The Dubai Nobody Tells You About. by Kim Macedo
|Dubai is the land of the biggest, tallest, longest, widest, richest, fanciest, fastest...
everythingist...in the world.
They have the tallest residential towers in the world,
the tallest restaurant in the world,
the largest number of Malbaris in the world,
the highest crane operator in the world.
|If it does not grow in Dubai, they'll make it artificially –
artificial ski slopes,
coconut trees and lawns,
|Indians especially love it here because of the dirham-to-rupee value.
The Filipinos come here because they have no choice; there's nothing back home,
not even dogs - they've been eaten up.
The Egyptians come here because there is nothing to do in Egypt. No more pyramids to build either.
The Lebanese come here to buy cars, dress to kill, wear Peter Pan shoes 10 sizes bigger than their feet, put 1 kg of gel on their heads and give everyone ball talk. They'll buy a 1980s Merc or BMW for 10k dirhams and drive the car like they're sitting in the rear passenger seat, stretching their arms all the way to the steering wheel, giving you the piercing bald eagle look.
The Russian girls come here as hookers.
The Bangladeshis come here to build the tallest buildings in the world.
|Now according to the government, Dubai is tax free. Of course, that is true.
Only, there is a Pay and Park scheme with 5000 parking lots, and 500,000 cars in the city, so where the hell do you park?
And you're fined for wrong parking. Toll has been introduced on many roads.
You can avoid the toll tax by using alternative routes, but you'll end up in a traffic jam because everyone is trying to avoid the toll tax.
If you have any government related work like medicals for visa or immigration,
you have 2 options - Standard and Urgent Procedure.
Standard takes 15 days and Urgent takes 2 days. The difference is 30 to 40-odd dirhams.
Everyone goes for the urgent option and the Dubai government makes money, urgently.
If you switch jobs you get a work ban and to lift the ban you pay a huge penalty.
In Dubai, without a car you're paralyzed (you don't even get jobs if you don't have a car).
But you'll get your license in attempts ranging from 2 to 20.
Each time you fail, you have paid fees for Driving Classes & Driving Tests,
which are 1000-odd dirhams. Imagine the money RTA makes.
Most of the expats live alone with families back home.
So they spend much on phone calls. And call charges from Dubai are high.
Another odd thing about Dubai –
no matter where you go or who you meet, you take down phone numbers.
Everybody has everybody's number in Dubai.
And everyone has a Visiting Card, whether you're a bootlegger, a masseuse,
a hooker, a car cleaner, a watchman or a pizza delivery boy.
Everyone knocks around with lots of cards in his or her wallet and one card in the palm.
So whenever you shake hands with anyone in Dubai and let go,
you end up with a visiting card in your palm.
If you're walking on the road and you ask someone the time,
he'll tell you 10:30, give you his card and say, I have new and second-hand watches.
At a restaurant when you're leaving, they'll say Here's my card, call us for home delivery.
If you're below your building, you'll meet those Chinese chicks giving you their cards, saying, Call us if you want DVDs.
If you're standing at a bus stop, a Pakistani will pull over in his 1980 Toyota Corolla, give you his card and say, If you want Pick-up & Drop Service, call me.
|Dubai has amusing-looking buildings.
Some have holes in them, some have giant balls on them,
some look like airplanes, some look like sail boats, and,
all of them reach into space with your window right in front of the moon.
Everyone in Dubai goes to malls.
Not necessarily to shop.
To beat the heat, go to a mall;
business meeting, go to a mall;
getting bored, go to a mall;
want to take a leak or dump, go to a mall;
want to do lukhagiri (little in your pocket, little in your mind), go to a mall.
If you want to go for a picnic, go to a mall.
Some Malbaris go home to Kerala, get married,
and then come to a Dubai Mall for their honeymoon.