. Recharge our batteries before we head back home to the UK. To help us celebrate our honeymoon in style, Chris’ work colleagues bought us an experience day-  4×4 offroading in the desert followed by traditional Arabic night. Neither of us ever done anything like this before, so we were super excited. Plus, I have a soft spot for 4×4 cars 😉

Arranging the excursion

The 4×4 offroading in the desert is run by Alpha Tours Dubai. Everything was arranged via email. We got picked up in 4×4 Toyota from outside of our hotel. The car was very clean and comfortable. The driver was very friendly. During the drive, he was telling us a lot of interesting facts about Dubai. The entire drive from the meeting point to the desert was just over an hour which wasn’t too bad.

Arriving at the desert

When we finally arrived in the desert there were more cars from the same waiting for us. We were asked to leave the car, so they can do additional checks and let out some air from the tires. Our driver explained to us that when you go 4×4 offroading in the desert, the tires need to be much softer to what they need to be on a concrete road. As they were getting our car ready, we use this time to take some stunning pictures of the desert and enjoy the beautiful views. Despite being, late afternoon, the temperature was still around 40 degree Celsius. That’s in mid September.

Ready, steady….go!

After all the safety checks and quick health & safety brief from our driver, we were ready to go. OMG, I swear, I had the best time ever! The driver was absolutely brilliant. He definitely knew how to make 4×4 offroading in the desert fun and full of thrills. I could not stop smiling. We were all driving in a convoy, with our 4×4 being first. He was going through massive piles of sand, driving in the angle that the car was almost tipped to the side. For one point we even got stuck in the sand and had to be rescued by another driver. In my head, I kept shouting “more, more, more! Do it again” – SO MUCH FUN!

Watching the sunset

Watching the sunset is beautiful and romantic no matter where you are. But imagine watching the sunset, when you do 4×4 offroading in the desert- priceless. The driver stopped for a few minutes to give us chance to take some more photos. We then head over to the campsite for an Arabic night in the desert.

The Arabic night in the desert

This was fun. Nothing that I expected. On arrival, we were greeted by camels and got the opportunity to stroke them. I wasn’t brave enough to touch them as they looked rather pissed off haha

Inside, the camp looked like a little village. There were quite a few tourists there from other 4×4 driving companies. There were lots of tents where you could dress up in an authentic Arabic outfit, get henna tattoos or try some crafting with emirate women’s. As a part of our excursion, we could help ourselves to food and soft drinks before the show started. We got ourselves comfortable on the bean bags to watch the dance performance. At the end of the show, dancers decided to get the public involved in one of the dances. Trust to be me that got picked. I don’t really like to be the centre of attention, but I give it a go. I’m just glad I wasn’t picked to do the belly dance. I all I had to do is spin round in a huge, colourful skirt.

The way back

By the time the 4×4 offroading in the desert excursions finished, it was quite late. I was hoping that on the way back we going to get back the same route as when we got there, but no 🙁 we came back using normal roads. On the way back everyone was much quieter. I guess it was the tiredness after an evening full of fun and exciting

The 4×4 offroading in the desert overall experience

The 4×4 offroading in the desert was one of the most fun excision I have ever done. To be honest, I wasn’t that fussed about the Arabic evening at first but it was a great experience. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is planning on visiting Dubai.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed this post, share it with the rest of the world.

Love, Natalia