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    22 August 2007
    Now this is what I call Dubai
    With my fresh Dubai residency stamp in my dog eared passport, I can finally share my thoughts on what being a resident in Dubai is like.

    Dubai is like a massive melting pot of every possible and impossible thing in the world. And melting it is, with temperatures settling comfortably in mid forties. I so far refuse to melt and spend most of my free time indoors. The only recent and quite memorable outdoor event that will take me a while to get over was being left alone on the beach in Fujairah for 7 (!) hours on my own with no means to escape, but that's another story altogether. At least I got a neat tan out of it and sea was awesome, just the right temperature, and only a little rougher than I would prefer.

    It seems that Dubai is slightly hotter and slightly more humid than Qatar, although I can't be quite sure. I miss Qatar so much that I seem to forget all the bad things. If you ask me now, I'd say that Qatar has the ideal climate! :^) Dubai, however, doesn't, and it's freaking HOT! And of course I came down with a cold as I do every year around this time, so it adds to the enjoyment of not being able to have my A/C on.

    Driving in Dubai is way better and easier than Qatar, people generally seem to stick to the rules more, speed less and you don't usually come across a local guy driving his Landcruiser on his own personal lane to his own personal speed limit. You don't usually come across local guys here, period. It seems that they all moved to Abu Dhabi :)

    The city itself... well I never venture further than Emirates Towers anymore. I live in Emirates Hills and there is absolutely no need for me to go to Dubai proper. I am very happy about that because those few times I did have to drive through weren't the most pleasant of experiences. Before I moved to Emirates Hills I had stayed in Golden Sands area of Bur Dubai and hated every minute of it. The dirt, the lack of parking, the traffic, construction on virtually every corner, constant noise and dust... thanks, but no thanks.

    Emirates Hills however is a little miracle. I haven't seen anything remotely as nice as this area in Qatar. It even reminds me of home until I get out of the car and feel the heat. I would say that Emirates Hills area is a little like Rifaa in Bahrain, but of course a lot more open. Some residential complexes in Emirates Hills and further towards Jebel Ali are really nice, like the Lakes and Meadows, and some are a little less to my liking. I can't quite grasp the Marina concept, what with those towers sprouting like mushrooms so close to each other? Apart from the obvious drawbacks (no parking, pigeon hole style apartments) there are a number of less obvious issues: how can you evacuate the people in case of any emergency since there are so few exits? I think there are only two in Marina. Those towers were built in a matter of months... what about construction quality?

    Those who like shopping will find themselves in shoppers' heaven in Dubai. I think the only thing I wasn't able to find was Victoria Secret but I am sure it's there somewhere. There is absolutely everything else in Dubai, not quite as cheap as it's hyped up to be, but not overly expensive either, and with (usually) very attentive service shopping is a pleasant experience. I live close to the Emirates Mall and I think it is rather nice and it has lovely restaurants and cinema, not to mention the kids playground and Ski Dubai! I love the service in the Middle East and Dubai is no exception. I was recently served in a department store by an Emirati salesgirl and she did a great job. She wore too much Arabic perfume for my liking but otherwise she was great and friendly and helpful and I ended up buying something I didn't really need as a token of appreciation :^)

    Other than shopping, there is a multitude of other activities one could pursue in Dubai. All kinds of sports (even winter sports!) are available for a price, and there is an awesome gym that I go to, Fitness First, which is really the first gym I enjoy going to, and that is saying a lot. I've been working with a personal trainer a little, and doing some classes, and I liked everything so far. I wonder what it will be like after the summer when people get back from their holidays, and whether I'll be allowed to drink water there during Ramadan, but that won't make much difference either way. This gym rocks. And it's only 10 minutes from home which is ideal really. I go to Ibn Battuta branch.

    Sports aside, there are plenty events one could attend, theatre plays, ballet, various sports events, famous singers and performers come here regularly (I'm waiting for Pink!) and even in the malls you can stumble across a great show: anything from deep diving to Japanese drums to American Indian pow wow performances, some of them literally take your breath away.

    And then of course there is food. More like Bahrain than Qatar, this country boasts every single way of cooking and ingredients known to man. And you don't even have to go to a 5 star hotel to enjoy a great meal. I like the restaurants and bars at Madinat Jumeirah and after "shopping around" I realised that this is probably the best place in my area to go out for a meal and a drink.

