Life in Dubai

Good bye South Africa! I’m out of here! See you in two years when I’ve made loads of money. Then drinks will be my treat!

Famous last words of a single woman who decided that South Africa is not the place for her. Yes, those are my famous last words. Ten years and 2 children later, here I am still in Dubai trying to make my loads of money. Although I don’t have millions saved in the bank, life is really good.

I was and actually still am so amazed at how this country functions and how comfortable life is here. I’d like to share my top 8 things I LOVE about Dubai.


What are those?! The roads in Dubai are in excellent condition. Coming from South Africa where the roads are a nightmare, Dubai is like driving on a red carpet. For the first year, every time I was on the road I was so happy that I didn’t have to dodge a pothole.


No matter what fruit you crave, you are sure to find it here in Dubai. The beauty of imported fruits, is that you do not have to wait for the right season. It’s the right season somewhere in the world and they simply get imported for our convenience. Definitely worked in my favor during both pregnancies. Absolutely love it!


I didn’t know what the hype of home delivery was, until I had my first worst hangover ever. You have the pick of any greasy saucy hamburger on this planet, as long as it’s in Dubai. Then there’s the luxury of home delivery for groceries, bottled water, fruit & vegetables, medication, nappies/diapers, monthly beauty/grooming products, fresh meat from a butcher, ice cream, McDonalds, furniture, clothing …you get the idea. All of this saved me from landing behind bars. I’m serious! With two small children, rude people and no patience for wasting time shopping, it’s better for everyone that I get things delivered. Who wouldn’t want to.


Just the other day I was reminiscing about a good old Friday brunch. A brunch is where you get to eat and drink as much as you physically can for one price. In some people’s cases, they consume a ridiculous amount of alcohol and provide the best entertainment. For free! But seriously, brunches are great. It gives you time to sit back, relax and really enjoy life.


Bus, taxi, metro, tram, uber and careem. There is not a single place you cannot reach within the UAE. I find it surprising when someone says they don’t have a car and can’t make it to an appointment. Truly the worst excuse anyone can use. However, in a mothers defense, it is relatively difficult to travel by public transport with two or more children. Although, with one child it is really convenient as uber and careem offer a baby and toddler safety seat.


You can pick up a number of good deals in Dubai if you wait for the right time. It almost feels like there is a sale all year round. They have a few large ones that last a good couple of months. I don’t always find current trends, but last seasons fashion works for me.


Dubai is the HUB for international talent. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are part of most world tours for artists. I have had the privilege to see Madonna, Prince, Ferri Corsten, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Snoop Dogg, Metallica and Justin Bieber live in concert. Yes, you read that right, Justin Bieber.


Coming from a country that is full of crime, corruption, racism and unemployment, the safety unfortunately is something that is left up to private security companies. It took me almost 2 years to get comfortable with the idea that I can leave a window open and not worry about a burglar, but more about the dust. Driving and not seeing beggars on each traffic light, rushing to hide your purse, mobile phone & jewelry, truly is a delight.

Every country has its pros and cons, but living in Dubai the pros outweigh the cons by far.

by Odette van Jaarsveld

I am a Mom to an independent, beautiful little girl and a strong, cuddly baby boy. I also have the privilege to be a wife to a very intelligent, handsome man. My life is filled with so much love, joy and very busy days....sometimes nights too.

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