- No honey, we can’t go outside because it’s too cold.
- § Even in the ‘winter’ seasons, you STILL go outside. There are about 3 weeks that a light sweater/cardigan is required (although I still can’t get my kids to wear one). The nice weather is therapeutic !!
2. I’m starving and everything is closed.
- § Restaurants open really late, all year round. There is none of this 9-5 system. Food delivery is a post on its own. It’s actually a shock when a food outlet says that they don’t deliver. What the…?
3. Geez that sunshine is nice.
- § DO NOT be fooled. The sun here is suffocating beyond measure. Even at 6am in the morning, when I am walking the kids to the bus stop, I feel like each ray of sun is saying ‘burn burn burn’. And let’s not talk about the-middle-of-the-day Sun. That is deathly.
4. Are you originally from here?
- § Instead, you ask: ‘how long have you been in Dubai?’ and ‘where are you originally from?’
5. There’s seriously nothing to do.
- § Money aside, there is always something happening. Some things are over the top commercialism but generally, this city buzzes with activities. You just have to try not fall in the trap of ‘I can’t be bothered.’
- We have done all of the below activities and there are no limits to your imagination in the UAE.
6. It’s SO easy finding a good school/Nursery for the kids.
§ By far the hardest thing that I have dealt with since moving to Dubai. Waiting lists range from a 1 – 7 year wait. You read correctly, I said YEARS.
7. Do you like my thongs?
- § It’s flip flops. And it’s ketchup. And it’s Sello-tape. And its Taw-els (towels). And it’s Cling wrap. And sandwich (not burger). And it’s never ever ok to say any funny Aussie comment like: “Dumb as bat sh*t” and “She’ll be right.”
8. I’m going stay here FOREVER.
- § I’ve met hundreds of people, but no one has uttered these words. Sure, people say ‘we are staying till the kids finish Secondary school’ or something like that. Dubai is such a transitional place.
9. Yes, I would love to buy that cot/bookshelf/shed but there is no one to help me carry it to the car.
- § Probably the greatest thing about Dubai – the service and security. Someone is always around to help. For some small change, you can get anything done.
10. I wish we chose to live in Sharjah instead of Dubai.
- § An insider joke. Sorry peeps, Only Dubai people will snicker at this.
11. WOW. It’s so cheap to rent in Dubai.
- § You know how Aussie’s complain about the weather? Dubai’ins complain about rent and buying.
12. I haven’t seen an accident on Sheik Zayed Road for a while.
- § The most predictable sight in Dubai – car accidents. SZR is the longest stretch of road in Dubai and sometimes I see up to 7 accidents in one trip.
13. Just use your Nav Man/ GPS.
Two words- NOT HELPFUL. Instead, one should go about locating a visible landmark i.e. McDonalds and then disregard any street signage, make your mental map of first left and second right etc from Google Maps.
14. Whats your address?
Refer to #13
15. This beach water is freezing.
- § During 8 months of the year, the beach feels like a warm bath.
16. I don’t think Dubai has enough suburbs with acronyms.
§ When i first arrived, this is real conversation I had:
Woman: Hey do you want to meet at LTC in MOE or IBM?
Me: (thinking) she wants me to do what in the where?!
So far, these are some acronyms of places in Dubai. I KID YOU NOT – these words are used all the time.
17. The Walk at JBR is so quiet, let’s go there tonight.
§ Sometimes, during the month of Ramadan at around 2pm, you will find The Walk to be a ghost town. Then rest of the 330 days, The Walk should be renamed as The Slowest Walk.
18. Is this organic?
§ There are several organic places here in Dubai but the country hasn’t caught onto healthy living. My kid was given a can of coke for winning a race during Summer Camp. True story.
19. All of the Emirates in the UAE are just like Dubai.
§ When we went on our road trip last week to Fujairah, my kids thought we were in a DIFFERENT country.
20. Lets meet at your place.
§ There’s something bizarre about always meeting friends at cafes, malls or playgrounds (if weather permits). always.
21. What is your house phone number?
§ Refer to #20
22. Etisalat is so dependable.
§ I have dedicated time to write a whole post on this company and sadly nothing has changed. I still don’t know how much i am being charged, what plan i am on and whether i am being understood. I could find out,… but then i’d hav ego wait for 36 hours in a queue so i shall just take the punt.
23. I love going to Emirates Mall on a Friday/Saturday evening.
§We did this ONCE on purpose and once by accident. The later happened only last week, when i remembered my kid had a birthday party to attend and i needed a gift. I should’ve said no.
