Even if you’ve never visited or lived in Dubai, chances are that images of skyscrapers and luxurious living cross your mind at the mere mention of this desert city.
Personally, having lived here for nearly three years, I’ve found that it is more than that. Yes, it does epitomize excess and there’s no denying the stark contrasts in which the 2.8 million residents of the city live. However, I choose to see the beauty and what stands out to me is the magnificent skyline driving down the E66 Dubai-Al Ain highway at night. Or the Sharing Fridge initiative which is community-led and started by a Dubai resident. Or the majestic and awe-inspiring Arabian horse whose history goes back thousands of years.
I could go on, but before I get carried away here is my list of 7 things which make it hard to leave this oasis in the desert.
7. You can have anything delivered to your doorstep.
Reason number seven just rang the doorbell with my dry cleaning. Amazon has nothing on the delivery service here. Although now that they’ve bought Souq.com, we might see them expanding their service offering. From prescription medicine and tailored clothes, to cups of steaming delicious karak tea, with just a simple call they can all be delivered to your doorstep. Basically, if you’re a spoilt entitled princess (or an aspiring one like me), Dubai’s your place.
6. The streets are paved with incense.
Ever wondered what that gorgeous smell wafting through the air was as you walked through the shopping mall or down the street? I have one word for you: bukhoor. This is incense made of perfume scented blocks or wood sticks and can be found all over Dubai. Prices range from the 30dhs type to the pricier ones depending on what materials they are made from.
5. Guccci , Prada, Dulce & Gabanna
The shopping is a huge draw to Dubai. Whether you have the budget for the real thing or not, there’s something for everyone. Feel like splurging? Head to Dubai Mall for some retail therapy. If paying thousands of dirhams on merchandise isn’t your thing, you’ll find knock-offs of your favourite designers in the souq or in Karama. Or rather, they’ll find you. Just listen out for the vendors’ calls.
4. It’s usually sunny.
While I believe most of us residents love to complain about the heat, especially during the summer months, waking up to the bright rays in the morning is a definite blessing. No one suffers from SAD here.
3. As a woman or person generally, you don’t have to worry about safety & security.
Safety is an important element of wherever you call home. The other day, I was working in a cafe and had to pop out for a bit. I kid you not, I left behind my laptop, Ipad, sunnies, and my kidney. When I got back, all four items were still where I last left them minus the kidney. I realized I had taken that with me.
2. Pamper yourself silly.
Feeling exhausted at the end of a tough week? Stress can get the best of even the most relaxed amongst us. The good news is there are all kinds of Moroccan baths, spa treatments and massage services available at all price points. The Entertainer app and Groupon deals online make these even sweeter. The next time life gets you down, why not book yourself in for a treatment and watch your worries fly away, even if it’s only temporarily.
1. Hungry? Never fear, food is always near.
There are 6 million food delivery services in a city of 2.8 million people. Ok, that number may be slightly exaggerated. The fact is that there are A LOT. For foodies, this alone makes it difficult to leave Dubai. Not only do most restaurants deliver, there are online food ordering services to make your life that bit easier. Popular ones include: Deliveroo, Talabat, Zomato, Foodonclick, 24h and of course UberEATS. I myself have tried a few with great success. Whatever your stomach desires, whether it’s Indian, Chinese, Italian or Arabic, a good meal is only a phone call or a click away.
Anything you can relate to? Leave a comment below with the things which would make it hard for you to leave your city.