Dubai 3 Year Anniversary … Things We Have Learn’t Since Moving Here …

_MG_3520-1Wow … well today marks our 3 Year Dubai Anniversary … kinda crazy really when you think about it … the time has just flown by and overall the whole experience has been life changing for both of us … I mean so much has happened in the last 3 years …

For one thing we moved to a new country … are now Married … and have two Fluffies … its been a much more rewarding and challenging experience in so many ways … for one thing we came out here with a 2-3 year plan thinking we’d be moving back to the UK after that … except now we have committed ourselves to another 2-3 years in the Middle East and are looking to make the move to Bahrain with Perry working in Saudi Arabia …

_MG_8171-1Both are things neither of us ever expected to happen when we first moved here … in fact there are a lot of things that happened when we moved here that we didn’t expect and many things we learnt / observed along the way … so I thought I’d do a little list of some of things we have learn’t since we arrived in Dubai …

  1. Most people come out here with a 2-3 year plan … almost always no one sticks to it … either they stay way longer or the leave a lot sooner … I guess Dubai is a little bit like Marmite … you either love it or hate it …
  2. Summer is pretty intense … if the wind doesn’t feel like a hair dryer … your car doesn’t feel like a sauna after being sat in the sun and you sunglasses don’t immediately steam up when you step outside its not really a UAE summer …
  3. Summer in Dubai is quiet … as hot and as uncomfortable as the summer time can be … we love it here … the roads and malls are so much quieter in the summer … lots of family’s with children head home for the summer months so the whole city feels more peaceful …
  4. Cold water in Summer does not exist … keeping on the theme of summer … the cold taps turn to scalding hot and the hot taps are still lukewarm-hot … the only cold water you can get in the summer is what comes out of the fridge …
  5. Brunch … brunch in Dubai is not the same as brunch anywhere else in the world … its a marathon of food and drink … it can get messy … but its also a lot of fun … especially when shared with friends …
  6. Showing up 30mins late to anything is considered being on-time or even early … the one thing that was really hard to get used to when we first moved here was everyone turning up late for everything from dinner to meetings …
  7. People will happily answer their phones during meetings … I still find this very rude when someone will answer their phone during a meeting and proceed to have a whole conversation in the middle of said meeting … if its that important you should really step outside the room to take the call …
  8. Ramadan Hours … Ramadan working hours are great … shorter working days are always great although the flip side is the roads tend to be a bit more dangerous to drive on … especially around iftar when all those who have been fasting all day are eager to get to where they need to be to break their fasts … its no wonder the number of road traffic accidents increase massively around this time of the year …
  9. Roads are constantly changing … especially around the Marina at the moment with all the roadworks for this new tram system … it can be one way in the morning when I leave and totally different by the time I come home later the same day …
  10. Finding a Taxi driver who know’s where he is going is like winning the lottery … unless you are going to a well known hotel/mall or landmark its quite likely you will be giving your taxi driver directions … this is incredibly difficult if you are new to the city and also have no idea where you need to go …
  11. Getting anything delivered is a mission … as there is no real address system in Dubai getting things delivered is frustrating and involves many phone calls to a poor delivery guy trying to give them directions using random points of reference … like the Starbucks on the corner …
  12. Photocopies of your passport and multiple copies of passport sized photos are required to do just about anything in Dubai … sometimes you will need other paperwork too but these two are almost always a requirement …
  13. If you take the wrong exit you may have to drive for 30 mins before you can turn around … it happened to me once I took the wrong exit for Dubai Mall and ended up at Ikea before I could turn around …
  14. Indicators … the use of these over here appear to be optional and I still cannot get over how dangerous some people are on the roads when they are changing lanes without indicating …
  15. Seat Belts … another pet peeve of mine here is seeing kids in the back seats of cars standing up and running around the back of the car without their seat belts on … even worse when they are hanging out of the sunroof or windows of a moving car too …

So those are just a few of the things we have experienced / learn’t since we got here … I’m sure there are plenty of things I’ve missed from the list but these seemed to stick out the most when writing this …

Let me know if you have anything you would add to the above in the comments below … would love to hear what you think …

Till next time …

Mina X

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