Hello Again and thanks for settling in for another random spurt of information from myself. As my first blog was about “Lost”. This one will be about “Love”. But WAAAAAIIIITTTT – don’t go! This is not Gushy/Sexy-Time/Butterflies/Roses/Steamy Love – no! This is DUBAI Love!
For those of you that have travelled through, to, lived or LIVE in Dubai – then you will know what I am talking about. I mean, you would have made your own mind up about this place, but as this is my blog, and my Love – this is my take.
My first ever visit to Dubai was in April 2008 – just before the financial crisis – and to be honest, my travelling days had only really just begun, and I was en route to Bangkok so I was a little distracted. But… I remember still being impressed by my Friend's “serviced apartment” and the Arabic signage everywhere and the immaculate white sandy beaches – and little did I know, I would be back in 2012/13 to become a Resident.
So fast-forward four years and it’s the year I hit the big 3.0.! Arrrrghh! Pandemonium! I haven’t done enough, earned enough, learnt enough, invested in enough, LIVED enough! So the ideal solution was to visit this Dubai Friend and turn the 3.0. blues into a 4-day drinking/party/hungover haze. And oh my gosh – there was no better way I could have celebrated. Dubai blew my socks off! I have to admit that my Friend was the best Hostess anyone could have wished for, and those few days in Dubai actually changed my life. In reality, it wasn’t the hardest choice ever, as I had been living in London for over 11 years and originally being from Africa, the heat (or the cold) was always a major factor for me. So thus began my plight to move over to the Middle East.
Dubai, for me, and in general, consists of a variety of things which make it so appealing. There are the obvious reasons we are all attracted in the first place. Constant sunshine, tax free salaries, the glitz and the glam. The reason why we all end up staying is because we meet so many other people from our home country doing the same thing i.e. “living the dream”, constant brunch plans, party plans, new foodie openings, new club openings, sales, shopping, adventure, travel opportunities, tax free salaries (oh yea I said that), hotel apartments, villas, the desert, the beach, the malls, the architecture, the diversity, the BRUNCHES!!!, the LIFE. Dubai is also the place you can reinvent yourself and collect a whole new group of friends and interests. It’s also the place where you can buy that Jeep or buy that boat or buy those designer shoes – because you know what? You bloody well can.
I also found that there are some “not so cool” things about Dubai; but as this is a post about my Love of Dubai, I won’t delve too much into the negative but will touch on it. To get onto the job ladder here takes determination and patience and a lot of research and disappointment and frustration. And then there is also the 3 months of summer which can be excruciating. I never truly understood the impact of humidity or the reason why I was seeing so many burst tyres on the highways until I experienced my first Middle Eastern summer. 52Celsius may just be a number to you, but when you can’t touch your steering wheel or have constant sweat patches, then you will understand. The other biggie about life in Dubai is “Where next?”
Where could we possibly move to where we are treated as Dubai treats us? With luxury, safety, cleanliness, blue flag beaches and each other? They say Dubai-ans are very transient and spoilt and selfish. And sure, I have met some of the biggest idiots here. But I have also made a number of life-long friends here. Travelled to the most beautiful cities from here. Stayed in the most exquisite hotels. And collected the most amazing memories of my life.
Thanks Dubai. I Love You. (An ex-resident on a 6 month “experience” in Saudi and soon to be back to Dubai Resident).
“Home is wherever you leave everything you love and never question that it will be there when you return.” Leo Christopher