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Holidaying in the US vs holidaying in the UK

Dubai residents are out on vacation. So, based on our travels, we check out which western country has cheaper deals. And which country gives the best memories.



Getting a US visa is like playing a lottery game. You either get lucky, or don’t. And if you are educated, young and unmarried, the odds of you winning get thinner.

After filling out a form online, and paying $131 (AED481), you have to register for an interview. Depending on the season, you may have to wait up to two months to get a date.  On the appointed day, you spend at least two hours waiting in the queue outside the US consulate at the Trade Center in Dubai.

You enter in single file, and after around four security checks, you finally get a token number. The numbers, however, are called at random to different counters, and you may have to wait another two hours for your turn to come. In the meantime, you can watch CNN, or listen to other people get their visas rejected.

Bank balances, copies of tickets and letters from employers are all required, and in many instances, are thoroughly scanned by the authorities.

If you do finally get an American visa, you can jump with joy. It is acceptable behavior.

Also, the passport with the visa is returned to you very quickly.

Ticket cost

If you book in advance, you can get good deals on air fares.

Getting a ticket on United Airlines can be tough – the airline has great prices online, but has no website for the UAE, and therefore you will have to book through their office, which charges higher rates. You can, however, get someone to book the ticket for you from the US.

Rates vary depending on where you want to go. While economy tickets to New York cost between AED4,000 and AED6,000, you can fly to Washington DC for AED7,000 to AED10,000. Going to the west coast, landing in Los Angeles will cost you between AED5,000 and AED9,500.

Since you have to travel for at least 14 hours, if you do want to fly in luxury and style, and have money to spend, you can fly in first class. Get ready to shell out anything between AED15,000 and AED60,000 to visit these places.


1 Comment

  1. Shanti Subra on March 21, 2010 10:23 am

    The write-up is very useful and informative. I wonder why is it so difficult to get a US Visa to visit the magnificient country. I love to visit USA. I tried once with all the formalities and gruelling wait to be informed that “NO”, Sorry. My family did not qualify to get the visa. Why? Reason…….. nothing said. Its God’s land, why and how someone can deny us. What wrong we did……………… just becasue a non-white or not born in UK or Europe is the reason that I am denied a visit? I really wish my family of 3 gets a US VISA to visit the great country that I dream living since my youth.


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