It's been a long time, UAE, but I don't miss you

It's been a few years since I have left the UAE. At that time, most UAE expats immediately considered me an idiot who made the "mistake of his life". But did I?

Most of my friends, especially my best friends, immediately declared me as an irrelevant person because, in their perspective, leaving the UAE is as if I left the galaxy itself. I used to live in the "UAE is #1" bubble myself, and whenever a colleague would leave my company or the country, I would imagine them starving to death on the street. But the opposite was true, I was the one starving, starving for happiness, and I was filled with jealousy whenever someone was able to move on from the situation they are in, regardless whether it was a positive or negative reason that leads to that. As Rachel Wolchin said, "If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet".

A month or two after I left, no one from the UAE would even keep in touch with me anymore, not even donate a single like on my photos (likes are hard these days). You know you left the UAE when you find yourself with absolutely 0 friends. I don't hold a grudge on anyone, and I absolutely understand the mental imprisonment they are living in. To them, they see the UAE as the past, present and the ultimate future, and anything not part of the UAE is not part of them. Ironically, the only people that do ever keep in touch, are the ones that either left the UAE or the ones that are planning to leave.
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Every now and then, I make an effort to reconnect with as many of my UAE people as I can. Most do not respond, not even a small reply to my brief text or voice note. But there are those that do respond, and although we have beautiful positive conversations where we revisit past memories, the conversation almost always eventually leads to a negative stage of complaining about how things are getting worse in the UAE. From their jobs getting harder, to them feeling like slaves, to the economy and politics affecting their quality of life, all the way to how X got deported and how Y got let-go due to cost-cutting. Listening to these complains kills that tiny little part of me that misses the UAE or wants to go back and visit.

The simple act of leaving the UAE opened up my brain in a way that it never was. Thinking outside the UAE bubble helped me discover new opportunities, it even helped me rediscover my own self and abilities. Anyone who still follows my social media (and yes, many stopped), would see the REAL happiness that I am in, unlike the FAKE happiness that I used to portray in the past, which is a common habit by UAE residents.

Yes I admit, I do not and may never have the financials and facilities I used to have in the UAE, but at least I have my happiness, that the UAE in all its glory failed to provide me. As for my life right now, it's never been better, and I love telling people how life outside the UAE can be a beautiful thing and how there are so many beautiful places to explore that are not filled with sand and useless fancy buildings. I don't do it for bragging, but I do it to help people escape the bubble they are in.

So to the UAE I say, I'm sorry, but I do not miss you. I do miss a nice old greasy Chicken Fillet from the cafeteria, but I do not miss you at all.

Has anyone ever found out what they put in that Chicken Fillet?

5 comments

  • Very well said, I think this is the same issue with most of the Middle East countries. I was in Bahrain for a long time and realised that work/malls/food was not everything in life. People need a sense of security and homeliness which no Middle East country can give.

    SS
  • Even though i was born and brought up in Dubai, after 26 years of my life in Trap called UAE.
    I’M Finally out of that show off bubble two months back.
    I’m pretty much happy and more successful back in my country.
    And now finally I’m traveling the world.
    Able to save a lot money by not living in UAE.

    Nasir Ahmed
  • Even though i was born and brought up in Dubai, after 26 years of my life in Trap called UAE.
    I’M Finally out of that show off bubble two months back.
    I’m pretty much happy and more successful back in my country.
    And now finally I’m traveling the world.
    Able to save a lot money by not living in UAE.

    Nasir Ahmed
  • Hii dear.. Thank you soo very much for writing this post. You have come like a messenger to me, who has told me that I should not feel guilty about what I am thinking. I was really planning to move out of UAE because as you said, that bubble is just artificial. When I came for my vacations to India, I felt like people are so lively here, full of joy, even if they have very little with them still they are happy with it. In UAE it’s more of show off, just to show your relatives in India that you are having a crazy life there but the truth is exactly opposite.. All my friends and relative were questioning about my decision that why do I need to do this as people usually or I shall say people always do the opposite, as over here they can see UAE glittering like gold. But after being in India, I thought why shall I come to my country back only to enjoy senior citizens benefits, why shall I not come now and contribute to the economy of the country. I always had a pinch of doubt on my decision, but after reading your post, I am 100% confident about my decision, and shall surely go ahead with it.

    Tanvi Shettigar
  • Hi dear you have done an awesome job to leave the uae. Here is no one happy. I am also planning for myself leave uae as soon as possible. I have read all your detailed text you wrote everything 100% true and reality. I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree with you. I salute to you.

    Sajid

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