I have never thought that I will be going back to UAE after 8 years. Year 2007 when I first landed in UAE and worked for a little over 2 years. When the economic crises hit the country in 2009, my husband and I were transferred in a different workplace somewhere in Asia. And now we are back where we used to be 8 years ago. I never sought of going back, but my husband just took a seat in their Dubai office once again. And that’s explain why we are back, but this time with our two bubbly boys.
Going back to the place we now called our second home, I noticed a lot of improvements compared 8 years ago. It’s just impressive how this wealthy country has continuously thriving economy. And although it is considered a luxurious city, meaning there’s a high cost of living, many have still tried their luck, trying to make ends meet with a hope for a greener pasture.
Being back and calling now my family a desert dwellers, I got a handful list of things I found commendable and thankful that the emirates offers its thousands expats.
The Dubai Metro – when we left the country in 2009, the metro construction was still on going. I can still remember how hard it was being a commuter. The long taxi queue at the malls on weekends, the rigor of booking a cab, especially during rush hours and battling off to get on the bus so I’ll get on time for work. Now, with the metro serving the city of Dubai, I can conveniently commute from Al Nahda to my work place in Business Bay for 30-40 minutes. Although it gets too crowded at the metro during rush hours, commuters have an option to take the gold line which is not as crowded as the regular silver line but it will double the cost.
The Burj Khalifa – just like the metro, Burj Khalifa was still under construction when we left 8 years ago. Now, you can take your selfie with the stunning world tallest building built in the city of Dubai. You can even take the chance to see an aerial view of the city from the top of Burj Khalifa.
Improved Buses – I remember battling off to get in the old bus, so I would be on time for work. Buses that time don’t use “nol” cards, payment was conventional at that time. Now with the rise of the cost of living in the city, most buses use “nol” cards which is an automated payment. They’re modern and tidy.
The Rise of Filipino Restaurant / Fastfood – I can name 2 to 4 Filipino restaurant before, but now, with the rise of Filipino restaurants in UAE, i bet you won’t miss your favorite Filipino dish. Buffet restos have been a hype to Filipinos at this time. Plus the coming of our all time favorite fast food, happily serving the kabayans in the UAE since first quarter of this year.
Availability of Filipino Goods – apart from the handful Filipino supermarket it is just soo good that filipino goods are much more available in UAE today. I found various groceries, having a designated section for filiipino goods. I was even surprised to see banana leaves being sold in a supermarket.
The Growing Christian Churches – Our church back home has its branch in Dubai, which does not exist 8 years ago, hence we were attending different church. I am also glad, knowing that some of my friends have found a new life through christian churches here in UAE.
These are just few things I found commendable in almost a month of being back in UAE. I know there are more to explore.