Weather in December: 25-28° C, dry heat
Fun Fact: There were only 13 registered cars in Dubai in 1968
My mom and I were particularly excited for this trip to Dubai for two reasons: one, because my brother lives there and we only get to see him twice a year now, and also because we had never been there before! Unfortunately, my dad couldn't join us on this trip but he goes to Dubai multiple times a year for work so I don't feel so bad for him!
Other than how luxurious and over-the-top Dubai appeared in what I saw on social media, I knew very little about it. I knew nothing about the locals, lifestyle or culture, but here's what I did learn:
- the Emiratis tend to keep to themselves
- no one walks anywhere
- everything and anything you can think of exists in Dubai (including Tim Hortons for my fellow Canadians!)
- the service industry (restaurants, cafes and retail) is run almost entirely by Filipino people
- construction is mostly done by Indian and Pakistani people
- taxis and Uber are driven by mostly Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bengali people
- the food is out of this world
- culturally, it is the most open of the Arab societies
It was so great to be there with my brother and have him show us around. I got to see the city from his point of view and now I know where he is most of the time when he sends me videos. When he wasn't at work, we were exploring the Old Town (one of my favourite parts because it was built to look historical and the architecture is really pretty), the Dubai Mall, Souk Al-Bahar and just wandered aimlessly around those areas because there was always something to see or a café to hang out at with our books.
After a few days of exploring, my mom pointed something out that has since stuck with me and is so spot on: Dubai feels like one massive resort. From the palm tree-lined streets and thirty feet-wide granite sidewalks, to the fact that people are driving golf carts on them. Dubai was also easily one of the cleanest cities I had ever visited. It was spotless! They take great care in the appearance of their city.
Honestly, we had such a wonderful time! The food was fantastic, the weather was perfect and being there with family was priceless. The one perk of my brother being all the way there means that I get to go back next year and I cannot wait!
Hope you enjoy the photos! I'll be writing up a guide to Dubai in a separate post talking about food, attractions, day trips and activities.