Things I’ve learned since moving to Dubai

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Dubai. The land of luxury, of rhinestone-encrusted trainers, and of shoddy shady property hunting sites. Today marks my 12th day. Here are some things I’ve learned, and a few bits I’ve seen.

1. Sidestreets hold their own quiet mysteries and very few tourists. They also have visa offices, which are bewildering structures with more queues than one would think possible.

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2. Looking up is sometimes dizzying. Particularly when you live in one of the tallest residential building in Dubai (which might be my new home, secured amazingly within four days of moving. Lucky. I was hugely lucky.)
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3. Most apartments come with pools, gyms, and maids. Mine has all three. It actually has two pools, one for women only, the other mixed sex. No one seems to swim. So I use them regularly for pre-work controlled drowning sessions.
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4. Signs are always worth reading.

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5. Or, well, T-shirts.

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6. Grocery stores are around every corner. While Dubai might not be a walking city, it is one of convenience. Tiny little corner shops are tucked at the base of most residential complexes. These shops actually deliver free of charge, no matter how small your order.

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7. Summer dresses are appropriate for sparkling palmtree nights. IMG_0021_2

8. Outdoor yoga is a thing here. A big thing. In the last week, I’ve been invited to three different outdoor yoga sessions. The one below is with the Madinat Jumeirah, a particularly beautiful evening yoga class happening as the full moon arched into the sky. IMG_0023_2

9. Sunglasses are crucial. Always crucial. And heels seem to be the norm. Time for me to practice wearing both.

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10. On the note of outdoor yoga – the city is not purely expensive. It’s costly, to be sure, but there are things that are free, or things where the money goes to great causes, like a charity in India. The photo below would be the latter.

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11. My early-to-bed early-to-rise thing is going to be even more of a hassle here than in London. Folks tell me that in the summer, when the heat becomes agonising, people don’t leave their houses until long after the sun has gone down. IMG_0027_212. I’ve been lucky. Hugely lucky. I feel lucky. Everyone in my office has been lovely. I have enough expat friends out here to help ease me into the transition. My flat is gorgeous and my housemates kind. It’s all been so easy and effortless that I keep waiting for something to go awry.

But until then, I’m going to write. Experience. Enjoy. And keep pursuing this adventure in Dubai.

 

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