Dubai International Airport is the world’s busiest airport when it comes to international passengers. It is a stop off point for many going from Australia to…well anywhere in that direction really. Flying in from Perth the view out of the window is of sand, lots and lots of sand. The sky is a perfect blue but the space between the sky and the sand is hazy and dusty After a while there are a few light coloured boxes that appear, houses, buildings some with impossibly green yards. Soon the sand has been replaced with what looks from above to be a city made of sand, arranged along street grids. And then, before I ever had a chance to see those tall buildings that Dubai is so famous for, we had found the runway. The buildings, I soon realize, are there, but hidden in that hazy/dust space between the sky and the sand and stayed hidden for my whole transit in Dubai.
Dubai airport is as I expect. It is large, architecturally interesting and stunning, loud and prominent without having anything overly unique that would make it instantly recognisable as being Dubai. There are people everywhere, a lot of people. But what I found most interesting first of all was the variety of people. Dubai airport brings together the most interesting mix of nationalities and races that I have ever seen in an airport. In fact Emirates seems to have based their hiring policies off of that diversity because even the flight attendants were a mini United Nations. Transit is not much different than other airports, just grander with a bit more pushing. Multi storey waterfalls greet you in every terminal. The glass on the ceiling of parts of the terminal looks like the sails of a boat. The duty free stores carry shelves upon shelves of dates packaged in boxes, baskets even buckets. There is a milk chocolate for sale made from camel’s milk that I made a mental note to buy and then forget completely. Tourist trinkets such as shiny golden camels and jewel boxes catch my eye as I walk past. In some parts of the airport there are full sized palm trees towering over, adding to the feeling that perhaps you are in the middle of an ultra modern mirage in the middle of the desert. And then there, right in the middle of it all and completely unexpected, is Café Chocolate.
Considering how busy the airport was I was surprised that there was not one other person at Café Chocolate for the whole time that I was there. People were struggling to find a chair to sit on in the terminal but I had the whole area to myself. Their hot chocolate is a wooden spoon with solid chocolate at the end, the type you stir into hot milk. They had a few flavours that I had never tried before. Saffron Pistachio, Caramel Bourbon and the one I chose, Rosewater.
All my pictures have a tinge of blue to them. That’s because the whole space had a tinge of blue. Even the air seem to have a light tinge of blue to it (perhaps in the way that Paris is seen as having a tinge of pink “vie en rose” style). Here it is due to the windows. When it comes to hot chocolate on spoons I always find that a) there is never enough chocolate on the spoon b) the milk is never hot enough and c) therefore the chocolate never quite melts properly. This was the case there as well but the rosewater came through nice and strong and I really enjoyed that. Rosewater isn’t a flavor I have experimented much with when it comes to hot chocolate but I definitely will be trying that out now.
Verdict: Once you are finished looking through the shiny camels and buying the camel milk chocolate, set yourself up at Café Chocolate. It is relaxing, no one will bother you, and the rosewater hot chocolate, even surrounded by a tinge of blue, was a nice moment. They also search a range of desserts made with chocolate as well as truffles and dates (of course). It is also much less expensive than buying a bottle of water! Café Chocolate, Dubai International Airport, UAE.