Yippee: Dubai is a go, first week in August, today I got the flights I wanted (on British Airways) at a price I would describe as “sensible” (but hardly budget). I had to do it by phone, since even the fact that I’m using a UK-issued credit card in Ireland is enough to require special attention, just in case I’m an international terrorist looking to cover my tracks. I expect my details will be handed over to the Dubai authorities and I will undergo some kind of automated background check. At least I don’t need a visa, I can just join the queue at Immigration on arrival at 7:30 in the morning, when the temperature will be “only” in the 30’s.I wrote, a few weeks ago, that a holiday to the Middle East was low on my list of ideal holidays, and it still is, if I think about an independent holiday. This trip will be nothing of the sort, since I will be around friends for most of it, if not all. A dependent holiday, you might say, not the kind I normally go on, but it’s worth it just to see friends again, and as a quick introduction to the region.