Sunday, October 05, 2008

Thoughts on Dubai

I realized I spent my last post talking about what I've done here so far, but not really what I think of the place. So here are my initial thoughts:
  • So much diversity! I am stunned by how many different types of people are walking around together: outwardly, you have people in burkas, Indian clothes, Pakistani hats, and then you have Western clothes on the South Asian workers, Europeans, Australians, Americans, etc. We call the US diverse, but everyone looks pretty similar in the U.S. in terms of clothing. Here people really do look different and they seem quite tolerant of one another
  • The diversity is in name only. I rarely see Arabs interacting with non-Arabs. No one really talks to the workers and Westerners generally keep to themselves. I am surprised by the number of Westerners/ expats. I'm sorta afraid I'm only going to hang out with them my entire time here.
  • My slight identity crisis... Most Muslims here dress in the Arab garb. Most Indians here are lower class workers. Most Americans are white. As you may guess, I don't fit into any of these categories so I'm very interested to know how people perceive me when they see me...
  • Everyone is very friendly and helpful. People are genuinely nice. Makes the transition a lot easier!
  • People have a lot of money to spend, especially the expats. Restaurants here are a lot more expensive than I would have guessed, or at least the ones that I/expats eat in. Lunch in a sandwich type place can easily run you $10-$20. Shopping is way more expensive than it is in the U.S.. And there are no sales to be seen. There is even a more expat-friendly grocery store, which charges more for groceries than the U.S. does too!
Those are my quick thoughts... I'll add more later!

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