Friday 5 October 2018

I don't want my experience of Dubai enhanced.

 I don’t want my experience of Dubai enhanced.

It's been almost 4 years since we moved to Dubai and so much has changed. New roads, buildings, a canal, investment. Everything to encourage new people to move here, preparation for 2020, new airport, new tallest building in the world under construction. You can see the changes over on #mysundayphoto tag.

Talking to other people who have been living here much longer than I have, they say similar ‘Dubai is growing’ but the response to it from the expats and locals I’ve met is ‘we don’t like it’

I feel the same way, when we first moved here, prices for tourist attractions were considerably lower, life was a lot cheaper and more simple. Now there are very few places offering resident discount or preferences. We can no longer take our dog to the beach, out into the desert, our nearest park was been reduced by 50% due to the new water canal and the facilities inside have gone down hill. Other parks charges high entrance fees and are over crowded on weekends and in the evenings.

What’s annoying me the most however is the reduction of access to public beaches. We lived 1km from the nearest beach, currently NOT on the tour bus route and apart from 1 cafĂ©, showers and toilets and a life guard tower. The beaches either side of us now have food shacks, allow jet skiing and kite surfing, have umbrellas and chairs for hire and hold regular events.

The free beach, already slightly reduced in size and a new harbour wall is being built.

With the creation of the new canal and land being built to accommodate hotels, malls, restaurants etc, it won’t be long before our local beach is full on weekends as local residents get edged of their bit of beach and then due to the numbers using the beach, there will be more facilities and amenities, trouble parking, crowded beaches and tour buses stopping.

All this of course is great for tourism and the economy, but it’s not great for us locals, the people who get edged out for the tourists on the weekends and evenings. More and more rules are put in place and sanctioned. I can’t cycle along the beachfront or walk my dog. I can chose to drive out into the desert to cycle on the established cycle track now complete with restaurants and visitors who aren’t visiting for recreational purposes. More people come out to the lakes with the introduction of new facilities, but then there is more mess, more traffic and weekend events. 

But to encourage more visitors out the lakes they are now being stocked with birds and wildlife, which means dogs are now banned from the area and we’re being forced to spend money on entrance fees into private owned dog exercise companies, that already exist, and I use, but when the demand outstrips the space, that will be limited also. Dog friendly public spaces are limited, there are a handful of cafes that allow you to sit outide with your dog, more and more of the developers are banning dogs from areas such as Dubai Marina, forcing people to either give up their dog or move to more expensive areas.

I’m sure I’d have similar experiences living in other cities around the world. I no longer have kids at home, so I’m not interested in child friendly play areas, of which there seems to be plenty of in Dubai. Dubai seems to invest substantiality into families, education, child discounts, which is good for encouraging new families to move here, but for those of us here without kids, or whose children have grown up, all that leaves us with is nail bars, gyms, sports clubs and brunches.

None of which I’m particularly interested in. What I’d like to see is more public open spaces, a park I can take my dog to. More cycle tracks in the city and being allowed to take my bike on the metro so I can reach the quieter areas of Dubai to explore, away from the none stop tourism I get caught up in daily.

Have you noticed changes around the area you live in? 


  1. Encouraging tourists is great but it's not so good for people like you. That is such a shame about dogs being banned from so many places.
    There is a seaside town near us. My fella grew up there and 12 years ago when I met him there was a lot of little affordable cafe's now they are aimed at tourists. £15 for a pizza! No thanks. I would much rather have the all day breakfast for under £5. lol

    1. I find everywhere is getting so expensive these days, but in tourist areas, the prices really do go up an awful lot

  2. I live in a tourist area and about 15 minute drive from the beach. I honestly do not enjoy going because of all of the traffic. I have not seen the ocean in 4 years! No joke! LOL So, I totally understand what you are saying.


    1. oh the traffic and parking, that's a whole other issue

  3. It seems near us, any open space is being built upon. Its understandable as there are plans to build an underground station so of course with more direct links to London the council are happy to allow more houses to be built. Shame as our hospital is already too small to cope with the population it covers and now with more people and more hospital closures, it will buckle under the pressure!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow.

    1. fortunatley in Dubai as they build new houses they also build new school and hospitals but it's all private investment