We’re leaving on an aeroplane today for Dubai. As Jonah would say: up up up.
For a hundred months our plan was to go to Japan with friends. In fact, over a year I think we have been planning “a big trip”. We even thought about timing pregnancy so that I wouldn’t be barred from flying. We sort of knew it would be temporarily a last hurrah of big travel. Soon Jonah will be 2 and we’ll have to start buying him his own seat. Soon he’ll have a sibling and we’ll probably be too lazy to leave the house. But having adventures with just one has been amazing and surprisingly easy, and we wanted just one more.
When we decided after radioactive food reports that Japan wasn’t meant to be (even without a tsunami, people couldn’t understand why I would drag my large 3rd trimester self and toddler there), we did a 180. The kind of holiday that involves palm trees – real and shapes of islands – and not having to do very much and being able to stay in one place. And since we’ve moved here we’ve always wanted to travel to Dubai.
People from “home” have been asking us quite a bit lately: Why Dubai? It’s such a fair question because it’s hard for me to imagine a scenario besides work that would bring an American there, from America. There are easier destinations to get to that are hot. There are palm trees and turquoise water a shorter flight away. There is even a home-grown city sprung from the desert. Several, really, but Las Vegas seems like plenty.
But from the UK it’s a whole different story. People really do vacation in Dubai. It’s a 7-hour flight. And plenty of people are exposed to it even just through their jobs. A fair number of companies have offices there. The media helps. The Dubai story is a fascinating one.
For me, it’s all down to that. How can I turn down an opportunity to see a city literally raised from the desert? Vegas without the sin, and less tacky and more beautiful. The tallest building in the world. Some of the most famous hotels in the world. A place where infrastructure projects of monstrous proportion are underwritten by the royal family. A place where the native population of Emiratis numbers only 20% and get paid to just be who they are. A place of vast wealth but also really good ideas. An oasis of peace and safety in the Middle East.
And so we shall report back.
Dubai for now: