It was our 7th wedding anniversary and coming close to an unforgettable year, we thought it would be great to get out of the four walls, out to the open. The United Arab Emirates is blessed with gorgeous beaches along the coastline across all the 7 emirates. As it was a very mundane “four-walled year”, we thought we shall seek a beach, that would be offbeat and that is when we found BIANKY BEACH CAMP, in the emirate of Ajman.
Like everyone else, the gorgeous pictures on the internet mesmerized us and we booked a Garden Chalet, with a private pool, amazing view, BBQ area, luxury toilet, and AC. The website also mentioned we could get our own food for BBQ. We were excited.
As most people in a tremendously hospitable country like UAE do, we assumed that the friendly people at the camp would make us feel special. How accustomed are we to good things in life?
As we entered the reception area, we were welcomed by a couple of ladies, who were far from being friendly. They were actually unwelcoming, to be honest. No one would want to spend the rest of their day and night after having met these two ladies. When we asked for a change of the chalet, we were told that the property is full, which was again far away from the truth. Apart from the couple next to our chalet, the entire property resembled a fully lit ghost town. I still wonder why we were denied a change- was this plain laziness or was it just lack of hospitality?
Looking at our bags, one of them asked the security to check our bags for food items and alcohol. We had some crisps and a bottle of nonalcoholic sparkling beverage, which we thought they would allow us as it was our anniversary. Our assumptions were wrong!
Someone wise once told me
“When you assume, you make an “ASS out of U and ME”. So true!
We understood their policies and politely kept the two packets of chips and 5 cans of Pepsi back in the car. But the two ladies then did something which I don’t think is legal in UAE or any part of the world, except by government officials- they commanded the security to search our bags, manually! I don’t think, anyone other than police or Airport authorities are allowed to rummage through private bags. This totally pissed us off, after we had managed to keep our calm, talking to the unfriendly staff at the reception. After much haggling and checking, the ladies allowed us some food (one small box of cooked pasta) for our 4-year-old son.
If the management is so particular about going through belongings to check for alcohol and food items, I recommend them to invest in a nice baggage scanner. When they allow BBQ meat, I wonder why they don’t allow some additional food and drinks! I understand the restriction on alcohol, but on soft drinks! Anyone doing barbeques would not go to the restaurant anyway. Hence this policy is baffling. Anyway, it is their policy and we abided by their rules.
The only silver lining so far was Rusty the dog and the amazingly clean and well-kept surroundings of the property. The chalets were not exquisite, but were clean and neat, except for the fact that we weren’t able to lock the chalet, as the key was not given to us. The gentlemen spent the entire afternoon to find the key and when we got the key, it wasn’t surprising that the lock was not working as it was broken.
Fortunately, we reported it immediately.
The private swimming pool was ready-made heavy-duty polyester and plastic, which would have been great for us if it was full of water. We inquired about why it was empty and were told that the water would be filled only at 6 pm! The weather was freezing cold and the water, as we rightly assumed would not be hot. It wasn’t. All our plans of “relaxing in the private pool” were dashed, like most of our other plans in the year 2020.
These experiences set the tone for the rest of the staycation. We knew what to expect and did not bother about the lack of amenities as it was a camp and not a luxury resort.
If there are two things the year has taught or made us, they are being adaptable and being lazy respectively. While we opted to be the former, the staff was clearly the latter. We checked in at 3 pm and when we went to collect our id’s from the reception, the same lady who had irked us earlier told us that she would not be able to give us the ids as the check-in procedure was not completed. It was just flabbergasting behavior, that too when she was sitting on an easy chair outside the reception and smoking! If a simple process of check-in took 5 hours, I wonder how they would manage a crowd. “Do you know how busy we are today?” were her exact words. With utter disgust written on her face, she gave our ids, retaining one of them.
This place is an amazing venue for couples who want to replicate Greek Weddings. The set-up resembled a classic wedding venue and I even told my wife “our 10th wedding anniversary would be here”. Clumsy behavior by some would not take away the venue’s charm and the effort behind the setup.
We adapted to the unsmiling faces and enjoyed the sea and sun and did not let a couple of unfriendly people spoil our time. It was up to us now. Even though we had plans of spending our entire evening at the place relaxing, we had to alter our dinner plans and go out, instead. We did not want such arrogant behavior to seep into our dinner. Clearly, the staff really did not care about the guests.
We did not bother these busy people for dinner and went out to the lively Ajman corniche and stumbled upon AL ROOF Restaurant and Café ( visit Al Roof (al-roof.com). The people here were completely opposite to the people at Bianky Beach Camp. The dinner was delicious and we were glad to spend some time on this beautiful rooftop, overlooking the Arabian sea. Succulent meats and hot khoboos made up for the cold behavior of the Bianky staff. (
Fortunately for us, when we returned to Bianky Beach camp in the night, there were two other ladies who were warm and welcoming. Our experience would have been so different if these two were at the reception earlier. We just wished.
We decided to have sheesha. Sometimes arrogance is contagious and seemed like the bartender also had picked up some of the arrogance from the reception. We asked for a sheesha and with a crooked smile, looking down on us he asked “how many?”. I replied one.
I asked which flavors he had and the guy replied “which flavor you want?”. This completely tickled my angry nerve- just for a while. I asked him to give me pan flavor, which I knew he would not have and he did not. After this, he gave me his extensive list of flavors that my four-year-old could count with his fingertips.
Why be arrogant in the first place and why be so, especially when you don’t have anything to show off? The sheesha was of high quality though😊
As the sun raised in the east the next morning, giving birth to a new day we did not have any hopes of an exceptional change of heart from the staff. This was when we read through the reviews on TripAdvisor. The review section was full of complaints about the arrogant behavior of the ladies and total incompetence of the rest of the staff. Wow! Had we read this earlier, we would not have been here and we would not have been able to enjoy a nice clean picturesque property. Sans the staff, this place was beautiful.
The breakfast was simple- a couple of khoboos, foul medames, two falafels, and two triangles of cheese. No water and no beverage. These were to be bought separately.
Even though the website advertised watersports with breathtaking pictures of people enjoying watersports, the reality was far from it. There was not even a kayak within our sight, leave alone jet skis and other stuff.
As we checked out of this beautiful place with unfriendly people, we had mixed emotions in our hearts. How human behavior affects experiences? It is all about human interactions anywhere in the world. A smiley face would have made all the difference.
Overall, we enjoyed beautiful and amazing views of Ajman seashore. As the property was utterly empty, we spent time by ourselves on the beach, on the shore, and in the chalet.
Ajman has many other beautiful places to offer and much more hospitable people around. If you ever visit, just let the breeze blow away the unpleasantries and enjoy a simple night under the stars. 😊