Dubai – It Grows On You

Dubai, another dot on the map, another city on the fast lane trying to sell its promises, another home to its multi-textured residents. To me, Dubai is a person. A person I instantly disliked as an almost eight-year-old. Like many before them, my parents left all that they knew to make a better living for their family as quickly as possible and their plans did not include staying for more than a few years. Ten at best, I would hear them tell. Ten became twenty, and, in those years that seem distant and near all at once, Dubai and I grew up together.

My distaste for her turned into an admiration within my first few years here. How could I not? In all the years of our relationship, she has given more than she has taken from me. It is under her watchful skies that I plotted my dreams and went chasing after them. Certificates, friendships, adventures of every kind, a job, then another, a secret garden, my family in faith. In return, more often than not, I find her asking of me a generous helping of patience and a sliver of kindness to her ever-growing tribe of friends.

I cannot claim that our relationship is not without its share of drama. I mourn the loss of many memories that she has demolished to make way for shiny new and I do not engage with most of her newer neighbourhoods if I can help it. I await the day when there will be an honest dialogue between the differences that breathe within her boundaries. In the meantime, she knows that there is nothing between us that cannot be solved by a ride on the abra and a shawarma after.

Dubai, you know you are a blessing to me. May you bless many more.

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