September 22, 2010
I 've left sleepy Geneva for vibrant Dubai. I am glad I dozed off for two months in a place I fondly call "an urban village". However, I was becoming eager to return to Dubai for the new school year.
No sooner had I landed in Dubai, that I could feel the vibe, the good karma. Dubai is very real and has so much to offer. People may complain about the half-hazardness of it all but I see beyond that. I realize that this NEW city is doing a very good job at managing itself, as serving its population decent services and superior entertainment.
In fact, I call it ordered chaos (coincidentally Third Line has a show entitled Controlled Chaos, how did we think up the same oxymoron? It must be the ambiance). For example, I had to renew my residency, and the whole process was smooth and far from frustrating. Granted there were hoards of people, and luckily in my case, women only standing in line, but they had a system where a man moved us along like cattle from one room to another, where we were pricked for a blood test and x-rayed soon later. I was very impressed with the Dubai government services. It made me think of all the challenges the UAE government has to serve us with transport, very basic health, education, recreation, security. We live in a clean city and we are fond of its agreeable life style.
For families, opportunities abound. Varied school systems, sports and arts and entertainment galore. Dubai has the large scale entertainment and fabulous energy of Las Vegas without its sleaziness (or at least not out in the open).
The extraordinary thing was that this "Vision" was not a desert mirage: it was real. We have our skyscrapers, our indoor skating rings and ski slopes. We have our neighborhoods and our road grids that connect them. We also have lovely Nathalie, on 92 FM, spinning records and good vibes for our sunny drives from here to there.
People NEVER leave Dubai willingly, they always leave half heartedly. Foreigners often complain that there is a lack of permanence, a sense of vulnerability. Do they instead prefer to pay taxes and access that comfort back in their countries?
From September till June, I enjoy living in Dubai. The constant sun, the reliable services, the impressive talented people who live here, the always-open work ethics, the burgeoning art and cultural scene, the energetic athletic environment. It is solar energy that fuels this oil state!