Sunday, September 15, 2013

10 reasons I like living in Abu Dhabi, over to Dubai

So things seem to be settling down now, but there are still a few people upset about the Abu Dhabi Government decree that all its staff who work in the emirate must live in the emirate. There was a lot of discussion about how this would be enforced, and when the rules came out, they were pretty iron-clad.

Sure, no one likes to be told where to live, and there were families with kids and people with established lives faced with uprooting them, and other cases, I get it. But there was also a whole lot of "I could never" that I just really didn't sympathise with. Having lived in the capital since I arrived five years ago - and having been pretty happy about it - I think it's actually pretty cool and kind of superior Dubai. And here's why:

1. I can go out wearing flip flops and flats, meaning my feet don't always hurt. Try this in mandatory-stilettos Dubai.

2. It is possible to ride a hotel elevator on a late Friday afternoon in peace and without fear of being spilled on or getting squashed toes from unsteady feet. In Dubai it's quite possible to be swarmed by a giant cluster of rowdy and drunken British expats, often of indeterminate age, enroute from brunch to pub to possibly illegal beach extracurriculars.

3. Attending a Friday night concert without concluding the entire city has one big drinking problem: entirely possible. (Ref: any Friday show at the Irish Village)

4. No one place in Abu Dhabi takes more than 30 minutes to travel to (as long as you avoid morning and afternoon school run traffic and evening traffic and late night traffic, that is).

5. When you set out in your car, you will be able to find your way back home again.

6. You meet lots of interesting people, and not all of them work in PR or marketing.

7. None of the malls suffer from initially appealing but ultimately overwhelming gigantism.

8. The city is pleasingly laid out on an island grid system, surrounded by some mainland and a few other islands, rather than being mapped along a giant road.

9. I have never been lost for more than an hour driving around Abu Dhabi, nor does the city offer the frustrating merry-go-round of trying to find something and failing I call "interchanging". My record of frustrated at-the-wheel roaming in Dubai? 90 minutes.

10.When Abu Dhabi gets a bit claustrophobic, you can go to Dubai for a fun, event-filled weekend. If you live in Dubai where do you go? 


Neil Roberts said...

Welcome to Abu Dhabi...glad you like it! We like it for all the same reasons :-)

Terry Collmann said...

This is like saying "10 reasons I prefer bowel cancer to leukaemia".

How to be a happy expat

Because a cloud wall makes you want to take a selfie.  After 10 years living in the UAE, some of that time happy, some miserable and ...