I have been living in Dubai for almost 4 years now and I must say I really love it here. One can say it’s too hot during summer but if you have lived in the Philippines all your life, I think you can pretty much adapt to any weather so Dubai is actually not that bad at all. Today, I will be listing the top 10 reasons why I love Dubai and these are maybe the same reasons why I haven’t gone back to my home country since arriving here in 2012.
1. Diversity – When I first came here as a visitor, all I can think of was that there were just too many arabs. (By arabs, I don’t just mean Emiratis, but mostly people who were born in the Middle East) I was amused as the locals were wearing their national dresses everywhere: in the mall, restaurants, parks, beaches etc. But when I started working, I realised that there is a mix of nationalities from all over the world. I was seeing people from UK, India, Pakistan, Australia, Saudi, Nigeria, Qatar, America and so on, on a daily basis. And where else in the world can you meet someone from Ghana staying in the same country as yours? It’s just so diverse that you’ll realise that there are just so many people in the world with different cultures and that you just learn a lot and respect the varying beliefs that we have.
2. Security – I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of security cameras present in the whole city and the country itself. I have seen so many instances where people just leave their phones on the table, purses inside theirs cars unlocked in the parking area and people generally don’t care where they leave their things unattended. In the Philippines, you can never do that. The second you leave your phone on your table in a coffee shop, someone would have nicked it right away. I also like the fact that you can use your phone outside the streets without fear that someone will snatch it from you. Everywhere in the whole city is safe, you can go home at 3 or 4 in the morning and there will be a taxi waiting for you outside any establishment or you can call their 24/7 hotline. It’s so safe here, you can always be assured of a good night’s sleep every single night.
3. Transportation – Speaking of taxis, the transportation is also the one thing that I love here. You have so many choices, take the metro, call a cab (you have the regular RTA taxi, Uber, Careem, Udrive), water taxi, bus, carlift and they even have an Uber chopper now. I’ve read once before that the measure of a good country is when the people would rather take public transportation than use their own car. An added bonus is that the waiting sheds here are all air conditioned and there are monitors that will give you an accurate timing of when the bus will arrive.
4. Supercars, supercars everywhere – When I first came here and I would see a Ferrari parked in front of the mall, I would always whip out my phone and take a picture so I can post it on Instagram. Now, when I see a Maserati or Lamborghini or a Bugatti beside me on the street, I’m like “meh”.. It has become so normal, I’m not impressed anymore. Even the police are using them so I think people here are also used to seeing these supercars that it would take something different to actually make me whip out my phone again and take a picture.
5. Amusement Parks – I’m amazed at how big and detail oriented theme parks and beaches here are. Like for example in Global Village, you wouldn’t finish going through every single country in there for a day. You have to go back a few times to be able to visit every country’s offering. In Wild Wadi or Atlantis, it would take a few visits for you to try every attraction and ride that they have. I also like how they go over and beyond to make the experience truly memorable for guests. Like I was able to try swimming with the sharks and stingrays inside the tank for a good 30 minutes. How can one simply forget that encounter? (Read about it here)
6. Man-made everything – In relation to amusement parks, I also like how Dubai wants to create everything from scratch. Maybe one day they just thought of creating an indoor ski slope and there you go, man-made ski at the Mall of the Emirates! They also created a man made white water rafting attraction in Wadi Adventure in Al Ain. It’s not in Dubai but it still proves the point. They always want the biggest and the best which for me is not a bad thing. They are now thinking of creating a man-made mountain to bring more rain to Dubai, we’ll see if it happens.
7. Door to Door Delivery – In Dubai, you can basically have everything delivered at your door. If you want Cheetos or ice cream or if you need just a pack of cigarettes, they will deliver it to you even if the store is just downstairs. Bonus is they will even bring a card machine so you can just swipe your credit card with no hassle at all. There is even a new company called Fetchr who will collect and deliver anything you want for a minimal price.
8. Tax free salary – No further explanation for this. Just the fact that you get your whole salary with no deductions whatsoever is one thing to love about Dubai. They make money from other things and it’s a good thing that tax is not one of them.
9. Arabian Hospitality – Almost 4 years of staying here and I’ve never had an instance of racism from the arabs. I can honestly say that they are one of the nicest people in the world. When I am at events or I’m eating at an arabic restaurant, it’s always the arabs who approach me and ask if everything is ok and if they can offer something to make me feel at home. When I am driving and I need to change lanes or when I’m in a queue to buy movie tickets, they would make me go first and they always do it with a smile.
10. Restaurants – Almost every cuisine in the world is represented here. I don’t really miss the food in the Philippines because you can also find it here. There are now so many signature restaurants that are popular in the world that are ran by Michelin starred chefs that are now here in Dubai. Gordon Ramsay has a restaurant here and even the owner of the best restaurant in the world now plans to open a branch in this city.
To conclude, these are just some of the things that I like about Dubai. There are still more but it will take a longer post if I elaborate. I also like the cleanliness because everywhere is just spotless. Although living here is a bit expensive, you can still do so many activities that wouldn’t require money. You can ride the abra for just a dirham, you can visit the Dubai Aquarium or fountain, you can go to the beaches or parks, visit the museums and you can even camp in the desert. At the end of the day, it’s still up to the citizens here if they will choose to live here or not. I believe it’s just a matter of perspective. I don’t know until when I’m going to stay here but for now, I’m grateful that I’m living the dream and enjoying every minute of it. 😎