Exactly 2 months ago from today, I arrived in the US for a holiday – an extended one as you may notice. I can’t say that I am going thru a culture shock but after spending 7 years in the glamorous city of Dubai, it did kind of ruin me in some ways. I am missing a lot of things that are considered normal in Dubai but totally unnecessary to the rest of the world. Yep, the rich city of Dubai spoiled us big time. On the other hand, I am also now enjoying some things that are not found in Dubai. You may take it as good or bad but definitely most of it are good.
Here are just some of the reasons why living in Dubai will ruin you for life.
1. Dubai has the cleanest public toilets which you will never find in any other cities (that I have visited). Cleanliness is what makes this city beautiful and they do take it quite seriously. There will be no shortage of toilet papers, bidet and cleaning staff in any public toilets (that I have visited).
2. Getting a job offer from anywhere in the world is never good enough compared to the tax-free salary you get in Dubai (and the rest of Middle East) along with the 30-day holiday per year, paid plane tickets, health insurance, housing and transportation allowance and the list goes on.
3. Seeing a normal Porsche or Lamborghini without any kind of customization does not impress you anymore. If it’s not gold-plated then it doesn’t deserve a second-look.
4. You’re not used to the cold weather because you get sunshine 365 days a year in Dubai. Hence in this case, when you’re out of the city – you’re covered from head-to-toe with warmers in a 17 degree celsius temperature and everyone’s looking at you with a weird smirk on your face like you came from a different planet.
5. The hotel standards in Dubai is very high (in terms of facilities). A 3-star property in Dubai is like a 4-star property to the rest of the world. Needless to say, most of the Dubai people are quite hard to please as they’re used to a high standard of facilities.
6. We go cray-cray when we go shopping when we’re out of Dubai because we realize how expensive that city really is.
7. We get weird looks whenever we’re out of Dubai since our first 2 questions when we meet someone for the first time are “where are you from?” and “what do you do?” For the people in Dubai, those 2 questions are perfectly normal as most of the people living in the city are expats.
8. You’ll miss having friends of different nationalities. When you’re out with your friends in Dubai, it looks like you’re representing the United Nations.
9. Air-conditioning anywhere in the world is never the right temperature.
10. You don’t get what the hype is all about when it comes to signature restaurants as there are a lot of those in Dubai that it looks to you like it’s the most normal thing on earth.
11. You act completely surprised at the sight of how much the gasoline price is outside of Dubai. On a side note, putting gas yourself in your car overwhelms you as you’ve never done it before in Dubai. (But I think some gas stations are going to start it now?)
12. You realize that you’ve taken the Ski Dubai for granted as there’s no other place in the world with such a thing.
13. You go cray cray when you experience heavy rain.
14. You miss having anything delivered to you at any given hour. Grocery at 2 in the morning? Possible to be delivered to you if you’re in Dubai.
15. You’re surprised that the rest of the world still gets actual mails in their mailboxes. (Whaaaattttt??? They’ve got an actual mailbox? Not just a PO Box???)
16. You can’t believe your eyes when you see a lot of trees! Lots and lots of it! You’ve missed it so very much.
17. You realize that spending your vacation in different continents everytime is a luxury that not anyone can do/afford. With Dubai’s location being near to Asia, Europe and Americas – traveling is just too easy.
18. You’re psyched to give out an actual address to your friends and families and not just landmarks near to where you live like what you’re used to when you were in Dubai.
19. You act surprised (and psyched) when you see alcoholic drinks being sold in supermarkets when you’re out of Dubai. You don’t even need to drive hours to get it! Whoaaaaa!!!!
20. You’re confused when the weekend is.
21. You realize taxi fares in Dubai aren’t so bad. In fact, I now believe that it’s extremely cheap!
22. You fall in love with any beach that you see with a backdrop other than concrete buildings like what you normally see in Dubai.
23. You realize how good it is that kids in Dubai are being exposed to different nationalities hence, playing a vital role of teaching them to embrace all cultures and religion.
24. While the rest of the people around you are nagging about the 35-degree celsius weather, you’re just so happy that it’s not 40 like what happens in Dubai.
25. The metro (train) is so clean which gives you a shock to see the state of other trains around the world BUUUUTTTTT you still wish the metro stops are not in the middle of nowhere in Dubai.