    The area I live in is so quiet it deserves a note! After the horror of living where I lived in Qatar, this is paradise for the Cat. "Quiet" was my only requirement when I looked for a place to stay. And quiet is what I got! I don't hear anything! When I walk into the house and lock the door, the world outside simply switches off. I don't hear cars, people, no construction sites anywhere near here, I don't think I have any neighbours because I never see or hear them either. I have a pretty green garden, plenty parking, and it is so green and quiet all around it comes as a compensation for the years I had to endure trying (and failing!) to sleep with earplugs. So I love it here.

    But... I left people in Qatar, once again, making friends and moving on. I miss my friends dearly, I am so happy Fishy is coming to Dubai. I miss someone badly. You know who you are. This is the hardest part of being here - not having people I've grown to love with me anymore. Again. Life is cruel like that. And no amount of shopping, partying, working or travelling would ever compensate for the separation from those who mean the world to you. And I don't even mention my parents who I long to be with but have to wait till at least Christmas to meet.

    This is Dubai - maybe I'll grow to like it. For now it's a strange land, albeit fascinating and welcoming, but still a strange land.

    And man it pisses me off when Blogger underlines the words with British spelling!! It's NEIGHBOURS, dammit, not neighbors, it's TRAVELLING and REALISING and don't mess with me today. Or ever. Yeah.

    :P
    posted by Bravecat @ 10:16 am  
    18 Comments:
    • At 23/08/2007, 12:19, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      dubai sucks!!!!!!! dont believe everyth you see, its a trap. you spend your $$$$ on things you dont need and cant afford everyth else. people are crap rents are too high why!!??!!?? becoz its dubai the center of universe. too much $$$$ and not enuff love.

       
    • At 23/08/2007, 12:37, Blogger ZeRoCoOl said…

      Kudos on a good workout ethic...it also helps when a gym gels with ones personality...goodluck meeting your workout goals.


      cheers

       
    • At 23/08/2007, 12:52, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Anon,

      I kinda see your point... but why so negative? :)

      ZeroCool,

      Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog. I had a look at yours - awesome workout tips!

       
    • At 23/08/2007, 13:49, Blogger nzm said…

      QC: thanks for the comment on our blog.

      For the moment, we're out of Dubai as we set up a new company.

      It's cheaper for us to live in Australia as that happens, plus our company doesn't do much direct business in Dubai.

      We still have our company in DIC and will continue to do so, with the hope that we can also come back and live there again one day. We do love the place and we miss it!

       
    • At 24/08/2007, 01:44, Blogger Ella said…

      ooooooooh how i love bahrain for its comfortable easy living lifestyle, and for all its resturants and yummmy foood! I hate the fact that this tiny island is changing so much soo fast!

      Not so much night life compared to Dubai- but hey no ones complaining ..

      Also Fitness first is one of the best gyms in dubai, but its soo posh over there its nutts. filled with posh people in posh attire to sweat in :P

      Enjoooy the begining of your new life kitty ! :)

       
    • At 24/08/2007, 16:15, Anonymous Cathy said…

      Give it some time. Dubai will grow on you.

       
    • At 25/08/2007, 09:05, Anonymous homie said…

      who would have thought you're that lonely in dubai. glad fishy is coming. have a blast you two!!!

       
    • At 25/08/2007, 10:20, Anonymous Ali said…

      you'll make new friends and the old ones can visit. did you meet any local girls yet?

      disagree with ella about the gym, i go there and its not that posh. or maybe our mirdiff fitness first is different to the place you girls go.

       
    • At 25/08/2007, 16:28, Anonymous Duddles said…

      Wow neat you put the QBB icon in!! ME WANTSSSS!!!

       
    • At 25/08/2007, 16:43, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      nzm,

      Nice to have you back! All the best in Oz, and keep the pics coming! :)

      Ella,

      Girl I'm worried about you. Fitness First poshy? Hahaha not the one I go to. Yeah you get to see a designer outfit or two, but really, who cares?

      Cathy,

      I miss you, girl. Come to visit and I am sure my life will be much better with you here.

