1. Being called Ma’am-Sir
From supermarkets to restaurants there is rarely an occasion that you are greeted with the correct moniker but rather an impressively seamless combination of the two.
2. Having someone pump your petrol
In fact a stop in at the petrol station is a full service experience, you can have your windows cleaned, pick up a coffee, some new perfume and get the air in your tires topped up, all without ever leaving the ACed comfort of you car.
3. Being able to have literally anything delivered to your door
Pizza, burgers, fish & chips, sushi, groceries, flowers, dry cleaning, hair dressers, nail technicians, car mechanics…but getting your post delivered to your house can be a little bit tough; go figure.
4. “Sweet Water” trucks
It took me years to find out what these were; giant tankers trucking down the highway with sweet water plastered across the side in big bold letters…what on earth is sweet water?! It’s fresh water.
5. People brushing their teeth in mall bathrooms
In fact it’s not just green brushing, sometimes you feel like you’ve walked into someone’s personal bathroom as their various personal bygone products spread across the counter top.
6. Needing an alcohol licence
You can’t just pop down to the shop in dubai and pick up a bottle of wine to have with dinner, no beers you have to have a license which you’re employer has to pay and then you’re limited to a certain amount of booze a month based on your salary…
7. Pork sections in the supermarket
Hidden behind a sliding glass door is the land of bacon, an expensive place when all your pork needs can be fulfilled. But only some shops house the sought after pork section so choose wisely.
8. 20Km grace on speed limits
In a land when super cars are about as common as Ford Fiestas of course there’s a generous margin on the speed limits.
9. Having someone pack your groceries
Convenient? Sure, but having to lug 10 bags up to your apartment instead of the because the guy won’t put me than four items in a bag, not so much. Oh, they will also take your shopping to your car and load it for you.
10. Wearing jumpers in the summer
When it’s pushing 50° outside you can bet every shopping mall, office and school will have the AC set to just about freezing, so yes you need a jumper.
11. Smoking in restaurants and bars
Okay not all restaurants, mainly just ones that serve alcohol but yes, you can still smoke inside here and it leaves you going home stinking if smoke.
12. Leaving your phone and/or handbag at the table while you go to get food
Dubai is pretty safe and living here you often take that for granted, leaving personal belongings unattended in malls, at brunches, in clubs; people even leave their homes unlocked and cars running.
13. Ladies only queues
Found in government buildings, hospitals and banks makes only queues are fairly common. Though weirdly the desk is often manned by a man…
14. Grocery shopping at 3am
Yes really… You can also hang out in the mall until 1am and grab dinner in most restaurants until at least 11.
15. Everyone speaks English
Some not as well as others but enough to get by, very few people will try to speak to you in Arabic, in fact your probably better off learning Hindi, Tagalog, Urdu or Russian if you want to pick up a new language.