Hospitality Club

If you’ve seen some of the hotels in Dubai, it is easy to understand that there is somewhat of a dearth of budget accomodation.  Hotels in Dubai are more concerned with doing something that has never been done before (a hotel in the shape of a sail, the next is to be the tallest building in the world, for instance).  The Burj-el Arab has a room that costs $12,000 a night.  Granted there are cheaper options, but they still aren’t cheap.  Knowing this, I decided to try a website I’ve been wanting to since I first heard of it over a year ago.

The website is hospitality club (there is a similar site called couchsurfing) and the concept is very simply to bring people together by way of free accomodation.  Anyone can sign up for the website and if you have a free room you can offer to host travellers.  To insure safety, there are things like passport numbers and a ratings system that are used to identify host members. 

I contacted Claire a few weeks before we arrive.  She is a journalist who has called Dubai home for the past 8 years and has been hosting people for a year or so.  She’s had people from all over the world with Germans curiously dominating the guest list.  Since we arrived at 11:40 PM, I thought we would have to at least to spend one night in a hotel.   She emailed, not to worry, I’ll leave the apartment open for you.  We arrived at 3AM with a note waiting for us and a beautifully made bed.  There were also guidebooks and a map for the next days adventures.  We spent the next 3 days feeling completely welcome in Claire’s home, learning things we’d never discover without the help of a seasoned resident of Dubai.

Admittedly, the first thing to draw my to hospitality club was the free accomodation, but speaking with Claire and being able to see a different side of the city proved far more valuable.

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One Response to “Hospitality Club”

  1. adam Says:

    Once again Casabian sleazing his way to something free…I just got caught up with the blog…I can’t believe you got sick, you are such a wuss…hope India was fun, have fun in Bangkok, later

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