As a single young woman moving abroad, safety was really important. I couldn’t believe (and 4 years later I still can’t) how safe this country is! Literally, people leaving their phones, purses, wallets unattended in restaurants and cafes while they leave the table. I was in shock because if that was London, safe to say all of that would’ve been snatched up in a HOT second. I see people even leaving their cars running and unlocked to quickly go in a shop or something. A lot of people even leave their homes unlocked or leave a spare key with their building watchman/ security or even under the front doormat! It’s just crazy how safe this country is, thank God. Want to go for a walk in the park when it’s dark? No problem. Most likely there’ll even be kids playing too!
A little story for you. Once my friend left behind her phone in Burger King when we were on a road trip from Dubai to Fujairah. She didn’t realise that she’d put her iPhone on the tray and she then went and put the remaining food in the bin, along with the phone. She only realised once we were back on the road so we called the Burger King and told them she dropped her phone in the bin. What did they do? They dug in the bin, took out her phone and kept it for her until the next day on our way back from Fujairah. I mean come on the story would definitely not end the same back in London Town.
Generally speaking Dubai is very clean. (I’m not talking about the old sides). You get used to all the clean paths and super shiny buildings. Whenever I fly back to the U.K. it literally feels like everything’s grey and dirty! Especially comparing the public toilets situation, OMG huge difference. In the UAE there’s usually a toilet lady who regularly cleans and tidies the toilets. I’ve literally gotten used to someone handing me a paper towel every time I wash my hands, (talk about getting spoiled). I get back to London and I hold back the tears whenever I have to use the nasty unisex loo in a Costa or Starbucks…
3 – Mosques/ prayer rooms everywhere.
This has really been beneficial for me on my journey of practicing Islam more. It’s so much easier to not miss your prayers when you’re out and about because there’s always somewhere very close to pray, Alhamdulilah. Also hearing the beautiful athaan everywhere you go is such a blessing. In my first flat, the local mosque’s athaan literally used to wake me for fajr every morning, something that I definitely wasn’t used to in London. (I’ll share more about my experiences of living in a Muslim country in another post, comment below if you want me to!).
4 -The beaches!
Of course this had to make the list. Dubai and the rest of the UAE are full of beautiful beaches. What’s amazing is the fact that no one literally cares what anyone wears. The ladies in burkinis don’t get looked at twice ( mind you the ladies in thongs might for very different reasons, ha!). Let’s talk about the ladies-only beaches. Yes, they exist! I have many friends, Muslim and non-Muslim, who simply prefer to go to a beach without any creepy men lurking about. As well as ladies-only beaches, there are ladies-only gyms, salons, water parks (specific days of the week) etc. Life is pretty convenient here for a woman.
5 -Multiculturality (I’m sure that’s not a word but you get what I mean)
I LOVE the fact that there are people from all over the world that choose to come to the UAE for work or just travels. Because there are so many expats in Dubai, it’s very easy to make friends as most people are in the same boat (living away from their friends and families back home). I’ve met some awesome people in my 4 years of living in Dubai, and I’ve made friends for life too.
If you’re someone who’s thinking about visiting but wasn’t too sure, hopefully some of my reasons helped.
If you’ve already visited the UAE, what did you love the most about the country? Comment below, I’d love to hear your experience.