A supercar revs out of sight in a cloud of smoke down a boulevard in Downtown Dubai. No one turns to bat an eyelid. At the signal of the traffic light, pedestrians saunter across the street chatting idly under the Dubai sun.
That was part of the reason why I fell in love with this city. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when the sun makes an appearance every day. I’m even willing to put up with the impossibly high summer temperatures just for the glorious sunshine and the magnificent sunsets. And did I mention how perfect the weather is during the winters?
If I had to sum up this dynamic city in one word, it would be: juxtaposition. Opposing ideologies, concepts, conflicting cultures…they all seem to somehow co-exist harmoniously in this corner of the world.
For instance, you might find women in bikinis strewn along the private beach of a five star resort while thirty minutes north, you will find women in abayas mid-prayer at their local mosque. The cliques of provocatively dressed single ladies in hotel lobbies and bars will sometimes make you question how conservative Dubai truly is. Their eyes dart around periodically, searching for their next opportunity. Meanwhile, a few minutes away from the sumptuous dining tables of DIFC, workers are gathering in the infamous, sparsely furnished Ravi’s for a $10 dinner.
One thing that is consistent are the numerous Nissan Patrols (or similar looking trucks) roaming around the highways. They like big cars here. Oh, and the lack of dogs. You barely see any furry friends in parks, tails wagging, wet noses sniffing about. You don’t see any homeless people either which is a relief because seeing a cripple begging for money at a traffic light is always heart-wrenching.
What you do see is the rich diversity of the international community here. People from all walks of life have all congregated in this hub, contributing to its electric, energetic atmosphere. Though there are certainly things one needs to adapt to, there are heaps more things to like about Dubai and so far, I am loving it!