It’s been five years since I left Dubai, and I never felt that I missed the place until I visited it recently.
I stayed for a couple of days, met friends, went to the same places I used to visit, and ate the foods I missed.
The first on my list of places was Kinokuniya in Dubai Mall. Although I found an online shop that delivers books here on the island, I still missed being surrounded by books, taking in the scent of papers, and feeling so small amidst the towering shelves of knowledge.
I had a list of food I wanted to eat, first was Jollibee Chicken Joy, and then Betawi’s Nasi Goreng.
I had a leisure lunch at Eataly with my virtual-turned-real-life friend, Ji of Jirahlization, where we indulged in freshly made pasta and fried Calamari.
Then on my last day, two other female friends and I basked in the golden hour while sipping (but, actually, gulping down) glasses of Prosecco at the recently opened bar at Al Qasr, overlooking the Burj Al Arab.
I had a list of things that I needed to buy, and I had things bought without being included in my list, hence the hole in my pocket, but I have no regrets. I am not pro overspending, but I believe that I can earn money again but not happiness.
I enjoyed my time walking around Dubai with or without company. I missed the glam and glitz of the city lights. I enjoyed that feeling of being alone amidst the crowd, and no one cared about what I did or what I wanted to do. I missed that feeling of familiarity in strangeness.
Dubai has a special place in my heart. That’s where I got my first ever job in 2006, and the rest is history. When I passed by some places, I felt light-hearted, thinking of the things that I’ve been through and how they all contributed to what I am today. I could only be grateful.
People asked me a lot of times if I’d still consider working in Dubai if given the opportunity, and my answer was always a no.
I enjoy the working environment here in the Maldives. But then, after seeing Dubai again and realizing how convenient it is that I could do whatever I want, get whatever I want, eat and buy whatever I want, any time I want, I might reconsider. But maybe, not so soon.