Sunday, 8 August 2010

Finally in Dubai but the changes make me sad

Unless you lived in Dubai before 2000 you will not understand how I feel right now about the changes in UAE.
I can still remember Dubai airport when it was this tiny thing with rows of seats at each gate, a tiny coffee shop and one duty free shop.

I arrived in Dubai last thursday evening and as we drove to my in laws house in Sharjah I felt sick as we drove down the dubai-sharjah highway, all I could see was ugly apartment buildings and bridges.
The next evening we drove into Dubai, I actually felt like crying. I wanted everything to be exactly the same as when I left, of how I remember my 13 years there, yet all around me was huge tall buildings, bridges and the metro high above me. I felt like I was being suffocated, it made me want to cry.

My husband eventually drove me into Jumeriah, thanks Allah nothing much had changed, I felt at home again, it was exactly more or less as it was when I left.

In the shopping malls in Dubai I saw western women dressed like locals, but as soon as they sat in a coffee shop full of local men, they whipped off their shayla's so their hair fell about their shoulders, while they talked loudly hoping to get someones attention. What is this???? I never saw anything like this before. It seems a lot of western women are desperate to grab themselves a Khaleeji man and going out and putting themselves on display seems to be the way they think it will work.
What is the point of wearing Hijab if you throw off your shayla to show off your freshly washed and blow dried hair to a group of thobe wearing men.

Things have changed more than I ever thought possible. I will always love UAE but for me the magic has gone, it has changed too much, has become too westernised, too many people, too many buildings and life seems complicated now. I thank Allah that I got to spend time there when In did.
I remember dubai-sharjah road when it was basically just desert each side, I remember the time when their was a very small expat western community mainly British to be honest because most other countries such as USA etc, really had no idea even where Dubai was. Now everyone is here.
Maybe its good for UAE, I dont know but if it were not for the locals walking around I would not even know I was in the Middle East.

3 comments:

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Jaz said...

My landlady used to live in Dubai for 12 years and she told me she feels the same about all the changes, she hasn't been back for about 10 years because she is afraid of how she will feel.

happy ramadan!

Anonymous said...

I love your view on the changes in Dubai. It's interesting to read how the change from a traditionally Islamic society into a post-modern, westernized city affects its occupants. That feeling of disorientation and loss of place is exactly what post-modernism does to a city's tenants. People always write it in articles, but it's interesting to read it from a person really experiencing the changes.

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Louise
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