A love letter to Dubai winter

A love letter to Dubai winter

By Malavika Varadan

Published: Thu 30 Sep 2021, 8:23 PM

Dear Dubai Winter,

It’s finally time for you to come back home. Soon, you will be here.

Sometimes when I wake up and run in the neighbourhood park at 6 am, it’s 27 degrees Celsius, and I know you will be here soon. A cool wind blows through trees and down comes a shower of yellowing leaves. So thin, so fine that it looks like a moving colour-pencil sketch.

Soon, we will be sipping hot chai on the streets of Karama. Soon we’ll hear that signature sluuurp as we walk past the chattering men on Bank Street. Soon, they won’t be sweating in those thick suits that say, “I work from 9 to 9”.

Soon, we’ll be pushing open our balcony doors and putting our feet up on the railings and taking in the never-ending sky.

Soon, the malls will be full of people shopping for their winter wardrobes, buying sweaters and jackets and boots and blazers. Soon, we will see hats and scarves as we walk down the downtown boulevard.

People in Dubai are nicer in the winter. They take more pictures of sunsets and stay just that five minutes longer on smoke breaks, so they can talk to a stranger.

Soon, I will open my balcony door and hear children playing well past 8 pm!

We run more in the winter, this is a fact. We smile at each other on running tracks, we nod in acknowledgement, we wave to the old familiar faces. We greet the old man on his plastic chair, sipping coffee as people go by.

We spend more days sitting under trees in parks, walking barefoot on the grass.

We go back to the Global Village and eat all those things we only eat at the Global Village.

The cafes and shawarma shops have tables overflowing onto the streets, and the loud clatter of plates and knives fills the air. The air smells delicious.

Soon, every weekend will be full with a concert, a night of comedy, a musical event, a party in a friend’s backyard — and days will be spent on the beach, ooh-ing and aah-ing at how cold the sea can actually get!

Soon the tourists will be back. And wherever you go in my lovely city, you will hear “this is an abra”, “this is a kunafa” or “this is our speciality, try it!” Our living rooms will be full of relatives and friends visiting from overseas — and we’ll be talking like experts on what this country is built on, and how far we have advanced.

It’s funny how every summer I forget how beautiful the winter can be, and every winter I forget just how hot the summer can get!

Come back soon, winter. We have missed you.


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