      Homie,

      Blog spy alert!! LOL of course I will have a blast with Fishy, you should have gone to her farewell brunch or whatever it was. I heard it was a lot of fun! :)

      Ali,

      Welcome to my blog. Looks like today is a non blogger blog visit day!

      No I haven't met any local girls. I am not holding my breath, I only met about 4 local girls in my 4 years in Qatar.

      Duddles,

      I'll email you the code for the box.

       
    • At 25/08/2007, 18:25, Blogger Ella said…

      ahah !!!
      wops ! i guess im wrong then !!! but oh well ... im sure if you wanted to find a gym with posh interior and clothing you can find one there! not that you'd be bothered !

       
    • At 28/08/2007, 19:06, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Well, it seems you have everything there except Victoria Secret, so I'll suggest on you to buy whatever you want from the web site www.victoriassecret.com
      Clearly you need to know your side very well. The prices and the offers are GREAT !!
      it takes from us 5 days from buying till the moment of having the goods in our hand, in Dubai i think it'll be faster.

      BTW, you made me interested about seeing the place you live, take some pics for me, ok ?

      Yasmin's Papi

       
    • At 02/09/2007, 17:49, Blogger shammydharamy said…

      This comment has been removed by the author.

       
    • At 03/09/2007, 02:01, Blogger clayfuture said…

      glad u like living here.. i guess its different from other middle eastern countries... u must have realized that outside the heart of the city (deira and bur dubai) dubai is all about glam.. which includes the fitness first gyms. I've been to the uptown mirdiff branch and im glad i left it. ppl wearing branded sportswear and all worrying about how they look running on the treadmill. in fact.. i hardly saw any fat ppl at all!! i wanna see ppl in pain working out.. i wanna smell the sweat and fuss over it.. makes me work harder! i go to a regular gym now.. their equipment isnt polished and waxed everyday.. but its produced the highest number of uae champs.. so..!! :D

       
    • At 03/09/2007, 15:32, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Clayfuture,

      Haha you have some weird ideas. Why should you care what people wear in the gym or whether there are any fat people. I love Fitness First because it's clean, smells nice, equipment is top notch and is "polished and waxed" and looking at all those gorgeous people makes me wanna work out harder!

      :^)

       
    • At 15/09/2007, 14:21, Anonymous Navcity said…

      I loved dubai in 2002 but more recently its like a once beautiful woman thats had too much plastic surgery and has lost her soul to selling herself.

      I stayed at the Rehab Rotana Suites in Dubai last time and it took us a fair amount of time to drive anywhere.

      I'll go back in about 5 years when the transport has improved.

      The malls on a friday and sat are full of 'new money' trying to show how cool they are...All the money in the world and not an ounce of class....with the obvoius exception of you QC ;-)

       
    • At 15/09/2007, 16:22, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Navcity,

      REAL new money in Dubai doesn't bother with shopping malls ;-)

      And yes, what you see in the mall has very little class. You have to dig deeper and go out of the beaten (and affordable) path to see the class and the real money in Dubai.

       
    • At 25/09/2007, 19:22, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Dubai Sucks real time !!! Well its not all about the lifestyle alone.Professionally they r crap not a single soul with brains,
      Dubai-City of Hype.A couple of Westerner dumbos do tend to come in and get all sort of luxuries tht they couldnt afford back while payin their taxes and mortgages for them Dubai is in the place to be.Me being a westerner would like to highlight some examples
      DSO-Dubai Silicon Oasis not a bit of works happening there,its all gimmicks with some #@@%$ egyptians drinking BUBSI n BIZZA,What do the arabs know about Nanotechnology or Photonics.Managed to rope in Synopsis by paying them heavily to get associated.Not a single R&D happens as compared to India or Taiwan or Singapore.Secondly my colleague happened to visit the so called DIFC for a business purpose seminar ,Financial epitome doesnt signify the so called Professional aspect which comes along with experience,exposure and work culture.One last word Dubai Sucks Real time !!! Construction wise n Real Estate wise they r good for a bunch of idiots who can never take the labourers for a ride back in the West.Stop comparing ur fuckin state to the West , Dubai got a long long way to go.They r best at babrbaric activities for which i happened to have a chance too during my visits on the Road with their Porsches n BMWS.From camels to Porsches,but the flow of blood with in them still remains the same babrbaric n cultureless

       
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