Dubai is definitely a city that leaves a mark on those who have lived there. The whole experience of living in Dubai is a unique one, and there are certain things that only residents of this Emirate will understand. However, being a city bubbling with expats, many people do come and go. The ones who leave, definitely take Dubai with them and miss several things about this epic city once they move away.
Being a resident in Dubai, there is a constant feeling of safety that is very pleasant. The city has extremely low crime rates and residents will never find themselves worried about walking down a dark alley at night. Whereas in most cities around the world, residents have to keep their belongings close to them at all times, chances are that if you leave your wallet full of money in a public space in Dubai, you will relocate it with ease and minimal stress. It’s great to always feel safe.
People can drive fast anywhere in the world, but they will probably be fined. In Dubai, roads allow for extremely high speed limits, and people can go as fast as 140km/h on certain roads without having to worry about exceeding the legal limit. This helps residents get places faster and feeds those who have a need for speed. Additionally, some roads have as many as six lanes which gives drivers plenty of space to move around and significantly reduces traffic.
People in Dubai have manic, non-stop lives and often find themselves leaving work as late as 10PM. At this time, no one wants to go home and cook dinner. However, Dubai has them covered with dining that goes on till much later than other countries. It’s common to find restaurants where the kitchen is open as late as 1AM, allowing for late night meals and never having to go to bed hungry. This also applies to delivery, here people can get food delivered 24 hours a day!
This one applies to Muslim people who live in Dubai, who often struggle with finding halal food in other countries. In Islam, people believe that food, specifically meat, has to be prepared in a certain way in order for it to be pure to eat. Halal food is rare and sometimes non-existent in certain countries. In Dubai, this is not something you need to worry about at all, as all food is halal, from supermarkets to restaurants.
Yes, Dubai does at times get too hot with temperatures as high as the 45+ degrees Celsius. However, this city is lucky enough to have sunshine all year-round. Those who move to cloudy and rainy places say that what they miss the most about Dubai is the sunshine, where winter is beach season and summer it hotter than an oven, but the sun never leaves the sky. With an average of 5 rainy days a year, Dubai residents only own umbrellas in order to get shade.
Gas prices are a massive issue worldwide, making it increasingly expensive to own cars in certain countries. In Dubai, however, people will never bat their eyes to check the price of gas, as it’s incredibly cheap. It’s common for people in Dubai to go “cruising”, which consists of driving around for no reason to fill the time and this is only possible because paying for gas is never an issue. When moving away from Dubai, people tend to go in shock when looking at fuel costs, reminiscing about the times this was not an issue at all.
In a city where almost everything is focused on tourism, Dubai has amazing hospitality. People in the service industry always have a smile on their face and are happy to assist residents and visitors with anything. This truly is the land where “the customer is always right”. When moving away, people may be faced with sassy store vendors and not-so-smiley waiters, and they’ll soon miss the hospitality of Dubai. Oh, and tipping is not demanded here, it’s only expected after truly great service.
One of the things that makes Dubai so unique is the contrast between the beach and the desert. In a mere 30 minute drive, you can go from contemplating beach waves to admiring sand dunes. Both settings offer plenty of activities, such as surfing, camping, barbecuing and dune bashing – making them ideal for weekends with friends and enjoying something closer to Dubai’s natural setting. When moving away, you’ll will rarely find such contrast so close to each other.
This is definitely a big reason for people to grow nostalgic once you’ve moved away from Dubai – where else in the world will you find a place with so much cultural diversity? In a normal Dubai outing, you will bump into people from almost every country and will be able to indulge in each others’ cultures, beliefs and customs. When moving to other countries, especially ones with a low rate of expats, former Dubai residents will find it difficult to only spending time with people from the same place – it’s so boring!
Dubai knows how to party! The city it popping with hundred of bars and clubs to keep residents busy every night of the week. Although many cities in the world do have an active nightlife, very rarely they will be busy from Friday to Friday, with crowded party options for every single night of the week. Some move away and find it a relief and an escape from the party life – however, many end up missing always having somewhere to be and a club to hit up.
This is a big one – Dubai has an overall splendid array of culinary options, with restaurants offering ethnic cuisine from every corner of the globe – but the Arabic food sets itself apart and is just fantastic! Unless you move to another Arabic country, you will probably struggle to find the perfect batata harra or a fatoush that has been prepared just right. The nostalgia and longing for delicious Arabic food will always be there, and will guarantee that you return to Dubai for some more.