Happy times in Dubai

We’re talking about those split seconds when this city opens up its crane-like arms and gives you a cuddle. Here are the things that make us smile

Dubai Metro
Dubai Metro
Silent taxi drivers
Silent taxi drivers
View from the Sky Line Bar
View from the Sky Line Bar
Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Palm Island Atlantis
Palm Island Atlantis
Mojito
Mojito
Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Ravi's
Ravi's
Gold Class Cinema
Gold Class Cinema
Dubai Fountain
Dubai Fountain
Noodle Bowl
Noodle Bowl
More Cafe
More Cafe
Mr. T
Mr. T
1/16

1 The rare occasions when you step into a metro carriage and don’t hear the hypnotic looped spa music.

2 Returning from holidays and realising how nice it is to spend the remaining winter not fighting windburn or frostbite.

3 Greeting your local tailor/hairdresser/physio/doorman while out and about and realising you’ve become part of a little Dubai community.

4 Cheerful taxi drivers who are desperate to introduce you to their special mix of bhangra-happy-hard-house...

5 ...and silent taxi drivers. The ones who know when you just don’t want to talk or think at the end of a long day.

6 Those old-fashioned cola ring pulls. So antiquated.

7 Deliver-to-your-seat waiter service in Gold Class cinemas.

8 Spying a pink sunset behind the Sheikh Zayed Road silhouette.

9 The 7Days round at Bidi Bondi’s weekly quiz. May the points stack up.

10 The heavenly Pappa Roti buns in The Dubai Mall. So much pleasure in a bap!

11 Reasonably-priced vintage clothes at JBR’s weekly market. Style on a shoestring (or beaded necklace).

12 The words ‘all you can eat and drink’… until you literally have eaten and drunk all you can. (Then they mean a nasty stomach and headache.)

13 Dejunking your apartment for the new year (see www.takemyjunkuae.com).

14 Finally seeing some sharks or turtles when you’ve been snorkelling around Fujairah’s Snoopy Island for two hours.

15 Letting another driver pull out – and receiving a courteous wave of thanks for your trouble.

16 Spotting a man sporting a dishdasha/designer hat combo.

17 Page 20 of this magazine. Send us more pictures, people!

18 The view of the Palm from above as you fly in or out of the city.

19 Those landlords who are now begging you to stay, when six months ago they wouldn’t take your call about the broken toilet.

20 Comical language barrier miscommunications.


21 The huge range of mojitos at Warehouse. There’s a flavour for everyone (including rum-free).

22 Those brightly decorated trucks you see on the roads. A festival on four wheels!

23 The ridiculous pictures outside hairdressers and barbers in Satwa, including one of Bryan from Westlife during his curtains era.

24 When your building maintenance guy arrives in minutes and fixes your cold shower in less than 10. How long would it take elsewhere?

25 Finding hidden culinary gems in Dubai’s backstreets (far from the five-star hotels).

26 The news that 2010 is set to be the year of the remake: Karate Kid, Footloose, The A-Team. And having a feeling they’ll all be shown in cinemas here.

27 Realising you can recite the entire Arabic recorded message when the Etisalat phone you’re calling is engaged or off.

28 When your favoured food delivery joint recognises your voice.

29 Feeling no guilt about not going to the beach on that one day of the year it decides to rain.

30 Looking at the morning skyline and seeing the air crystal clear and untinged by smog.

31 The existence of places like Happy Sky Grocery, a tiny shop nestled in Al Barsha that will happily (get it!) bring a pint of milk to your door, and even bring you some chocolate on the house.

32 One-day laundry and dry-cleaning services that deliver.

33 The spectacular view of the Dubai Fountain from almost any café or restaurant in Souk Al Bahar.

34 When your fave local restaurant knows you and your dish (thanks Noodle Bowl on Diyafah!)

35 Leaving the cinema and realising you weren’t bothered by mobile phones, kids or projector breakdowns.

36 The fact that there are more More cafés popping up around the city.

37 The staff at the ice rink and bowling alley at Al Nasr Leisureland, who remember you from your last visit eight years ago.

38 The Burj on YouTube: search for ‘Samsung CF Burj’. This montage of the Burj Khalifa’s rise, set to Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’, just makes us grin a lot.

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