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FlyDubai, eventually. . .

Paraglider's weekend break in Dubai was shortened for him by FlyDubai on Friday. Turning up in good time on Friday morning, he found the 08:55 flight to Dubai was cancelled. The earlier 08:20 flight was still open but was flagged as 'delayed'. 08:55 passengers were first herded to a transfer desk then shooed back to the gate, where each was issued a new boarding pass, merging their flight with the delayed 08:20. We were ushered through to the gate where nothing happened for half an hour or so. Then came an unbelievable story about runway maintenance and a new departure time of 11:30. We were then ordered back out of the gate as no flight was imminent. Odd that runway maintenance should only delay FlyDubai's flights while Qatar Air and Emirates were landing and taking off like there was no tomorrow. Odder still that the story was changed at around 10:15 to an even less likely tale of fog in Dubai. Paraglider was, of course too charitable to entertain the notion that FlyDubai didn't want to fly three half empty planes, preferring to merge three flights into one full one. Because that would imply a calculated disregard for customer service and a disproportionate focus on the bottom line. They might at least have offered us lunch, or even a biscuit.

Bosherston Lily Ponds - no, really...

By way of complete contrast from Doha and the desert, here is a pic of the seven arch bridge that crosses Bosherston Lily Ponds, Monmouthshire, South Wales. I had occasion to be there for two days hill and cliff-top walking earlier this month, in an all too short 'home' visit in which I never actually made it home. Quite a peaceful scene, I think; it certainly knocks spots of the Jaidah Flyover.


The Bar at City Centre

When a new bar opens in Doha it's always a noteworthy event because we're still hardly spoiled for choice. The Marriott Courtyard hotel with its Champions sports bar isn't exactly new; it probably opened about six months ago. But lots of people still haven't cottoned on to its most appealing feature: it connects directly with City Centre shopping mall, without having to step outside. That's almost a bar in a mall, a first for Doha.
And it's not a bad bar. I'm not a sports bar fan, for which read: I don't like football. But the place is fresh and clean, if a bit garish, and the happy hour prices good (five till seven). The staff are friendly and the choice and quality of bar food is above average. Best of all, it's an escape from wall to wall overpriced 'designer' tat.
To find this haven, walk to the food court area and follow the overhead signs to 'Courtyard'. No of course there are no signs to 'Bar'. This is Doha, remember?

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