26. There’s always something going on in Dubai – events, fund-raisers, openings – you miss all these.
27. The power of social media in Dubai is beyond anyone’s imagination. If you want to promote something, you sure don’t need to pay ridiculous amounts of money for advertising – just post it on Facebook and the word will spread like wildfire. Everyone’s in social media in Dubai, even the Sheikh is.
28. You lose your wits when you encounter discount stores when you’re outside of Dubai. Even the Dubai outlet mall is expensive (at least for me).
29. You’re surprised to know that a tiny studio apartment rent that you’re paying in JLT is as much as a 3 bedroom house in the US (based on my experience).
30. You realize salons and spas are cheap in Dubai (comparing to the US).
31. You’re surprised to see “older” flight attendants serving you drinks during a flight and they’re actually smiling and very nice to you. * wink * wink *
32. You get surprised and bewildered and think that you’ve been conned when you go in a government office and finish your legal process is no more than 5 minutes. A long wait is always required whenever you need to process things (whether it be a legal process or just finalizing your bill with Du) in Dubai that you’d be able to finish a book as you wait.
Those are just my opinion. Have you lived in Dubai? What do you miss/not miss about it? 🙂
On a side note, after posting this – my site crashed as it was not able to handle the amount of people who visited my site. I would like to thank all of you for that. I must admit that I was not expecting such thing to happen, 25,00 views in a matter of 24 hours. It’s a living proof of #27 on this post. Lol. However, I’m quite surprised that I have received a lot of hate comments from people who are actually living in Dubai right about now. Some of the comments are too nasty that I didn’t even approve it as I will be responsible for whatever is written on this website. If you’re putting any curse words, it won’t make it to the comment section. Otherwise, everything’s approved because I believe in freedom of speech and difference in opinion, which apparently some of the commenters do not.
It’s funny because I’ve written both the pros and cons of the city. I think I have written more cons than the pros actually but those who hate Dubai (for whatever reasons they have) just saw the good things I wrote about it and attacked me for liking Dubai. Most of them think that whoever lives or worst yet, likes living in Dubai are not a good example in the society that we live in and must be condemned. That’s just silly if you ask me because the reasons they’re saying why everyone should hate Dubai is happening around the world. Racism is everywhere, I have the passport and the color to be subjected into racism and I have experienced it in a lot of places in Europe and also in the US. Human rights violation? Maybe you should see the study done by the Human Rights Watch as to how the world violates human rights country by country to make you aware of what’s happening in the world around you that you may be oblivious of because you’re too busy on hating on one particular city in the world. And do not assume that I never experienced a hard life in Dubai just from this post alone. I lived in a 2-bedroom apartment with 10 people residing in it and we all have to share one bathroom during my first 2 years in Dubai but did that make me feel miserable? No. I never even complained about it and I am always proud to narrate the funny things which happened to me during those first 2 years of my Dubai life. Why? Because I always see the glass half full, it’s only now that I realized, after receiving so many hate comments from hateful people, that being a positive person is a crime.
For all the haters of Dubai, you do realize that all of the things that you are saying about this city just reflects back on you right? Dubai did not beg for you to stay in the place, in fact – it can strive on with or without you since a lot of people would trade places with you. If you hate the place so much, then why do you live there? Doesn’t it make you a bit ignorant and ungrateful for biting the hands of the one who feeds you? Be honest with yourselves, the reason why you came to Dubai is because you think you are missing out on something from where you came from and that almost, always involves money which just makes you greedy. Dubai, like any other cities in the world, has its beauty and flaws and I chose to embrace it all. A lot of people mentioned about racism in Dubai but can you honestly tell me of a place which is not racist? I’m a Filipino and I have a first-hand knowledge based on my personal experiences on racism in a lot of places that I have visited. There is no point in me harboring ill feelings about living in Dubai because I do have an option to stay or leave, like what all of you have.
Dubai opened up doors for me and gave me a lot of opportunities which I will never ever get from my home country and I choose to be thankful for that. I have better things to do other than sulk on the things that I know I have no control of. But I do have control on seeing the brighter side of life, not just in Dubai, but life in general. 🙂