10 Reasons why it's great to live in Dubai
Dubai has been the subject of gazillion news items in for several years now. Ranging from articles written in owe of the huge progress and growth the city experienced, to the bashing of its policies and it's "supposed" decline. Nevertheless, everybody agrees that the buzz this city created throughout the world is unmatched in the region, and in fact many regions across the world.
Reflecting on my five years I spent in this city, prompted by a discussion with a friend who finally decided to go back home, I decided to share with everyone some of the reasons why I, and many like me I would argue, consider Dubai to be one of the best places to live.
Despite all what the doubters say, and indeed despite of the mistakes Dubai committed during its astronomically fast growth, it remains a perfect hub in the region. Let's face it. Dubai has the infrastructure needed to be the link between the East and the West. It also has what it takes to be the starting point for a regional and international business.
A huge airport, and a first class airliner, in Emirates, gives Dubai the privilige of being the perfect highway people can take travelling anywhere in the world through this region. Numerous Free Zones catering to the needs of multinational companies provides a perfect home for regional offices and logistic centres. Free zones like Jabal Ali, Internet City, Media City, Knowledge Village, Healthcare City, Dubai International Financial Centre cater to numerous business segments and model.
It's also equally important that Dubai historically doesn't mix business with politics. This is most clear in the huge trade volume between UAE and Iran despite of the differences the two countries have, and the ongoing occupation of two UAE islands by Iran. Therefore, you won't worry that one day the ruler will wake up on the wrong side of his bed one day and decide that certain country nationals are no longer allowed to enter the country, or conduct business in it.
Europeans are in love with Dubai. The reason being that for a period of six month you constantly live under sunshine and temperatures ranging from 19 to 29 throughout the day. It's the perfect recipe. Perfect weather with a lot of sunshine that will significantly wipe off most of the reasons you might think of to be depressed. The only reason weather is not ranking higher than 9, is that for 4 months during the summer the weather is very unpleasant.
For many of us, who are not blessed with having a passport stating in one way or another that your are not a terrorist, or not an illegal immigrant, living in Dubai gives you a great deal of mobility. Your visit visa is less likely to be rejected if you are planning for a vacation in Europe for example. Apparently, they believe that if you live in Dubai, then you have a good job and no good reason to runaway or go and kill yourself somewhere! So, if you are a Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian, Iranian or from any of the other doomed countries, your chances of being able to travel are better off if you live in Dubai than if you live in your own country. Suffice to say, you are more likely to be able to afford it if you have a job in Dubai, in most cases.
Equally important is that of all the countries in the Gulf Region that offers financial stability and career opportunities, Dubai as part of the UAE offers the greatest level of freedom to expats. You don't need your sponsor's approval to go on a vacation, and if you want you can leave for a 2-day trip on a weekend without the need to request your passport from the company because you are entitled to have it with you at all times. Trivial you might think. But if you live in Saudi or Qatar you will know what I mean.
This is not to say that Dubai is the safest place on earth, or that crimes don't happen in here. But if you are familiar with cosmopolitans, you will notice the difference in Dubai. Whether a male or a female, you will notice that you can walk almost anywhere in the city at three o'clock in the morning without fear of being attacked or hassled. You can leave your car running, apartment open, laptop bag on a chair in a coffee shop and you are sure that they will be untouched by the time you come back. This is in large due to the fact that UAE has a strict policy of deportation of criminals, as well as the fact that most residents are professionals who are benefiting from their presence in the city and they don't want to jeopardize that fact.
Whether you are Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, atheist or a follower of any other religion in the world, you have the freedom to practice your religion. The city has several churches and Hindu temples. Christmas is celebrated in a similar fashion like Eid, and Diwali is equally as important.
In Dubai you can choose to be conservative or a liberal. You can wear hijab and you can wear shorts. You can relax on the beach in your bikini, and you can set there dressed in a proper islamic costume. Alcohol is available in hotels, clubs and bars for those who drink. If you are a non-Muslim you can acquire a liquor license and have your own alcohol stock at home. The bottom line is, as long as you don't abuse it, and start getting crazy or intimate in the streets, no one will bother you. You do your own thing, as long as you are not publicly disrespecting the country's traditions and values.
Everything in Dubai was built to reflect a life of luxury. From hotels to malls. Streets to parks. Public transportation to cars. Everything is new and done neatly. You can drive an SUV while you'll be dreaming about it in Europe. You can own a Porsche, while you would only call it a DREAM car elsewhere. Even in the metro, you can have your gold section tickets and commute as if you are on board a world class airliner.
4. Services and Facilities
If you are a European, you will know deep in your heart, even if you don't admit it, that Dubai provides a world class service in most aspects of life. All your bills and transactions can be done online. If you pay a handsome some of money for an apartment, you get your pool, Sauna, gym, security, facility management and parking with it. No compromises. Barring International City and Discovery Gardens, you always get value for your money. More so now that rents have went down to a more realistic and acceptable levels.
Gas stations are malls. business buildings are fully equipped, and almost everybody have their delivery services. Dubai residents are spoiled to the point of laziness when it comes to services, and people love it.
If you are an outdoor activities' fan then Dubai is the place to be. Walking, cycling, golfing, fishing, sailing, windsurfing, desert activities, fresh water activities and beach & sea activities. The facilities are available. You can always join a club or a community or do it on your own.
skiing, ice skating and bird watching. When in the desert, you can take the pleasure of activities like camel safari and desert jeep safari.
You can enjoy the sea with activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, parasailing and deep sea fishing
Team Sports? No problem. Some popular outdoor games are ball games like football, Basketball, Volleyball and Rugby.
One of the most interesting things about Dubai is that you always have a feeling that there is something going on. It's true that the buzz went down a little bit after the crisis, but this normal even if you go anywhere else in the world.
Concerts and tournaments. Art galleries and plays. Fashion shows and exhibitions. The cultural agenda in Dubai is always full, and you can count on a dozen of big time events every year that will break you routine and give you a taste of how life is all over the world. In the past few month Nickelback and Sting were here. Soon David Guetta will play in Dubai, preceded by Kelly Rowland. Bands like The Killers, Coldplay, Scorpions performed in Dubai. The Dubai Movie festival is an annual event. Circus de Soleil is a regular fixture. Car, Technology, Healthcare, arts and architecture events take place all the time. In simple words, you will not be bored.
1. Multicultural Taste
In a world destined to shrink further into a tiny village, Dubai has taken the lead in becoming the melting pot of different cultures from all over the world, and definitely the only place in the middle east that practically lives the global village dream.
It's not abnormal to be sitting on a table with 10 people from 10 different culture and be able to call them friends. This unique experience helps you get out of your box. Learn to understand people in a different way that the one you were made to understand through TV and mainstream media. Dubai gives you the chance to meet people from different religions and social background, and serves as a bridge that helps people see beyond stereotypes. It's a given that through mingling with different cultures you create this panoramic view of life, and learn as you go about what matters and what doesn't. You become more adaptable to change. More flexible in dealing with the other. You learn about what's important to people and what they hold important to their heart and values, and this to me is the greatest thing about this city.