Visiting Dubai was one of my biggest dreams in life. In my mind, it was like going to a superficial world, where life would be more than easy. In reality, things were quite different. Life in Dubai has its perks, but it’s not all as glamorous as advertised.
Landing on Airport
Sitting on the plane with a Dubai visit visa in hand felt like winning the lottery. After the journey of a few hours, we landed at Dubai airport. It was the first international visit for me and my sister, so naturally, we had high hopes and dreams.
The airport was indeed beautiful and sparkling like a diamond; there were foreigners all around – a plethora of beautiful and dazzling faces. However, everyone was busy running from one point to another. It’s funny how nobody pays much attention to you here, as opposed to my country where the public is keen to scrutinize you from head to toe.
Here it’s a different world where people have no concern for each other. In Dubai, people understand that time is money. If they stop and look at you, it’s nothing more than a waste of their precious time. It was indeed a pleasant surprise! Everything moves quickly around here. We felt inspired by the different cultures and races, as well as amused by the somewhat magical surroundings.
Just when we thought that everything was going smoothly, we lost our luggage! It was supposed to be on luggage point #7, but we found it after 45 minutes on point #5. Eventually, things were streamlined, but such a blunder cannot be ignored. Anyway, moving forward, we took our luggage and found our cousins waiting anxiously at the arrival area. We hugged and greeted them happily and then left the airport in their lavish car.
From Dubai Airport to Lodging
The street view was just ‘WOW’. The roads were beautifully carpeted and the overall environment was so neat and tidy. The landscapes appeared to be rain-washed and glittery, even though it wasn’t raining. I did not catch sight of a single wrapper of chips or toffee at the airport or on the open road. It had me wondering if these people do their cleaning with some supernatural vacuuming hovers. In half an hour we reached the Sheikha Mariam apartment building, which was nice and huge.
We got to our apartment within seconds, thanks to the fast and luxurious elevators. The interior décor of our place was exquisite. It was a 3-bedroom apartment, fitted with immaculate furniture and equipped with a stunning kitchen. I was particularly amazed by the fact that there was not a speck of dust anywhere. Even the utensils looked ultra-cleaned. How is this? Well, people in Dubai are obviously more active than us. They utilize their energy to the maximum and get work done; no compromise on hygiene and cleanliness.
First Cup of Tea in Dubai
Milk tea is the drink of choice where I come from. In Dubai, rainbow tinned milk and yellow label sachet were best for tea. You just make the water hot and delicious cup of tea is ready, which chases away your tiredness in minutes, so you are fresh and full of energy. So soon after we arrived at the apartment, we had a lovely tea and shortly had lunch with a pictures session. We talked about renting a place in Bur Dubai for two months.
We were there for finding a job in IT field, having Microsoft Certification in hand. We assumed that we had a golden coin that we would rub and retrieve gold bars worth 24 karat with 99.9% purity (Huh! nothing like it). Life wasn’t as simple or easy as we imagined. It’s more like a game of cards: when you are in love it’s all hearts, when you are engaged it’s all diamonds, when you’re married it’s all clubs, and when you die it’s all spades!
We spent four long days at our cousin’s place, and during the stay, we visited one of their kid’s school, which was pretty good. We searched for jobs in the local newspaper and thought that one or two weeks is all it takes to find the job of your dreams in Dubai. Unfortunately, we couldn’t be more wrong; we were victims of our own naivety, lost in daydreams.
Settling in our apartment at Bur Dubai
After seeing a few apartments, we moved into a five-story building at Bur Dubai. There were 4 apartments per floor, and our studio apartment was well-built, tidy, and compact. One double bed, cupboard, a nice window, carpeted, sofa and table, a TV, an AC, one washroom, and fully equipped built-in kitchen with electric stove.
We had always used a gas stove, so cooking in an electric one seemed a bit daunting in the beginning. However, it turned out to be pretty amazing and we got used to it quickly. Tea, omelet, and everything else were prepared nicely on it.
Life is full of new experiences; if we do not move out and meet people, we get stale in a rut. Settling into our own apartment was painless and convenient. In our homeland, we have an independent, airy, and spacious house with a garden. We realized this blessing more when in life we had to live in a small apartment on the fifth floor in Dubai, where fresh air can come from only one source, an enchanting window located in the bedroom.
Every morning, we had lovely sunshine from there, and in the evening a soothing cold breeze. When it rained, we could only see it through that window, whereas back home we can go out on the balcony, roof, or front lawn to enjoy it.
Exploring the nearby Marketplace
The market was more than near; just a walk of 7 minutes and you get everything fresh –vegetables and fruits from all over the world (from our own country too). Bread, butter, eggs, margarine, yogurt, chicken, beef, and mutton were quite affordable. There was little difference of price, unlike back home where the common man can only buy meat occasionally. Variety of chocolates, cookies, chips, dry fruits and ‘nimko’ all under one roof.
One interesting thing was you buy yogurt box, you get one free, you buy a milk packet small butter free, you buy rice one movie ticket free, you buy cooking oil 5 kg pouch you get a school bag free. Many promotions like these are available every day, which cheer you up and easily make your day. Shawarma was something I saw the first time when we visited Dubai; at the time it was for 5 dirhams and everybody was buying like crazy. Fulfilling, ready in no time, yummy spices, and cheap for Dubai residents.
Gold Souk market was right under our building – too much shiny gold in one place. All branded shops were visible while walking down to Dubai Cornish. Post office and post boxes were also a 5 minutes walk away. Going on foot everywhere was real fun, no burden at all. If you are in urgent need of something after 10 pm, you can go on foot alone, as it is more than safe. Nobody dares to touch you or steal anything from you. Men walk 4 to 5 feet away from you; surely, they are scared of getting deported or reprimanded. Law and order is very strong in Dubai, and I wish it was the same way in our country.