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Dear Dubai… It’s Not You, It’s Me

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Saying goodbye to our desert city

Dear Dubai,

It’s not you.

It’s me.

We are breaking up.


In my heart there will always be a section made for your sandy, hot, cosmopolitan, luxurious and oh-so-dreamy life.

You have raised the bar and it will be hard for anything to come close to our relationship.

This is starting to read like a mismatched poem but that is what true love and commitment does to a person. Yes, I fell in love with you. I dreamed of forever and I actually believed I would be with you for the longest of time. I was wrong.

Let’s cast ourselves back to that day in 2012 when we first met. In a minute I was filled with awe. You were grand, majestic, kind, safe, easy, cheap, sandy and exceeded my expectations. I EVEN fell in love with Carrefour. Yes, I was that blinded by love.


Each year since, my family and I completed things that you assisted with. Camp fire in the desert? Done. Compound living where my children befriended people from 60 other nations, harmoniously? Lived it. Did I ever clean my house? Nope. Nanny for the kids? Had it. Be the hub for all of our international travels? You sure were.

I began my journey in Dubai with an almighty bang. Three children in tow (the youngest, a tiny 4 months old), I set myself a list of things I wanted to achieve. It took me a while to get into the rhythm of city living. I couldn’t fathom how to make friends and I couldn’t understand why everything was always running at the fastest of paces, except on Fridays. Friday’s were as slow as a snails pace and perfect for uplifting my faith and love for God.

Eight months into it, it all clicked. Ex-pat wife mode was switched ON and I became the foundation to our Expat life. I researched and got to know every corner of the city and I was determined to live. I don’t mean live in the sense of “make every moment count”, I meant – let’s jump into the deep end and go on an adventure.

So, we did.


Dubai, you were awesomely well behaved. You only gave us a few sandstorms here and there and rarely did you disappoint with child friendly activities throughout your glorious city. Your city rose beyond the best of memories and every time we returned from a vacation, we felt like we were ‘home’. As exuberant as Dubai International Airport is, there is something so comforting about having clean, polite, organised system – and some guys hanging around ready to carry your bags.


Here is the thing about love. If it’s not a verb in action then it’ll die. It’ll idle and die. It’ll idle, become resentful and die.

Sadly, this has happened because the 1,245 days (give or take) that we have been together has always been on HIGH. I jumped right in, used you up and now I need to move on. It sounds so easy, right?



How will I ever find a city that is so safe?

How will I ever find a city that has amazingly clean public toilets?

How will I find a city that is so transient and therefore allows you to make a million friends PER DAY?

Will I ever be able to love another city again?

So, I leave you on this note. Thank you. Thank you for being the very bestest and creating the most amazing backdrop to my life for the past 1,245 days.

Featured image via Pinterest

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