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DXB-IKA Emirates....An American heads to Iran

DXB-IKA Emirates....An American heads to Iran

Old Feb 20, 07, 11:17 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Programs: Emirates Skywards Gold, American Airlines Gold, SPG Gold, Amex Gold, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 125
DXB-IKA Emirates....An American heads to Iran

Well I have never written a trip report, but i thought I would write about my recent trip to Iran last week. I had been planning to do a ski trip in Iran since about December. Americans need about a months worth of planning as the visa takes around 3 weeks to secure. So finally, the dates had been set and I had received my visa stamp in my passport.

My buddy and I arrived at the airport around 4:30PM. The flight was scheduled to depart at 6:15PM and if anyone has been to Dubai, they know traffic is hell on earth. We checked into the separate business class as I am Skywards Gold. I got a suspicious look as the guy asked if I had a visa. Living in Dubai, most companies have their middle east regional office here. For work most of us travel around the region and northern africa, therefore our passports are like little diaries. I have already added two sets of pages and just about to get my third. They love stamping in the middle east.

Anyway, after securing our boarding passes we flew threw immigration. We have e-gate cards so, we only have a finger scan and then we are done. We arrived at the lounge with an hour to spare and home some pre-drinks i.e. whisky and then trucked down to the gate.

The flight up to Tehran was about 2 hours. We didn't have the new ICE system, but I wasn't too bothered. The food was a basic chicken dish with a drink service. The flight passed pretty quickly and we arrived on time and went to immigration and customs. My buddy has a Polish passport so he picked his visa up on arrival. We went through very quickly with no problems.

Our guide picked us up and took us to our hotel, the old intercontinental. The 5 star hotel was basic, but did the job as we had a bite to eat and then fell asleep as we were leaving early in the morning.

The next morning we took a 2 hour drive up to Dizin where we would be staying for the next 3 days. The drive up to the mountains was simply stunning. We arrived to a packed ski mountain. We picked up our gear for a cheap rate of 20 dollars for two days. Our view from our balcony was great. We could walk 20 feet and we were on the slopes.

For the next two days we skied on some fairly decent slopes. The people were super friendly and I enjoyed myself a lot.

We came back to Tehran for a small tour and then straight to the airport. Being Gold, I am allowed into any lounge that emirates has agreements with. The Tehran lounge was fairly impressive, a lot better then the Oman one.

They called for the departure and we walked to the gate. On board, the service was simple. They did serve alcohol both ways and people really loaded up. I have never seen so much white wine consumed. 2 hours later we arrived around 12 AM. This is probably the worst time to arrive into Dubai. The airport is full to capacity. Again E-gate saved us an hour of time as we passed through immigration in a minute. Our bags were first out as they were tagged business class and I was out in a taxi within 20 minutes of landing.

I recommend everyone take a trip to Iran. I hope to go back and explore some more cities when I have time. If you are American and want the private guide we used, please PM me and I will give you his contacts.


Peace in the Middle East,

Billman
Billman27 is offline  
Old Feb 20, 07, 4:12 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Austin, TX -- AA PLT 2.8MM+ (life PLT); IHG PLT Ambassador; UA Gold
Posts: 5,449
Wow.. what a unique experience! Where did you arrange the visa, through one of the online agencies or were you able to do this in Dubai? Was it easy (other than waiting time)? I've wanted to go there for some time.
hauteboy is offline  
Old Feb 21, 07, 12:26 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Programs: Emirates Skywards Gold, American Airlines Gold, SPG Gold, Amex Gold, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 125
Basically to get the visa, you have to go through a travel agency. There is really no other way. Once you have contacted them, they will ask for a letter from your employer saying you work there and a copy of your passport. After that it's in their hands. It takes about 3 weeks and then you get a confirmation number. Once you have that number you just go to the nearest embassy and they stamp the visa into your passport in like 3 days.

You of course have to do a tour and independent travel is limited for Americans. However, having the guide was a lot better and he was a very cool guy. PM me if you want his contact info

Billman
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Old Feb 21, 07, 1:59 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: DL PM
Posts: 1,088
Sounds like a great trip-thanks for the report. Iran sounds fascinating.

Would love to ask you a couple questions about Dubai since we're stopping off there for 2days late Oct-think I need to plan out our sightseeing according to traffic patterns.
Jac747 is offline  
Old Feb 22, 07, 12:46 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Programs: Emirates Skywards Gold, American Airlines Gold, SPG Gold, Amex Gold, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 125
Ask away about Dubai....I have been living here for about 4 years. You definitely have to be aware of the traffic.........you can ask here or PM if you want....
Billman27 is offline  

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