I landed in Dubai International Airport at about 11:30pm on Thursday 12th June and it is safe to say, the past few days have been a whirlwind. First impressions of this city........well it is insane.
|morning walkies along the marina|
I landed a little later than scheduled and after travelling since 9.30am that morning, the only thing that kept me going during the wait at the gigantic queue at immigration was the fact that the boyfriend was on the other side, ready to collect me. Luckily, I picked the quicker of the queue's and the efficient Emirati man at the desk checked my visa, snapped my photograph and stamped my passport within a few minutes of my arriving at his desk.
I am not sure if it was the excitement to see the boyfriend or the sheer joy that I was finally here, but I completely forgot to change into something lighter and as soon as we stepped outside into the parking lot, the heat and humidity hit me, in my jeans and t shirt, like a brick wall. The humidity literally took my breath away and right there and then I thought I wouldn't last a night here let alone a few years. Needless to say my body has since acclimatised.
We have done so much since I got here that I cant quite believe it has only been 4 days since I arrived. We have completed two trips to IKEA and the apartment is looking and feeling a little more homely (more about the apartment and the building we are in at a later date) and the dog has gotten used to me after a shaky start. The boyfriend has driven me around Dubai while I sat there staring out the window like a kid, been to the Mall of Emirates and the Dubai Mall, both of which blew my mind and we have seen the dancing fountains at the Burj Khalifa which deserves a blog post in it's own right.
|the Ikea trip was...|
|Dubai Marina from the pool terrace of our building|
|the Souk in Dubai Mall|
|Love the ceilings in the Souk at Dubai Mall|
|pick and mix spices at the supermarket|
|sandcastle on Jumeirah Beach|
More importantly, we have completed all official requirements and I am now a legal resident of Dubai; this place is beyond efficient and on Sunday, it took us a few hours (a lot less than the time we had originally assigned) to complete all applications, my medical examination and visit the Emirates ID Authority to get my finger prints and photographs taken, all of which are required as part of the immigration process. On Monday all that was left was to take the results of my medical examination to the immigration office, where they checked my online file and swiftly stamped my passport with my official visa. And while it all sounds quite complicated and long winded, it was actually easier and more pleasant than my immigration experience in Cyprus!
We have even found time to go for dinner and explore a few of the bars (which are all in hotels, but more about that later) to allow the boyfriend some much needed World Cup watching and I have used the gym in our building, tested the pool on the fifth floor terrace and navigated a Dubai supermarket.
|Dancing Fountains at the Burj Khalifa|
The first weekend was a pretty successful one and if first impressions are anything to go by, we are going to be very happy here. The best way to describe Dubai is like London except better; the buildings are bigger, the customer service is better, the supermarkets are bigger, the sun shines and despite what people say or what the internet tells you, life is cheaper!
Expect a lot more Dubai based blog posts to come.