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The 7 phases every Dubai expat goes through

Keith Pereņa
Filed on November 13, 2016 | Last updated on November 13, 2016 at 05.46 am
The 7 phases every Dubai expat goes through

(Neeraj Murali)

Because let's face it, we've all been through these emotions before.

Every expat in Dubai has a reason for being here. From just wanting to experience the luxury of the city, to better pay compared to their home. But despite having different reasons, every expat shares a common thing - and that is they encounter a range of emotions before they finally admit to themselves that they're full fledged expats. Here's some of those emotions that every expat goes through.

The excitement phase

OH. MY. GOD I'm going to Dubai! This phase is marked by the postcard image of Dubai - luxurious lifestyle, supercars, gold everywhere, no tax, beautiful places and wearing a big smile on your face as you board your plane towards the fabled oasis of opulent lifestyle.

The anxiety phase

Immediately right after being completely excited about going here, the what ifs begin to pop up: What if I'll miss home? Do they have sriracha there? Where can I buy *insert country specific delicacy/product name here* over there? What if I can't get a job? What if I don't speak Arabic? And many more what ifs that will ultimately end with you saying "Wait, let me think about this for a sec." But you never do think about and you eventually decide to fly which is why you go into...

The 'tourist' phase

You see the Dubai of tourist fame - the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab, the Dubai Mall and with smartphone/selfie stick in hand, you attempt to take photos against crowds of tourists also doing the same thing.

The complaining phase

It's too hot, my boss is not paying me enough, why do I have to work on Sundays, my flatmates are noisy, and many kinds of complains and qualms you have about living here all in its own phase which eventually leads you to go pack your bags and think hard whether to give it all up.

The 'I wanna go home' phase

YOU WANT TO HOME and you've been crying, Skyping and just in general being miserable that you want to fly back and forget about Dubai. Even the smallest of things can trigger this emotion in you such as the lack of rain, the hot climate, and the fact that none of your old buddies are here. So you pack your bags, attempt to call it quits and that's the end of that is it? No, oh no.

The retail therapy phase

Now you begin to splurge your hard-earned dirhams on basically everything. New shoes, new clothes, the latest iPhone and you binge on all the delicious food! and suddenly being here isn't that bad at all - the shopping is great, the food is amazing which brings us to...

The 'okay' phase

AKA your breathing room where everything in Dubai suddenly feels right and like you're having an extended holiday surrounded by all the comforts and luxuries every person dreams of having. You've come to accept that being an expat here is a vicious cycle of feeling all these phases again and again and it's fine; it really is.


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