Dubai is a city where many travel to these days. For many Europeans, it is a destination that guarantees sunshine and warmth in the middle of the winter within a reasonable distance. It feels like Dubai has been on every other Finn’s lips during the past winter.
Somehow, the city has never been of any interest to me when planning on our holidays, it really has not been on any of my lists. Before we actually decided on traveling here, I found myself wondering on several occasions what the fuss is with the city, and more importantly, why was I not interested, even though so many people seemed to praise the city without limits. Somehow the city has felt more like one I do not want to visit. To me, the city has seemed like the one that is so absurdly over the top that it is out of this world, one where you’d find nothing authentic, but lots of overkill. A city where nothing less from exaggerated would seem lame. A city that was so artificial that it simply could not be of any interest.
But then our plans regarding spending the easter holidays in Iran went south and I came across some really cheap flights to Dubai and I thought might be a good idea to see the city myself and see what the fuss is about. But three nights would have to be enough, I told home. That I could take, but I doubted I wanted to stay longer. Somehow I almost felt like I had already decided that no matter what I’d find in Dubai, I would not like the city.
I mean,the whole place just could not make any sense. How could I like a city that had been built on a desert, a city that no superlatives would be enough when describing the recent construction projects – the biggest, the highest, the most luxurious, most unique, most anything.. no matter how many superlatives you use, you you are not exaggerating, it is all here. . The city just seems so over the top that I was sure I would not feel at home there, I wanted something more authenticity from the place I visit and honestly, there is nothing authentic about Dubai anymore, not even in the places they tell you to go looking for it.
But then again, Dubai is a city with countless opportunities. What ever you want to do here, you probably can, whether it was downhill skiing or paragliding. Partying till’ you drop or spending a lazy day at the beach. You could max your credit cards easily on the enormous shopping centers or take a trip to the desert. Actually, you can do all the above mentioned and even more in a single day if you want. Honestly, if you claim to be bored in this city, then you really have needed to put some effort to get to that point.
Yes, Dubai is absurd, it is ridiculously over the top and is not short of any glitz and glamour. I thought I would want to run away fast already after the first day, but I ended up being wrong. On the second evening in Dubai, when we were walking around Dubai marina promenade for the second time, I had to admit that I actually pretty much liked the city. I really liked the endless opportunities the city offers. There are so many different things to do here that no two holidays will be the same. Also, the city is safe, clean and easy to navigate around. You’ll find what ever you want easily and getting around is easy. Only thing I did not like about the city was that even the traditional places seemed not that authentic any more. In the souks all you could hear was the familiar ”copy watches, copy handbags,copy t-shirts”-mantra and only tourists. But then again, it is really no wonder as some 90% of the population here are expats, you really can’t see any authentic trade in the souks anymore..
Despite this minor flaw, the short time we spent in Dubai got me convinced that this would after all be a city I would want to come back with better time.
Dubai turned out to be quite an exciting city. To me, it showed up as a city of countless opportunities, a city where anything is possible. A city I’d definitely be visiting again.