Monday, April 26, 2010

From the Eyes of a Simpleton Ex-Dubaiite

Dubai Oh! Dubai Oh! Dubai...du...du...du. Just before you starting thinking that this is Du Telecom’s new jingle, let me correct you - it is NOT. This is actually the unbelievable cry of my sinking sanity.

You know what they say ‘time heals everything’, well I don’t think so (anymore!). I recently got separated. No! not from my husband!! I got separated...from DUBAI- my birth place, my city of recognition, my real hometown. I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic but you can’t blame me especially since I (happily) lived in Dubai for 27 years and 331 days exactly!

...Last August my family moved back to home country, rather unfortunately because of my Dad’s retirement and yes! my impending December nuptials. Now, here I am in a new country/city separated from Dubai (my husband and I are currently based in Riyadh), and there is not a single day that goes by without me reminiscing my ‘Du’ time.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss Dubai for its extravagant ‘high life’. In fact coming to think of it, I was hardly ever a club-goer in fact was more a cinema-goer, was always a fan of mock-tails rather than cocktails, and thoroughly enjoyed open beaches more than shopping malls. Yes! undeniably I also LOVED the monthly visits to Dubai’s breath-taking spas, the weekly pedicures, hanging out with friends, eating out at the finest (and sometimes not-so-fine) eateries, driving around town, etc. etc. Ok! Ok! I admit. I did indulge a bit of the metro life, but then who wouldn’t).

I mean can anyone (really) make me forget – those visits to Jumeirah’s open beach, long walks at Zabeel park and Safa park, waterful fun at Wild Wadi; the scrumptious (and yet unbeatable) nachos of Cinestar, the delectable flavas of Al Hallab, Forn O Saj, Al Nafoorah, Reem Al Bawadi, Gazebo, Coco's, China Times, etc.; the teeth-rattling experience of Chillout Cafe and SkiDubai, the glitz and glamour of Dubai Fashion Week, even the endless gamut of Dubai’s entertainment and lifestyle magazines, and most importantly my old Dubai-based friends – all of whom I’ve had to leave behind.

Coming to think of it even Riyadh has everything. Ahem! minus the beaches, the parks, the cinemas, the night clubs, the concerts, the fashion shows, the ski resort etc.

That said, let me assure you I’m living very comfortably in a beautiful villa here in Riyadh, and practically have everything that a woman could want. But! But! But! No matter what anyone may say, for me no place was, can and ever will be Dubai, except for Dubai itself. I’m sure all Dubai-born expats like myself will second that.

Someone once said to my Dad, “Once you’ve lived in Dubai, you can’t live anywhere else”. Guess he was right. Miss you Dubai!


  1. Mike, I've had Beirut with family and almost every other week while I was working in DIC.