Sunday, September 14, 2008

10 things I love about Dubai

Dubai has certainly been a difficult city for me to get used to. The initial culture shock got the better of me for a while, but after a year there are also certain things that I have grown to love...

1. The desert sunset
The dusty sky gives the sun and the moon a smouldering presence like amber or coal.

2. The creek
Besides the dhows that bring a touch of authenticity to a fake city, there's just something about calm water that makes me happy. Dubai's city lights being reflected at night is an extra bonus.

3. The tax free shopping
Dubai is not the kind of city where you can expect to find cheap stuff, but show me a girl that can resist saving a good deal on something expensive!

4. The Middle Eastern delicacies
Pomegranates, pistachios, dates, rosewater, falafel, halwa, hommous, cinnamon tea...

5. Femininity is respected
Ok, Islamic law may not allow women many rights, but women are shown many special courtesies such as being served before men at the bank.

6. The local hospitality
The Emiratis treat their guests very well in general. They love their city and are always willing to help tourists and expats alike.

7. Tradition is preserved
While American culture has swamped many other places in the world, the Emiratis still take pride in wearing their traditional dress despite the 80% expat majority. It is also heartwarming to see how central the family remains to local culture. In the West it has become too easy to get divorced or never marry and end up lonely.

8. The vision
There are probably many other wiser ways to spend the money but creating a bustling metropolis in the middle of the desert - never mind islands in the sea - is innovative.

9.Living a spoilt life
Lazing around at the spa is a perfectly acceptable way to spend he day, supermarkets deliver to your doorstep for free and the credit crunch may as well be a chocolate bar.

10. It's in the middle of the world...
... which makes it a perfect base to travel from.

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