24. I wish I could buy a 60” television at the supermarket.
§ No wait, you CAN do just that.
25. We pay no fees in Dubai.
§ We don’t have taxes in Dubai, but don’t fear – this place LOVES FEES. School fees, land transfer fees, fees for losing your apartment key, fees for consultations and more, more, more!
26. It’s so rare to see a non-Emirati.
§ The fact is, my son has 20 different nationalities in his class.
27. It’s so rare to meet an Emirati
§ Emirati’s (or otherwise known as ‘locals’) are e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. And they are the friendliest and most hospitable people you will ever meet.
28. Every single weekend, let us go to Burj Khalifa.
§ We have never gone to this building without having guests from overseas staying with us.
29. I don’t have a cleaner/nanny/maid.
§ This needs about 50 hours to discuss, but seriously, it is SO cheap to have a cleaner that you would be silly NOT to.
30. Can I please have a babycino?
§ These do not exist. Nor does normal chocolate milkshakes, chilli flakes or pizza with “the lot”.
31. Its very easy becoming a resident and all of this residency paperwork is so very straightforward.
§ It is a CRAZY affair to become a resident. for a big family like mine, we had a huge amount of picture taking, form filling, school hunting affair. And you need to wait for your husband (or the main income earner) to get ‘sponsored’ (usually by his work) so that your husband can in turn sponsor the rest of the family. This is alien talk to some raised in Oz where we have had it so easy! By the time you get all appropriate paperwork, you actually lose a but of your sanity.
32. I hate the government.
§ There is a love for the monarchy that is hard to describe to most Western friends (actually even Arabs cannot agree on loving those in power). People adorn their cars, houses and other belonging s with the Ruler’s face, and they do so becasue their love and adoration is genuine. Those in Dubai, for example, speak to highly of H.H. Sheik Maktoum, that it is contagious. I now love this man, and his vision and I have only been in Dubai for such a short time. I even wore one of his faces as a badge on National Day this year. My kids got their faces painted as a UAE flag, and we wore UAE colours. The spirit was so high even more so because it coincided with the moment that Dubai had won the bid for the Expo 2020.
This is the kind of mentality Dubai has.
33. I hate how there are ladies only waiting lines.
§ I am ALL for equality, but i just love the convieniance of having a queue dedicated to women/mothers so that I don’t have to wait while my 1 year old has a temper tantrum about waiting.
34. The kids have only western friends.
§ My daughter’s friends names include: Marta, Irem, Lucy, Ghada, Matteo and Abdullah.
35. I have only western friends.
§ My beautiful friends come from all around the world and i love when i go out with them, they give me an insight about their culture. This includes women from Spain, Portugual, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ireland, England and a little tiny country called Romania.
36. Look how many Garden and Flower shops there are!
§ There are 2.
37. I need to wait 28 weeks to see a specialist.
§ I once needed to see a Paeditrician, so i called my Medical Centre and made an appointment to see a… Paeditrician! It was superb – no referrals nor waiting so long to see someone qualified to check your kid out.
38. I don’t have time to wash my car.
§ Lesson #8421 of living in Dubai: Every single day cars need to be washed otherwise you will stand out like a lazy resident.
39. Woah! Look at how much parking there is!
§ This my friends, is sarcasm. In shopping malls there is a fierce line of cars parked to the side, waiting to prance on the next person’s car spots.
40. How ya going?
§ This sort of question gets you into all sorts of awkward situations becasu enon-Aussies think you are saying “where are you going?” and then a) look at you funny becasu ether have just arrived to the place or b) look at you funny because it’s quite a nosey question.
41. Loving this summer.
§ Dubai offers an amazing climate except for the dreaded 3 months: June, July and August are renamed hell on earth where plants die within seconds, and buildings disintegrate. Temperature have reached to above 50degrees Celcius. People back home would say, why don’t you enjoy the early morning, I’m sure there’s a breeze. THERE IS NO BREEZE. in fact, due to the humidity, all the crappy pollution clings to the air and when you go for a walk early in the mooring, you digest it all.
42. Dubai is not the place to be.
§ No one ever says this because really, truly Dubai is an amazing country.
I came across a lovely blog post (click here for full post) that put it simply: If you can stand the heat, the quality of living and perks Dubai offers expats are hard to come by. With tax free income, corporate sponsored housing, and the pitifully low cost of keeping a maid, what’s not to like….. Sure I work long hours, but the rest is easy…. There is someone to open your door, someone to wipe down the machines at the gym and someone to hand you a towel after you use a public restroom.”
Till next time, Be happy!
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