10 Being first to arrive at brunch
We still remember the day we were the first customers at a Dubai brunch. Like the first man on the moon, or an explorer setting foot into the Arctic for the first time, the earliest diners at brunch are pioneers in uncharted territory. The ice carvings are fresh, sauces are unspooned, fruit bowls are pristine, the floor around chocolate fountains is drip-free and every mouthful of the immaculate display is, for a minute or two, all for you.
9 30 seconds of Dubai rain
It is water that comes from the sky and every single one of us has seen and felt it before. But the mildest drizzle is enough to have zombie-like crowds drifting out of hotels and offices like alien abductees staring up at the mother ship. All have smiles on their faces and palms raised to the sky in wonder that such a thing could happen in the world.
8 A compliment from a stranger
You’re squeezed into a Metro carriage and 17 people are all eyeing the one available seat and 35 more are performing some sort of toe-stamping ceremony that seems to be organised in your honour. But none of that matters, because as you were stepping onto the train, somebody exiting said they like your shoes, and now you’re walking, or at least limping, on air.
7 An unexpected flight upgrade
Truthfully speaking, this should not be on this list. It is a very small gesture for the airline, but as anybody who has ever been upgraded on a long haul flight, the free bump-up to first class is up there with the birth of a second child or finding a forgotten tub of unopened ice-cream at the back of the freezer in terms of serendipitous delight. Take the news with resigned dignity and resist your urge to Macarena down the economy class aisle.
6 Free samples
Four fries in a ketchup pot, a teaspoon of ice-cream, a shot of smoothie, a sachet of dandruff shampoo – it really doesn’t matter what you’re given, as long as it is free. Even a billionaire (we hope) would be pleased to be handed a mini stress ball with a smiley face and company logo on it in a shopping mall promotion. So have no shame. Stuff your satchel with freebies.
5 Somebody new at bootcamp
Rejoice and sing from the rooftops because you are no longer the newbie at your military personal fitness training camp. Let it be said that you are still the sweating, panting blob you have been for the past six sessions, but at least there is somebody behind you in the motivational pecking order now. Until the moment they inevitably overtake you and progress to advanced push-ups you are within your rights to give them smug advice and support.
4 Water slides
Don’t be a grouch, everybody likes sitting on a giant tractor wheel and plummeting down a plastic chute in their bathing suit while listening to the screams of the schoolchildren who pushed ahead of them in the queue.
3 Jumping up and down on a hotel bed
Mum and Dad were right, if you jump up and down on your bed it could break it. But we are proud to say, we have never once failed to trampoline on a staycation bed and not be deliriously happy. It is doubly satisfying if you punctuate every bounce by shouting “boing” at the top of your voice.
2 Spotting a camel roadside
It doesn’t matter where you are from, how long you have lived in Dubai or the amount of time since you last went into the desert. Passing a camel is enough to make you smile. We’ll happily slow down and say hi every time we spy one.
1 Waving thank you to another driver
It might just be common courtesy to give a nod, wave or smile to thank another driver for letting you pass first at a busy junction, but the truth is, it happens so rarely you will astonish them. Do it more often and feel good about yourself for the rest of the day.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He likes to keep it simple.