Goodbye Dubai, a Not so Sad Tale of Leaving

It was fun Dubai, but I won’t miss you. After 14 months in the sandpit that everyone knows for its impossibly tall skyscrapers, luxury cars of every make and model, and the world’s most exotic, bewildering pets, it was time to leave.

Of course, holding an entry level job in an industry infamous for low salaries, the overindulgent lifestyle nearly synonymous with Dubai was a bit out of reach. You have to get used to the lifestyle here if you ever really want to settle in. I’ve had a pretty good run here though, I have to admit. There will be a few things that will standout once I settle back into reality, and they are arguably what makes Dubai such an attractive place to begin with. Firstly, the food here is top notch. Celebrity Chefs from around the world descend on this city to expand their empires. I was lucky enough to get to work on projects from chefs Masahru Morimoto and David Myers, in my job alone. Elsewhere, the likes of Nobu Matsuhisa, Michael Mina, and Gordan Ramsay have all opened outposts of their various concepts. I’d be lying to you if I made it seem like these were frequent spots of mine, though. Aside from the occasional outing and job perks,  from Sunday to Thursday (the standard work week) I’d be eating $4 Tikka Masala from any of the 3 Indian restaurants in my building.

Another thing that will be missed is getting caught up in the luxury of the city, even if it isn’t your standard lifestyle. A prime example here are the Ubers in Dubai. Due to a low cost of labor and high expectation of opulence, whenever you dial up a car on Uber X you can safely expect a Lexus ES to arrive in 5 minutes time. If you want to splurge a bit *a common phrase overheard in the city* helicopters and Maybachs have been known to show up. The government also likes to splurge on public services so, the city is spotless, you’ll find fireworks at least once a week, and you’ll be invited to see the next newest, biggest, or tallest fill-in-the-blank and be part of the record-breaking crowds that are there to see the spectacle.

The thing that will be the hardest to leave behind, though, are the people. There are very few places in the world where you can sit at a table of 10 people and not have two from the same country. During my time in Dubai I befriended people from India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Romania and so many more amazing places with whom I never would’ve otherwise crossed paths. Work brought us together, but shisha and $15 beer is really the glue of the relationship.

Now that I’m packing up, it doesn’t quite feel real yet, but there are at least a few things I’ll miss, apparently. I’ll still wake up to sandy haze in the morning, and I’ll still have a 30 minute commute in a bus sandwiched between my coworkers, but I’ve got plenty to start planning and so much ahead. In just a couple weeks, I’ll get to see Sarah and we’ll begin a new adventure unlike anything I’ve done before. Keep an eye out for what happens next, where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there.


See you on the other side!

- Jackson