This post has been going around my head for a little while now so I thought I’d finally type the words up and share with you some observations about the things that happen when you move to Dubai. I always find it fascinating how life varies depending on where you live so hopefully you’ll find this post interesting to read.
You stop checking the weather every day
One thing that us Brits do constantly is check the weather forecast. You never know when a nice day will suddenly creep up on you or the lovely summer you’re having disappear. In Dubai it’s rare you’ll need to check the weather because for 10 months of the year there is ‘no weather’ and by that I mean it’s just always sunny and hot. The exception to that is January and February when there can be some cloud and rain but like British weather will never come when it’s actually forecast anyway.
You’ll complain about how expensive things are everyday
Dubai is an expensive place to live and there’s no escaping it no matter how hard you try. From the added price on food because it’s all imported to the crazy priced alcohol it never stops shocking me every time I see the bill. I’m continually saying no to things as soon as I work out the price because I just don’t feel like I want it when it’s that much money. I also find I go overboard when I find something cheap because it’s so rare that anything is ‘cheap’ here except petrol.
You miss grass and basically anything green
When you live in a desert and all you can see for miles is sand, you start to miss grass and get excited every time you see grass. But it doesn’t just stop at grass, although Dubai does a good job of landscaping each community with trees and plants, you’ll still find yourselves missing all things green. I remember the first thought I had when landing in Zanzibar was just how green the island looked and how there were trees every where. It just isn’t something you see in Dubai no matter how hard you try.
Having the weekend on Friday and Saturday never feels normal
In Dubai the weekend is different to most western countries to fall in line with the Islamic holy day of Friday. This means that most locals spend their Friday at the mosque and you’ll find the whole city feels like it’s asleep on a Friday morning. Saturday is then the busier day of the week, people still work and a lot more things tend to happen on the second day of the weekend. This always makes me feel that not only are the weekend days wrong but the weekend happens in the wrong order. It also makes staying in touch with family at home harder because you only have one day of the weekend that overlaps.
You get cabin fever in the summer
Dubai is a wonderful place to live for sunshine but during those very hot summer months you’ll probably start to feel a little trapped by the heat. It gets to a point where it’s too hot to walk outside, exercise outside or generally enjoy doing anything outside unless you’re in a cooled swimming pool. Even just walking from the office to the car can cause you to drip with sweat and there’s no rest bite come evening either. This causes you to spend a few summer months indoors and not really able to enjoy any outside activities.
You learn to appreciate budget Europe flights
When we were based in the UK, I would forever be looking on Skyscannerto check for cheap flights to any destination and there would be at least five or so places you could get to for under £100. Here, despite being based near one of the largest airports in the world there are very few flights near £100. Destination are obviously further away and there are far fewer budget airlines that operate out of Dubai. Previously I’d never have spent more that £150 on flights for a holiday where as now £200 seems cheap for a flight but most will cost more than that even to get to places within a four hour radius.
You start thinking about your outfit more
I’ve found this happens for two reasons, firstly because of the want to dress respectfully for the culture but mostly because everyone dresses so well. You will notice very quickly everywhere you go that people are dressed to the nines just to go to the shops or walk along the beach. I’d never much cared about what I wore but since moving here I have felt the need to improve my wardrobe and make sure I’m wearing something that at least looks decent no matter where we’re heading. It doesn’t stop at clothes either women here tend to have manicured nails, eyelash extensions and beautifully groomed hair. It can be a little full on but it also makes you want to put in the effort too.