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'alternative' dubai

'alternative' dubai

Old Nov 10th 2010, 1:18 pm
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Default 'alternative' dubai

Hi

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, I couldn't see it. Also, apologies for the appalling pun in my screen name

My fiancee has been offered a job (out of the blue! He didn't apply for it) in dubai. He's an engineer. I currently work for an indie publisher in London, managing editorial and design. We not sure whether to go for it or not. I have a couple of questions that will help us decide what to do.

Is there an 'alternative' scene at all? We're typical Brixton-dwellers so the idea of endless strip malls and the stereotype (which I'm sure is just a stereotype) of ex pats isn't exactly appealing. Do people house share? I love living with other people, especially when I don't know a place!

Is there much of a publishing industry in Dubai? I do have some experience designing stuff in Farsi which of course bears more than a passing resemblance to Arabic, but really I'm an english book designer and editor, so would there be a place for my skills?

Also, when I see stuff about women in Dubai, it all says 'cover up'. My other question is what exactly does that mean in practice? I'm not a risque dresser at all, but just want some clarity! I assume I'd be alright to go about my business on my own, or not? Sorry to be so ignorant....

H x
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Originally Posted by dubai_curious View Post
Hi

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, I couldn't see it. Also, apologies for the appalling pun in my screen name

My fiancee has been offered a job (out of the blue! He didn't apply for it) in dubai. He's an engineer. I currently work for an indie publisher in London, managing editorial and design. We not sure whether to go for it or not. I have a couple of questions that will help us decide what to do.

Is there an 'alternative' scene at all? We're typical Brixton-dwellers so the idea of endless strip malls and the stereotype (which I'm sure is just a stereotype) of ex pats isn't exactly appealing. Do people house share? I love living with other people, especially when I don't know a place! Lots of people house share. There is much more to Dubai than huge shopping mall for those that want something else.

Is there much of a publishing industry in Dubai? I do have some experience designing stuff in Farsi which of course bears more than a passing resemblance to Arabic, but really I'm an english book designer and editor, so would there be a place for my skills? Most definitely. Large publishing industry, lots of it in English.

Also, when I see stuff about women in Dubai, it all says 'cover up'. My other question is what exactly does that mean in practice? I'm not a risque dresser at all, but just want some clarity! I assume I'd be alright to go about my business on my own, or not? Sorry to be so ignorant.... A little modesty is good, but nothing to worry about.

H x
Comments in blue.

Out of curiosity, what's your view of a stereotypical expat?
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Thanks for your quick response! Very helpful.

Well, I wouldn't say it's *my* view of a stereotypical ex pat, rather a common (mis)conception, but someone who doesn't engage with the culture in which they live, is disrespectful, loud, drinks loads... Basically like your typical 'brit abroad' or the idea of a bar owner in the Costa Del Sol who thinks the empire was a golden period of history Totally overblown of course, but it's good to find out the truth, however silly the question might seem

I publish travel literature mainly, and have heard some real horror stories from people who have worked in Afghanistan about the ex pats there!! Good to know about publishing! I know there is a lot of publishing in the ME, but good to know about Dubai in particular.

H x
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Originally Posted by dubai_curious View Post
Thanks for your quick response! Very helpful.

Well, I wouldn't say it's *my* view of a stereotypical ex pat, rather a common (mis)conception, but someone who doesn't engage with the culture in which they live, is disrespectful, loud, drinks loads... Basically like your typical 'brit abroad' or the idea of a bar owner in the Costa Del Sol who thinks the empire was a golden period of history Totally overblown of course, but it's good to find out the truth, however silly the question might seem

I publish travel literature mainly, and have heard some real horror stories from people who have worked in Afghanistan about the ex pats there!! Good to know about publishing! I know there is a lot of publishing in the ME, but good to know about Dubai in particular.

H x
Sadly, we have plenty of those here, as anywhere else. To be fair, it's rather hard to 'engage with the culture' for many as Emiratis make up less than 15% of the population.

We can all tell you horror stories and you'll have your own in the ealry months especially, but in time you can avoid the idiots and only hang out with decet people, of which there are many. (Even on this forum, despite some pretending otherwise!)

Life in the UAE is pretty much what you make of it. You can mix with all different types of people, or choose to stay within a homogenised group.
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Originally Posted by Meow View Post
Sadly, we have plenty of those here, as anywhere else. To be fair, it's rather hard to 'engage with the culture' for many as Emiratis make up less than 15% of the population.

We can all tell you horror stories and you'll have your own in the ealry months especially, but in time you can avoid the idiots and only hang out with decet people, of which there are many. (Even on this forum, despite some pretending otherwise!)

Life in the UAE is pretty much what you make of it. You can mix with all different types of people, or choose to stay within a homogenised group.
Wot she said.
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Thanks again.

