10 reasons not to live in Dubai:
Living in Dubai is not wonderful and glamorous, as many would have you believe. Forget about what you’ve read, seen, and heard; those shiny buildings and manmade islands are all just smoke and mirrors. There are so many things wrong with this place that I have decided to compile a list, a must read if you are considering a potential move to Dubai.
1. There is no standard address system making mail-to-the door delivery impossible. In fact, it makes anything nearly impossible. The taxi driver, here for only two days, and having learned English from old Beatles albums has no clue where your house is. He won’t tell you that of course, he’ll just keep calling and saying, “Okay, okay. Yeah, yeah.” When you purchase something that requires delivery they do not have an address line, but a box where you are expected to draw a map. Not able to draw a map? Explain like this: I live on the street after the airport road, but before the roundabout. Go past the mosque and make a U-turn.
2. The government blocks all web sites that it deems “offensive” to the “religious, moral, and cultural values” of the UAE. That’s hard to swallow for a freedom loving American, but I get it. I do not understand, however, why all VOIP access and related web sites are blocked. I guess the government also takes offense to people inexpensively contacting their families back home. You’re welcome to call using the analog service provided by the government-owned telephone monopoly, but it will cost you a whole lot more. So much so, in fact, your frequency of calls will be greatly diminished if you can afford them at all. The government says VOIP is blocked for security reasons, yet even the residents of communist China and North Korea have access to these inexpensive calls.
3. It is really hot outside. Not Florida in July hot; Hot as if you were locked in a car in Florida in July with sufficient humidity to make it feel as though you are drowning. Hot as in 120 degrees with nearly 100% humidity. Do not look to the wind for relief. This is the equivalent of pointing a hairdryer on full blast directly at your face. Pour fine moon dust-like sand over your head as you do this and you get the picture.
4. There are too few trees, plants, and grass – or living things aside from us crazy humans, for that matter.Ever see a bird pant? I have. In my opinion, human beings were not meant to live in such a place. If we were, there would be sufficient water and shade.The only greenery around are the roadside gardens planted by the Government, who waters the hell out of them in the middle of the day.
Thanks a lot! Didn’t you say we should cut down on our water consumption because you are unable to keep up with the demand? I have an idea: let’s all move someplace where it’s not 120 degrees outside.
5. This country prides itself so much on its glitz and glamour that it put a picture of its 7-star hotel on the license plate. Yet, the public toilets in the king-of-bling Gold Souk district are holes in the ground with no toilet paper or soap.Hoses to rinse your nether regions, however, are provided.This results in a mass of water on the floor that you must stand in to pee.Try squatting without touching anything and keeping your pants from touching anything either.Oh yeah. It’s 120 degrees in there too.
6. This country encourages businesses to hire people from other poor countries to come here and work.They have them sign contracts that are a decade long and then take their passports. Even though taking passports is supposedly illegal, the Government knows it happens and does nothing to enforce the law. These poor people are promised a certain pay, but the companies neglect to tell them they will be deducting their cost of living from their paychecks, leaving them virtually penniless – that is, if they choose to pay them. Companies hold back paychecks for months at a time. When the workers strike as a result, they are jailed. Protesting is illegal, you see (apparently this law IS enforced). These people will never make enough to buy a ticket home and even if they do, they do not have their passports. They live crammed in portables with tons of others, in highly unsanitary conditions. The kicker: they are building hotels that cost more to stay in for one night than they will make in an entire year. Things are so bad that a number of laborers are willing to throw themselves in front of cars because their death would bring their family affluence in the form of diya, blood money paid to the victim’s family as mandated by the government.
7. Things are not cheaper here. I’m sick of people saying that. I read the letters to the editor page of the paper and people say to those who complain about the cost of living rising here, “Well, it’s cheaper than your home country or you wouldn’t be here.” The only thing cheaper here is labor. Yes, you can have a maid – but a bag of washed lettuce will cost you almost $10.
8. There are traffic cameras everywhere. I consider this cheating. Where are the damn cops? I drove around this city for weeks before I ever even saw a cop. Trust me, they need traffic cops here. People drive like idiots. It’s perfectly okay to turn left from the far right lane, but speeding even just a couple of kilometers over will get you fined. These cameras are placed strategically as you come down hills, or just as the speed limit changes. Before you know it…BAM! Fined. Forget to pay the bill and your car will be impounded..
9. The clothing some of these women wear makes no sense to me. I understand that as part of your religion you are required to dress in a particular way, but a black robe over your jeans and turtleneck and cover your head when it is 120 degrees outside? In the gym some women wear five layers of clothing…sweatpants and T-shirts over sweaters with headscarves. Yet the men’s clothing makes absolute sense: white, airy, and nothing underneath but their skivvies.
10. People stare at you. I am sick of being stared at. I’m stared at by men who have never seen a fair-skinned brown-eyed woman before, or who have and think we are all prostitutes so it’s okay to stare. They stare at me when I am fully covered , and even follow me around. It’s beyond creepy and has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. The staring is not limited to men, either