I find it only fitting that my first post should be on Dubai. The place I call home and others call “that place with the tallest and biggest everything”. I have been away for 4 years now with short visits back every 3-4 months and have found myself feeling like a tourist in my own home. To me Dubai will forever be the view of the shimmering gold Trade Centre that I could see from my third floor flat in a complex of apartments that have long been demolished and rebuilt upon. I used to stand in the darkness of the living room just after sunset looking up at the tallest building in 90’s Dubai. Now don’t get me wrong, I love how quickly and efficiently Dubai has developed and never thought about 90’s Dubai until my little step- brother dragged me to the window of his room to show me the view of the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa. His excitement was new found because the building blocking any possible view of the Dubai skyline had just been demolished (a word much used in describing Dubai’s success).The stark difference in his and my Dubais struck me and was immediately accompanied by a sudden confusion about our age difference. A 10 year age gap reflected the almost spasmodic building of the 69 small and biggest in the world shopping malls, tallest building and hotel in the world and everything else that was built out of a vast expanse of desert sand, past my fond view of the Trade Centre.
With creating the Dubai skyline came the word luxury. The Middle East’s abundant reserves of oil and cheap labor has set a standard of living in Dubai that is higher than any I have experienced in my living in Sweden and the UK. Nowhere but in Dubai can we be served food and drinks to our seats at the movies, remark casually about that lambhorgini parked in the car park downstairs, watch as BMW after Audis after GMCs park at a run-down cafeteria and make their order (from the comfort of their air-conditioned plush seated cars) to a sweaty waiter who walks back and forth between the cars and the cafe taking and delivering orders. Luxury takes a whole new meaning in Dubai.
To illustrate further- my mother’s friend takes her 4 year old for her first dental check up last week and was seated in a perfect white and lime schemed room with expensive white and lime furniture and placid nurses that blended in to the whole environment with their white and lime uniforms (where did she come from?!). The waiting room has two signs that catches your attention, one encouraging you to take your child outside and make use of the bikes and fresh air which is compulsory for the developing child, two is the sign inviting you to use the many ipads with movies and games to keep your child entertained as you wait (a daily 6 for the growing child). Up till now you may think these are great ways to get your child to remain calm and happy before the dreaded dental tantrum that is expected to ensue at the sight of all the instruments and poking about in the mouth. But it gets better! They are now seated in the (you guessed it!) white and lime office of the doctor who is a sweet woman who asks the child to sit down and relax and then proceeds to ask her which movie she would like to watch. WAIT. WHAT! A glance to the ceiling and there is a TV in it for the kids to watch while oblivious to all the teeth prodding. Still doesn’t end there. The little girl chooses to watch Snow White but the copy doesn’t seem to be the original Disney’s classic. The mother watches on with her daughter until ,says handsome prince, “I have something I’d like to put in your special place” followed by “what is that on my special place” ,replies Snow White, *sly grin* “those aren’t my lips surely” . A bill of AED 600 and a whole new view of Dubai later, mum’s friend jokes about the experience.
I promise following posts will be accompanied by pictures where relevant! Just so my ramblings are shorter, sweeter and less ramble more apt.