Last time I wrote a blog post about Dubai, we were exactly one month into moving here. We are now at the five month mark – time honestly just goes quicker here than anywhere else – fact. I don’t have any science-based reasoning behind this, you just need to take my word for it. It’s a widely observed phenomenon here.
Five months in, I now have a job. Hurrah! I’m ten weeks into working at a rather large real estate company, doing rather grown up things, earning my own money and getting into the swing of life here. I can’t say I don’t miss the lie ins (sigh), and the constant anxiety of thinking am-I-actually-desperately-unemployable (that was fun), but my God is it good to have a routine, get out there and sink my teeth into something new.
So I thought I’d do an update on what’s changed, what we’ve been up to, and my highlights from our first five months in the sand pit, in no particular order…
1. We adopted a husky for a week
Yeah, that one was unexpected. When I found out I finally had a job, I had about a month left to relax, and make the most of my time. I desperately want a dog in my life, but with both of us working long hours and living on the 24th floor of our building it just wouldn’t be fair. But I figured, someone must need a dog-sitter over Christmas perhaps if they’re going home, and whilst I’m unemployed it would be fun – plus I figured I needed the company! I posted on a Facebook group called ‘Brits in Dubai’ – the ONLY group you will ever need if you’re from the UK – and explained my dog needs. I was inundated with requests from Pomeranians to Pugs to Chihuahuas, but finally settled on a husky for 5 days over Christmas.
Grey, having a chill
Grey, looking so innocent
Now, he seems totally chilled here, adorable, at peace even. Get his lead out, and he is the devil incarnate (something his owner failed to mention). But did I mention how adorable? Looking back, I don’t miss Grey all that much – huskies are meant for running miles and miles and miles and he just isn’t built for this city!
2. I went to Oman for the day
Yes you can get to and from Oman in a day – ok it’s not proper Oman but it’s still technically Oman, you have to cross a border and everything. Musandam Dibba is nestled amongst the Hajar Mountains and is just north of the Fujairah border. It’s known as the Norway of the Gulf because of its beautiful blue fjords, but it’s also a nature lover’s dream – even the 2 hour drive is something else as you head away from city and into the vastness of the sandy-coloured mountains. Once we got through the border, we all piled onto a ‘traditional’ Dhow cruise boat which suddenly felt very busy when we were joined by a huge group of Russian tourists. Although the scenery was really dramatic, snorkelling was totally off the cards as the water was so murky. We were also promised wild dolphin sightings but there were none to be seen. The only trace of wildlife were some wild goats on the beach which were super curious and not afraid of getting in front of the camera. On the way back, the Russians partook in some fishing for fun, which we didn’t feel great about so we lay on the top deck of the boat and topped up our tans before heading back to the port.
3. I’m averaging one brunch a month – and they’re not disappointing
They say when you move here that everyone puts on the ‘Dubai stone’ from the sheer indulgence opportunities. I probably lost quite a few pounds from when I was unemployed – I went to the gym, A LOT. But it’s definitely been a struggle keeping it off. Behold some all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink, food porn. Foodie heaven.
4. I’ve saved 1,884 dirhams on the Entertainer…which means I’ve spent 1,884 dirhams (£370) – probably mainly on food. Oops.
The Entertainer is a must-have app full of 2-4-1 vouchers for restaurants, bars, brunches, hundreds of activities, pool days, spa treatments and even hotel stays. It’s about £150 for the year but totally worth it.
5. Ladies nights are a thing
Free drinks, all night and heavy discounts on food. Did I mention the Dubai stone?
6. We are pub quiz connoisseurs
Every Monday you’ll find us in the Eloquent Elephant at the Taj Hotel in Business Bay, without fail. Step inside and you’re in a London pub, instantly. Those twangs of homesickness are diminished and we smash through the music round, general knowledge and picture rounds now without batting an eyelid. I hate to brag, but we always manage at least a podium finish – and each time you do you win brunch vouchers. But the main reason I think we keep going is the popcorn is layered with some kind of addictive seasoning (we call it popcorn crack). I think that’s how they keep luring us back.
7. It feels like home
Now that I’m settled at work, I’ve got a routine going, we’re slowly making friends and we have a constant stream of visitors passing through, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else right now. I was actually looking forward to coming back to Dubai after a week visiting the UK the other week. Usually it’s the other way round – no-one looks forward to coming home after a holiday! 365 days of sunshine makes a big difference – we’re so lucky that we get the freedom to stay here and experience a different part of the world.
Have you just moved to Dubai? Tell me about your first few months here
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