Sunday, September 18, 2011

You've Been in Dubai Too Long When....

Wine: More Expensive than Gold. Almost.

There’s a standard saying here in Dubai: “You know you’ve been in Dubai too long when…”  The joke is usually rolled out in situations when you need a sense check on things, eg when you reveal that you don’t own an iron and haven’t ironed anything since you moved here three years ago. (I HATE ironing, ok!?  And it’s super cheap here!)

Two recent incidents when this phrase was needed:

Incident One: A friend has moved out of her apartment and is still waiting for her deposit to be returned.  She commented: “At the end of the day. It’s only 5000 dirhams, but it’s the principle.”

Incident Two: Discussing a popular bar in the Financial District, I found myself saying: “And the great thing is, wine is only 35 dirhams a glass.”

To clarify why these show that you’ve been in Dubai too long: the rent deposit being discussed:  850 quid.  The wine being discussed: 6 quid a glass.

Taking pause and reflecting for a moment: the rent deposit is a huge amount of money.  And six quid for a glass of wine is much more than you’d pay in the UK.  So why are we so blasé about them now?

In our defence, when your rent is double what you’d pay in the UK for a similar property, and used to be quadruple, you can get a little complacent.   And when a bog standard bottle of Jacob’s Creek can retail for over 40 quid in a restaurant , you do start viewing drinks prices on a different scale. 

But still…..when there are so many simple pleasures in Dubai (beautiful parks and abra rides that cost 50p) you really should try to cling onto some perspective.  Just don’t make me do my own ironing, ok?

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