What do you think of when you think of Dubai? Beaches?
Endless shopping malls? WAGs? Amazing skyscrapers (including the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa), logic defying tourist attractions (skiing in 40 degree heat, anyone?)
I have now been there a total of 5 or 6 times over the last 18 months or so, each time for work purposes. Despite my best intentions, I have never managed to get round to taking any time off to really see much of the place (there goes that working mother guilt again), but thanks to various colleagues at least feel like I have managed to experience enough of the bars and restaurants that make up a lot of the vibrant nightlife. This time, I even managed to spend an evening at Dubai Mall, drooling at the Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks, and putting into action a little part of my continued wardrobe workout (post on that one to follow, I think).
If I really wanted to, I think I could probably move out there tomorrow. Everyone who is "anyone" in my division currently seems to be relocating there. I have certainly contemplated it. It is hard not to be seduced by the sunshine and the vibrancy of the place.
I then have to remind myself that going somewhere for a week's work is in no way the same as living there full-time. The weather is pretty much unbearable for my pasty Northern European complexion for 6 months of the year. (We went out to a beach bar on Wednesday night, and when we left at 11.30pm it was still 38 degrees C.) My children would not be able to play outside. I would not be eating out in fancy restaurants, and I certainly would not be frequenting bars every night! What would my husband do? Most of those moving there so far have been men, with wives that either do not work, or seem to be able to give up their jobs easily. I can't see OH joining the expat wives club.
So, for now, I will enjoy my regular trips over there, and use the chance to occasionally pretend that my single, work hard, play hard days are not far behind me...