Rise and shine in Dubai

Our man says morning is the best time to see the city

The Knowledge
The Knowledge

I’ve never quite understood why mornings get such a bad rep. They’ve been going on long enough (every day since the dawn of time, in case you were wondering); you’d have thought that people would be used to them by now. Yet it seems the majority of us still emerge from bed with all the grace of a mortally wounded walrus. I, on the other hand, greet the day with the same enthusiasm as Gene Kelly in an American in Paris – the only differences being that I’m English, I live in Dubai and I can’t tap dance. But that isn’t the point. I like nothing more than rising to start my day as the sun peeks over Dubai’s jagged skyline: Exercise! A cooked breakfast! Coffee! Rah!

Cue simultaneous snorts of disgust from all you late-nighters, but I just can’t figure out how a sunny disposition before 9am is treated with the utmost disdain, whereas staying up until 1am watching mind-numbing telly is considered normal. I’m always ready to be sung to sleep by the engines of flashy cars queuing up on The Walk at the reasonable hour of 10pm, because late nights only lead to unpleasant mornings. You wake up angry, get stuck in traffic on the morning commute, get angrier, then arrive to work ready to commit heinous crimes against humanity. And no, wearing big sunglasses inside doesn’t trick people into thinking you’re not sporting a couple of bin liner-sized bags under your eyes.

Besides, Dubai really is a far better place in the morning. Close your eyes for a second and imagine the things you dislike about living here – the traffic, the heat, whatever – then make them disappear. Cool, eh? Well, this is what happens every morning: the only time of the day in August when you can actually step outside without being reduced to a damp, dithering disaster of a human being. Streets are conspicuously clear of loud, badly behaved children, and the roads are free of loud, badly driven cars. The only traffic is the stoic procession of buses that come with the daily changing of the concierge – the end of the night shift for some, the beginning of a long day for others, and a reminder for us early risers of the people who really make Dubai tick. Perfect.

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