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I long for freedom, and when I get it, I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I will surely be happy.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Well last week I went to Dubai on a business trip and stayed there for five days. I do not regret the trip, it was a good experience for me, but I have to admit I tried my best to like the city and failed! It was due to several reasons.
First, Dubai fell victim to an extremely unfair comparison with Istanbul.. it had no chance! I spent a week at Istanbul just one month ago and came back starry-eyed.. I was head over heels for those streets, markets, palaces, parks, shops, islands, and just about everything there. And then there was Dubai with its ginormous towers, insanely developed infrastructure, artificial parks and islands, gigantic malls, and fancy restaurants. I was simply unimpressed, I was like "that's it?" towers just don't impress me, and malls are soon to bore me, so it just didn't happen.

Second, the nature of my trip made it a bit boring. I was tied up with the company for some events and plans so I wasn't entirely free to schedule my day the way I want.

Third, I was without my husband, the one who is in charge of everything related to commuting, shopping, sightseeing, and just all of this stuff I suck at. Plus it was just not fun without him.

Fourth, It is expensive, transportation is ridiculous! and the metro wasn't that practical.

Fifth, It was cold! I felt like I was in one giant mall the whole time! people seemed unhappy and far away, there are no kids, there are not normal parks, there are no "normal" houses. Everyone lives in towers.. they're like little mice living in little shoe boxes and going shopping everyday. Towers surround you so you can barely see the sea.. and all you get to do is go to malls.. malls, malls, malls! People work their asses off the whole day, and it just felt as if they were wasting their lives in an empty loop. I am probably being judgmental but this is how I felt.

Sixth, everything felt like it was forced to be! the sea was forced to go to place it wasn't supposed to go to.. and land was forced to reach places it was not meant to. Just towers and shiny buildings all around.. that's all you will ever see..

I guess that's about it. We went to Deira though and I liked it. This is the old part old Dubai, and it felt natural, welcoming, and genuine. Also I liked Ibn Battutah Mall, cannot lie! it is very unique.

Now, regardless of all of that. I did not like Dubai but I respected it. Not because people abide by the law,  traffic is organized, the country is in the peak of advancement, and everything is in order, no. These things are admirable of course, but what truly earned my respect was the diversity, people's tolerance toward each other, the ability of all races and religions to live side by side freely and happily. No prejudice, no stereotypes, no racial profiling, and no affirmative action.
Why can't we all be like that? why can't people just live together and stop fighting and stop that crap about being attached to just one country and defending it to death! Can't we just embrace the beauty of our differences? of course we can. This is what I happily learned in Dubai, it is possible, this is not a perfect pink world we're talking about.. people can actually live together in harmony and peace. I just hope this happens all over the world where people are fighting over ridiculous stuff like religion and race.

Couple of tips if you're going to Dubai: Rent a car, it is much cheaper than using transportation, prepare to come back with huge luggage due to the constant obsessive shopping, visit Deira if you like old markets and adventures, plan things in the evening, especially the ones outdoors, and get a map of the Dubai Mall cause you WILL get lost and you WILL cry for help.. or better yet just don't go there. Ibn Battuta is much more interesting.

Over n' out ;)


Liberty Fizz said...

My sister in law visited Dubai for the first time a few months ago, and said pretty much exactly what you did! She also really liked Deira though!