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14 Things Dubai Locals Always Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Dubai Student Work
by Natasha Amar Aug 5, 2015

1. Oh, you were here four years ago? That’s great. It’s all different now.

Possibly the most dynamic city in the world, Dubai changes quickly and drastically. Don’t panic if you can’t recognize streets, buildings and neighborhoods from your last visit a few years ago. Everything looks different and new, because it probably is.

2. But you have to admit, it’s impossible to get lost.

With easy to remember names of neighborhoods that literally describe the area such as Media City, Internet City, International City, Motor City, The Meadows, The Lakes and Dubai Marina, it’s almost impossible to be lost in Dubai. See too many clinics around? You’re probably in Healthcare City.

3. Not everyone owns a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Bentley.

Although there’s a high probability that we have a friend or a friend of a friend with a supercar and lets us ride around town shotgun on weekends.

4. Shawarma tastes best at 2am.

Don’t believe it? Just queue up at any shawarma place during weekend after-hours (somehow there’s always one open when and where you really need it) and you’ll see it’s totally worth the wait.

5. And Hummus and Moutabel are not the same.

These cold creamy mezze dips might look and even taste similar; but the key ingredient in hummus is chickpea, while in moutabel it’s eggplant.

6. But if you’re not feeling it there are plenty of other options.

Whether you’re homesick for Mediterranean food or craving fiery Asian cuisine, we’ve got everything from Indonesian and Vietnamese to Greek and Spanish fare. If it’s a taco you want, then that’s what you’ll get and even that will be pretty damn good.

7. You don’t go the mall just to shop.

In case you haven’t noticed (and seriously how could you not), you can also ski, ice-skate, learn how to fly an Emirates A380, ride in the world’s fastest elevator to the 148th level of the world’s tallest skyscraper, and watch the world’s largest fountains dance to ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’

8. We’re not huggers.

Don’t reach out for a hug the first or second time you meet us. We’re easy-going but we like our space and we’ll like you better if you respect it, too.

9. It’s always a good time to go to the beach.

Summer, winter and the strange weather in between, there’s always a time of day that’s good to slip into your swimwear and lounge on the beach.

10. And spf50 needs to be your new best friend.

Seriously. Wear it even when you’re indoors.

11. You can have groceries delivered to your house at 11pm.

But that doesn’t mean we’re spoiled. It’s just one of the perks of living in a cool, cosmopolitan city where it’s not the end of the world if you realize at 11pm that your fridge looks like an abandoned ghost town.

12. So you think you can drive?

Wait until you get behind the wheel and endure the craziness on Sheikh Zayed Road.

13. Don’t take photos of us or people you don’t know without asking.

You sneaky little devil. Personal privacy in public spaces may be negotiable in other cities, but we don’t like being photographed without permission. If we decide to do something about it, you could get into serious trouble. So don’t do it. Be nice. Ask.

14. While you’re here, catch up with David Guetta, Pitbull, Ed Sheeran or Lady Gaga.

Because we’re the coolest city to party in in the Middle East and these guys love us way too much to stay away for long.

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