Dubai needs no introduction. It is the pivotal point of business for the whole of the Middle East. More importantly, this city is famously known for its modern high-rises, the dazzling night life, the grand shopping experiences, the 830-meter-tall tower known as Burj Khalifa, and the man-made islands—Atlantis, The Palm Hotel and Resort—, amongst other famous things.
I have never been to Dubai before, and honestly, I would love to visit the “America” of the Middle East. That is, whenever my partner and I save ample of money to make a trip there. The advantage for us is that my brother and sister-in-law live there. So, whatever information I know about Dubai is from them, along with information that I’ve gathered from other sources. So, here is a list of 12 things only people from Dubai can relate to, and for the rest of us, we can try to read and imagine that we relate, too!
1. You know it is a tax-free city.
This is one of the best things about Dubai—you can go mad shopping! You can indulge in scrumptious meals, and you can visit those fancy places that you have always wanted to visit. All because it is a tax-free city!
2. You also know it is one of the most expensive cities, too.
So what if your city is tax free? What about the sky-high rents that you have to pay? Or, lets say, the tolls in the middle of your inner-city commute? All the clothes, the jewellery, and the fancy restaurants will certainly put a dent in your wallet.
3. You enter a mall and you are lost for the entire day.
I am not going to say they’re a “waste of time.” The malls are huge, with so many activities and things to do that you can’t really keep track of time. Especially if you visit the mall on a weekend for a brunch. You can easily spend the whole day eating, shopping (or window shopping), relaxing, watching the kids in the playzone, getting hungry, and finally deciding to eat dinner there as well. Your entire day spent inside a mall! Didn’t think it could happen, did you?
4. You never eat a simple meal.
Talking about brunch, your meal in Dubai can never be a simple meal. It has to be a grand meal. Even if you order fish and chips, the quantity they’ll give for a single person is enough for two adults to finish off. Most of the time, brunch, lunch, and dinner are all buffet-style, eat-what-you-can endeavours.
5. You have used a gold ATM booth.
I mean, seriously. They have Gold to go: The gold ATM. This is one rich city!
6. You see muscle cars EVERYWHERE.
If you think gold-to-go booths indicate how rich people from Dubai are, wait till you hit the road. Everyone, and I mean everyone, invests their wealth in buying muscle cars. The roads are literally covered with names like BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Cadillac, Ferrari, Porsche, Nissan Infinity, Bentley, and Lamborghini—to name a few. Talk about luxurious travel!
And, guess what cars the police drive?
Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF, limited edition of Aston Martin One-77, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, Ford Mustang GT, Bentley Continental GT, Hummer H-3, Audi R-8—these are few names from the big list.
Bottom line: it’s not only the civilians who drive fancy cars, the whole city seems to be breathing ludicrous vehicles.
7. You get lost while driving.
The roads change every day. In the morning, you drove across the bridge, and by the evening, you have to take an alternative route because that bridge has closed down. Therefore, the constant route changes lead to severe traffic jams. Dubai sees horrible traffic jams. But the plus point is, you get to check out all the fancy cars stuck on the road.
8. Your camel is your favorite pet.
They have chocolates made out of camel milk. They take their camels out for walks just like we take our pets out for walks. They even park their camels in the parking lots beside all the deluxe wheels.
9. You don’t know your postal address.
Sounds crazy but it’s true. Especially for us, the “foreigners,” who would like to DHL a gift parcel to our beloved family members living there. The addresses Dubaians know are their office addresses—that’s where we all send our gifts. No zip code, no street addresses, no post office box!
10. Your simple hotel is our luxurious one.
A very simple hotel in Dubai looks like a hotel stripped from a fairy tale. Starting from the chandeliers, to the designer tables and chairs, sofas, to the lush carpets, even the beds and bathrooms are insanely lavish. They represent the rich Middle Eastern flavor in every step you take. So, just imagine what Burj Khalifa would be like? Or any other superstar hotel in the city?
11. You know that sand storms are just a part of life.
You can hardly see much nature in Dubai, thanks to the constant building of high rises. They do have artificial greens, but they can’t really replace the beauty of nature. What they do have from nature is the sudden sand storms. These storms are so frequent that they are now considered to be part of every Dubaian’s life.
12. You have a very hot city.
I really mean it. I don’t know what you make out of it, but when I say hot, I actually mean the blazing sun laughing down at you. You may not have humidity, but you do have scorching heat reaching somewhere around 40 degrees plus. No wonder all the buildings, the cars, malls, restaurants, and offices are air conditioned. And because of the intense heat, even the cold water turns hot.
Despite having some negative points, Dubai is a beautiful city with bustling night life, endless entertainment, vast options for fine dining, luxurious experiences in any hotel, and shopping to satisfy anyone. You just need to make sure you have a constant cashflow to really enjoy it.