Six Months in the UAE

Literally, where does the time go?!!

Not only has 2015 felt like the quickest year in history, the past six months have just been simply a blur. 

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From keeping things quiet while Matt went through the application process at work, to searching for apartments online when we didn’t even know it was definite, we really didn’t know what we getting ourselves into!! But we took that leap – and I am so happy we did.

Telling people that we were moving to the Middle East was the funniest part I think. Fortunately, we were able to come over on a preview trip so we were able to see what it was like over here, but a lot of people don’t know what it’s like, and so a lot of questions were thrown our way:

But can you drink there? Don’t you have to completely cover up? Will you get arrested for holding hands? Isn’t it super-strict? Are you allowed to work??

Of course it’s different – isn’t every country? – but seriously, looking back at it all, moving here has been a really good experience. Yes, it took longer than expected to get our place, but we were being housed in serviced apartments with a pool, it was super sunny, and there were bars and restaurants just next door – so there was no real problem in my eyes.

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We may have arrived three days before Ramadan, but we dealt with it. We struggled a bit, as we were acclimatising to the heat etc out here, but we got through it and even enjoyed a few traditional Iftars along the way.

Yes, processes are different here, but you get used to them pretty quickly. You get your broadband/TV bill by text message, and you pay off your water bill at a little machine in the mall, but it’s not difficult! You register/insure/MOT your car all in the same place at the same time on the same day (though the dealer did it for me) and so in some respects, things can actually be easier!! 

We said it after a few weeks out here, and I’d stand by it now – you just have to be open and accepting of the culture, the way things work & learn how to deal with bits and bobs, and soon enough it’ll feel like home.

Don’t get me wrong – we still get totally surprised by some things. The incredible patriotism of the locals (you only have to be here around National Day to see that) along with all of the amazing events that just pop up out of nowhere! I’d liken a winter in Dubai to a summer in Ibiza – every DJ you could ever want to see is playing at some point between October & April. There’s beach clubs and boat parties and everything you could ever need if you wanted a Winter of partying hard! I really wasn’t expecting anything on this scale out here – and I suppose that’s what it teaches you – ‘don’t judge a book’ and all that!

Having friends and family visit is one of the great things about living here, and we are lucky enough to have had both my mum and Matt’s parents visit within the first 6 months. When they wake up on their first day with us and go out onto the balcony and look down at one of our pools, when they comment on the temperature, when we take them to our favourite spot to grab wings and beer, and when we take them just down the road to Dubai for the day – the comments we get really embed the fact that we totally made the right decision. And we don’t ever want to become complacent of what we have and how lucky we are to be able to live in this incredible country…

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