Dubai is an interesting, strange, and multifaceted city. It can take some time to understand the bureaucracy of getting all your documents and identifications in order, figuring out how to navigate the rental housing situation, and discovering regular life beyond the malls and hotels. In short, it takes some getting used to.
However, after a year of settling in, I’ve been able to see and experience a lot more of what the city has to offer.
Here is a list of six things I’ve come to love about Dubai:
1. The Diversity
The cultural diversity in Dubai is amazing. Close to 90% of Dubai residents are expats, hailing from around the world.
Working in this kind of environment means that you get to connect with so many different nationalities, all bringing their diverse experiences and insights to the table.
In my office alone, nationalities represented include Egyptian, French, Indian, Algerian, Somalian, British, Syrian, and Canadian. And because a large part of my job requires that I’m out of the office meeting partners, I have the opportunity to engage with so many others.
As long as you’re respectful and willing to learn, people are patient and generous in sharing their knowledge, insights, and culture with you.
2. The Weather (From October to March)
The weather in Dubai this time of year is just perfect. As I write this, it’s 25 degrees and sunny outside. And it probably will be tomorrow and the next day too.
The weather is largely consistent. Except for the few days a year when it rains, you can step outside with the confidence that the type of clothes you wore for the past week will be the same you can wear for the next.
(There is a huge caveat though… from April/May to September, the weather is ridiculously hot. Like why-are-even-my-eye-balls hot).
The food options are limitless in Dubai. What are you in the mood for – Lebanese? Indian? Kenyan? Tunisian? Japanese? Greek? Even Canadian? You can have it all in Dubai.
What’s also great in the diversity of options is also the diversity in prices. You can go to a 5-star hotel and pay 5-star prices, or you can head over to Meena Bazaar for delicious and affordable options.
Oh, and did I mention that almost everywhere delivers? Just pick up the phone or head online to get that biryani/couscous/manakeesh/poutine directly to your door. (I am ashamedly absolutely in love with this part of Dubai.)
4. The Visitors
Living abroad also means that you’re away from your family. However, I have been so fortunate that loved ones have been able to visit.
Having visitors means that I can show people my favourite places in Dubai, do touristy activities that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise (elevator ride to the top of the Burj Khalifa!), and I’m forced to discover new things to keep it all interesting.
5. The Proximity to the Water
Being in Dubai also means that you are just a few minutes away from the Gulf.
You can experience boardwalk life at the Walk at JBR, or play in the water at Kite Beach. And you’re also just two hours away from the Indian Ocean!
6. The Desert
Being from Canada, I absolutely miss the abundance of greenery. But, being within the desert has it’s own beauty.
You can go dune bashing on a desert safari, or happen to see camels crossing the street just outside the city. And not to mention, the sunsets are gorgeous.
Have you ever been to Dubai? What are your favourite parts of the city?