Watch out for the poolside beer hustle
Good: The “superior” Room was fine for the low season price, and it was about 10 minutes’ sweaty walk on top of a 1hr A2 bus ride (if you can work out how to buy tickets — cards aren’t accepted!) The pool opening hours are curtailed by the necessity in the UAE of a lifesaver on duty. So if you’re overnighting Between flight connections, this is not a good option as it was not open in the 12hrs I was there.
Bad: The Novel pool bar seems to have a hustle going, where they will quote you 13 for a beer (which would be reasonable) but charge 30. As always in an ESL situation I even double checked the price before ordering by spelling it out: “one, three, right?” “Yes”. When the waitress delivered the drink, she motioned to take my card. This is not good practise so I refused and walked to the counter with her, but then she held the card reader in such a way that I could not see the figure. When finally I insisted that I would not pay without seeing the amount, I discovered that it was 30. I left rather than be fleeced like this. In the Emirates, foreigners are routinely denied departure and imprisoned for alleged “unpaid debts” so this situation made me extremely uncomfortable as I consider myself an honest person.