On Getting by in Dubai and Such

So it’s been a year (ok maybe a little bit more) since I landed in Dubai and started the best blog in the universe (Ok no one said I wasn’t the most shameless self-marketer and my self's biggest fan). It’s been a roller coaster since, though it tends to slow down as you grow with the city.

Here are a few unofficial pointers for getting by in Dubai that all sorts of people can make use of, but is intended to the particular niche that Jordanians are.

1- Get an Indian friend: If you think I’m joking, I’m not. Indians know the ins and outs of all the legal and illegal systems and pointers for getting through any process. If they like you, they'll help you. I advise to kindly refuse any sweets offered to you. That face you're pulling masking your pain won't pass as delight whatsoever.
2- Get a Lebanese socialite. It is no secret that Lebanese get well with almost every other nationality, because they secretly hide contempt for every other nationality. In order to know all your restaurants, hot spots, night clubs and brands you need to tag along a Lebanese socialite like a loyal dog. Beware that this lifestyle can ensure a le in your pocket and head. Proceed with caution.
3-Don’t get a Jordanian boss: Your fellow countrymen are most likely to use and abuse you on the pretext that you are their fellow countryman. What’s a couple of extra hours at the office between family? Before you know it you're a living incarnation of a zombie and you have bags the size of boxing bags under your eyes and you're stupidly smashing through glass doors. So you’ve been forewarned.
4-Get your shit sorted out: You can’t as much as pee in the bathroom in Dubai without having a proper residency. I suggest you get it sorted as quick as possible and don’t be a moron and stall as if nothing is at stake. A useful tactic is a strategy religiously followed by married women called the infamous nag.
(Flashback one year ago)
Boss: How is your task coming up?
Me: I’m almost done. When will my residency be issued?
Boss: It’ll be ready within the next 3 days, don’t worry

(1 hour later)
Boss: wanna have lunch?
Me: Sure, when will my residency be issued?

5- This pointer was made for my own personal preference. Spare us the “We have this in Jordan” lame-ass joke. I heard it so many times on every single aspect of Dubai life that it churns my stomach every time I hear it.
Newbie from Jordan(looking around Sheikh Zayed Road in awe): Hatha zay tloo3 il-shabsogh 3ina, hehe (This is similar to Shabsogh street (Ok the Jordanian version is much funnier, so if you don’t know Jordanian, well, you’re the one to blame)
Newbie from Jordan (Looking at Dubai Taxi): Hatha zay sarvees il-3abali 3ina, hehe (This is like the taxi ride at Al-Abdali. For some reason, I feel obligated to explain a little more about those particular taxis. They are white, faded 70-something Mercedes Benz that carry 4 people for the lavish rate of approximately 1 Dirham through certain long routes. It is worth mentioning that such luxuries as personal space and air conditioning are non-existent and that’s where the famous hand-roll above the window evolved from. No really, if you see a guy with his hand rolled above the rolled down window holding a cigarette stuck in traffic, you can know that he’s an evolved specimen from the early Taxi driver.
And the most popular one..
(Drum roll)
Newbie from Jordan(Looking at Burj Dubai): Hatha zay Bawabet 3amman 3ina, hehe..(This is similar to Amman gate towers) It is also worth mentioning that those are the first towers to built in the mountainous city of Amman. It has taken 2 years and 2 poor Egyptian worker lives and is nowhere near completion. Ah well..

In conclusion, please leave the knife-wielding, belt-carrying, negative, complaining, bitching and moaning, tight-jeans, flat shoes - wearing, gel-styling, pinky-fingernail-growing, "p" "b"-switching, chain-cheap-cigarette smoking-Jordanian self behind.
Oo mishan Allah ma tidfa7oona, mish na2seen..

(And yes, I left this untranslated for a meaningful reason)


alexander said...

Highly amusing, perhaps a little cruel to your fellow Jordanians - this is, after all, the land of milk and honey.

I love the way that every ancient BMW with an extra large bore exhaust and screwed up bodywork is driven by a Jordanian. You can take the boy out of Shmeisani...

Anonymous said...

Dubai = hell (actually an imitation of hell as real hell has real fires with real sinners burning while Dubai has carefully recreated artificial fires burning subcontinental slaves).

Give me tloo3 il shabsoogh anytime

Desert Princess said...

But lucky for me, I have ample translation resources.. don't worry, won't breathe a word :P Thanks for the Dubai survival tips..woulda helped to know 3 months ago but hey, better late than never! It's off to Indian-hunting I go....

hemlock said...

you blogged before month end. things going ok at work?

sara said...

Indians happen to have the most amazing spiritual side you can ever see on someone :)

And hey, did you mean "flat shoes - wearing" for mean walla for women?

Izza for women, haz'al minnak khales!

sara said...


Expated in Dubai said...

@Alexander, well, what's a little tough love between brothers? :)
@Anonymous, ummm, ok. To each his own. Enjoy tloo3 il-shabsoogh
@Desert Princess, let me know how that works out for you :).
@Hemlock, do you I sense a tinge of caring in your tone? :P
@Sara, Yes I believe they do. As for flat shoes, I actually am not aware of any for women :)

hemlock said...


sara said...



You've never seen women wearing ballerina-like shoes?

that's all i wear :$

Expated in Dubai said...

@hemlock, :)
@sara, no I am not aware of flat shoes or ballerina like shoes..come to think about it... what does 'women' mean? :)

sara said...

like these Mr.:

I'm wearing this right now: