As you all know, after 7 years in Dubai, next month I am moving to Australia with Bec to spend more time with our families and start a new adventure. My time here in the desert has been awesome: Fun, challenging, frustrating at times, and memorable…
Here are the top ten things that I think living as an expat in Dubai has taught me…
1) Prepare for your potential death anytime you brave the roads, even more so if you’re in a taxi.
2) Always expect a lot of questions.
In the gym (“what’s a power-clean again?”), at cafes (“omelette well done Sir?”), and of course in cars (“you from New Zealand, you like cricket?”).
Feel free to “naxt” all of these people.
3) There is an abundance of seriously bad coffee in Dubai, but also a few hidden gems, most of these being from NZ and Australia (just another reason to get yourselves down that end of the world)…. Raw, Tom&Serge, Lime Tree Cafe, all worth paying the over inflated prices for a decent flat white or long black.
4) Anyone that knows me knows I love to eat. Not too fussy on styles, and I don’t care at all about health benefits, I eat what I want. Pancakes at Clinton Street, Burgers at Black Tap, Steaks at Texas (but Rivington Grill was my favorite), Carrot Cake at LTC, Cheesecake and Pasta at Cheesecake Factory, Fajitas at Loca, and a Roast Dinner at the Irish Village. All worth your time and attention.
5) Without massively trying, Bec and I have managed to travel to 22 countries together while Dubai has been our home base. We have tried to take advantage of Europe being so close while we have been here, plus she has forced me on to some massive long haul flights down to the Caribbean and Mexico – the jet lag is worth it. Not many countries are in the literal middle of the world, so make sure you take advantage of that while you are here (this comes from someone whose country most likely resembles Middle Earth, so I know stuff on this).
6) Enjoy the winter.
You know why.
Summer is naxt and long and inevitable.
Good luck to you all.
7) Don’t convert dirhams to your home currency. Just don’t, you’ll cry.
$19 for a kilo of chicken, $1000 a week for rent, $25 for a beer – no wonder why everyone else thinks people living in Dubai are rich!
8) Speaking of beers, once you get over the prices there are some pretty decent places to enjoy a cold one. I like the Belgium Beer Cafe, Barasti, Breeze, Wavehouse and the Eloquent Elephant. All great places to try and stop Anton getting kicked out of.
9) People in Dubai think Social Media is the ultimate priority. Out in the rest of the world no one cares…. Enough said.
10) You will meet some very cool people, and a couple of pangas, you may even meet you future spouse! For sure the hardest part about moving for us is leaving the people we care about. The majority of expats in Dubai don’t have family here and it’s true that the friends you make here become your family. We have such an amazing group of friends and we love you all – there will always be a free bed for visitors if you make it down to Aus and if you’re lucky, I’ll even window you at the airport.
Keep in touch, keep pushing hard in your training and keep naxting people, especially those who have no idea what you mean.
Over and out,
By: Matt Jones, Performance Coach