Our contributor Jane explains how you can live comfortably in Dubai without getting spoilt. Read on for her tips on how to stay grounded in the City of Gold.
Dubai is world renowned for the incomparable wonders that it has to offer. Boasting the world’s tallest building, the world’s only 7 star hotel and the world’s largest shopping mall is no mean feat. The spectacles around us are abundant, but one factor that truly sets Dubai apart is the astounding quality and variety of daily services.
There are assistants at the petrol station to fill the tank, leaving you to sit back and enjoy the air-conditioning. You can also stay in the car to do some grocery shopping. Just pull up outside the store, honk the horn and out comes an assistant to take your order. Ever had drive-through grocery shopping anywhere else? There are bellboys to carry shopping bags, valet staff to park the cars and an abundance of cleaners in car parks to wash them. There are maids to take care of the homes, chefs to prepare the meals, nannies to help with the kids, chauffeurs for the school run and even hired hands to stand in the queue for us at DEWA!
It’s all so convenient and easy.
‘All the better for us’ you might say, but is there a negative side to having so many daily chores completed for us? By living in this glimmering, service rich metropolis, are our children developing unrealistic expectations of the wider world?
Trudi is a teacher at a British School in Dubai. After living and working here for 14 years, she has seen many students and their families come and go and she believes that some people are affected by the many benefits Dubai offers.
“I think some children get used to having day to day chores done for them and that they are exposed to the kind of 5 star lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily exist in their home countries. I worry that when the time comes for university or to start work that the children will not have learnt the necessary life lessons to cope. I worry about the kids learning to be self reliant, I remind them of how lucky they are and that some of the benefits they take for granted are not usual in other countries. It is difficult for them: but with so many things done for us, who can blame people for thinking life is served on a plate?” She said
The question is: how can we ensure that we keep our expat feet firmly on the sand?
Mariken, a child psychologist from the Netherlands, has been living in Dubai for 4 years. Working with KidsFirst Medical Center as a Behavioral Therapist, she believes that the attitude of the parents is the key to keeping the whole family grounded.
“To ensure our children are self-reliant, it is important to give them chores, simple things like tidying up toys themselves or taking plates to the kitchen after a meal. Children imitate, if you teach them not to be lazy, to take responsibility, to show respect and to help others, then they develop the same attitude.” She said.
Living in this beautiful city can be undeniably dazzling, but it seems that by simply keeping a few chores to ourselves, we can enjoy the spoils without becoming spoilt.