Are there places to look for house shares like a dubai based gumtree or somesuch? Also, would it matter that we'd be cohabiting and not married? Where do people hang out if you can't drink? Not that my life is pub-centric in the slightest *ahem*. I do enjoy a good shisha, so is that something that people do?

Apologies if these are totally stupid questions.
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Originally Posted by dubai_curious View Post
Thanks again.

Are there places to look for house shares like a dubai based gumtree or somesuch? Also, would it matter that we'd be cohabiting and not married? Where do people hang out if you can't drink? Not that my life is pub-centric in the slightest *ahem*. I do enjoy a good shisha, so is that something that people do?

Apologies if these are totally stupid questions.
Technically living with someone of the same sex to whom you are not married is illegal. That said plenty do it. In the same way sharing accomodation in that way is apparently illegal, but that's more to stop certain nationalities living 20 to a house.

For house shares look on www.dubizzle.com

Who says you can't drink??? Hundreds of licenced bars & restaurants in the UAE (expect Sharjah which is dry) but the prices will make your eyes water.

Shisha is an Arab custom.

I suggest you get hold of a book called Dubai Explorer which is very useful, especially in the first year.

Right, after all that positivity and helpfulness, I need a lie down...
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Amazing, thanks so much for all your help!
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Originally Posted by dubai_curious View Post
Amazing, thanks so much for all your help!
boyfriend is an engineer, marine?

Last edited by Blue Cat; Nov 10th 2010 at 2:21 pm.
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Originally Posted by dubai_curious View Post
Hi

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, I couldn't see it. Also, apologies for the appalling pun in my screen name

My fiancee has been offered a job (out of the blue! He didn't apply for it) in dubai. He's an engineer. I currently work for an indie publisher in London, managing editorial and design. We not sure whether to go for it or not. I have a couple of questions that will help us decide what to do.

Is there an 'alternative' scene at all? We're typical Brixton-dwellers so the idea of endless strip malls and the stereotype (which I'm sure is just a stereotype) of ex pats isn't exactly appealing. Do people house share? I love living with other people, especially when I don't know a place!

Is there much of a publishing industry in Dubai? I do have some experience designing stuff in Farsi which of course bears more than a passing resemblance to Arabic, but really I'm an english book designer and editor, so would there be a place for my skills?

Also, when I see stuff about women in Dubai, it all says 'cover up'. My other question is what exactly does that mean in practice? I'm not a risque dresser at all, but just want some clarity! I assume I'd be alright to go about my business on my own, or not? Sorry to be so ignorant....

H x
Whilst generally authorities turn a blind eye to expats co-habiting, since you've indicated you speak/read farsi and mentioned Afghanistan, I'll assume your family originate from somewhere in the greater Khorasan region and your name and physical appearance would match that.

You therefore would be assumed to be Muslim here - whether you are or not - and to behave like a good muslim woman. Not being a msulim with your background would of course be apostasy so seriously not good. Your neighbours, in a house sharing area, would almost certainly shop you to the police for co-habiting sooner or later. This would not be good for you here - very different rules are applied to muslim women than to 'infidel' westerners who are assumed to be morally pretty much bankrupt.

You'll also find almost no alternative scene in the sense of what you're used to in SW2. I think you may find it very sterile. The music scene is very bland and the clubs generally either lebo-flash or full of hookers. There are a couple of quite fun African clubs in Deira but really that's as close as you'll get to anything 'alternative' here. Give us a clue of where you like to hang out in London and we can tell you if there's something similar here.

Having said all this, it's also probably nothing like the stereotype generally held in the UK so definitely worth a visit and have a good look round to see what you think for yourself.
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Haha not at all, I'm a "morally bankrupt Westerner" Celt from Wales, and my engineer fiancee is from Southhampton.

I just have Iranian friends in London, who I've been helping with their album design (http://ajammusic.com/); I don't speak Farsi, I've just worked with it. And I publish books from all over the world. One of my authors is called Waseem Mahmood and his book, Good Morning Afghanistan, does talk about expats. I could see how you'd draw that assumption though. And my name is a silly pun. My real name is Helen.

To be honest, I would maybe just get the marriage certificate anyway, if it would make it easier. We are going to get married in six months anyway so it's not a big deal.

I'm into my music, but have a quite a divergent taste. I like quite grungy music, or any live music to be honest. I love the band I'm working for. I'm not expecting squat parties and a wild Brixton lifestyle (been there, done that, thrown away the tie dye t-shirt), to be honest I'm pretty adaptable. I'd be happy with some good pubs, some live music, some debates, and good friends to share food with.

Thanks for all your help...

xx
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 2:45 pm
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Marine? Do you mean what kind of engineer? Infrastructure and Transport.

And my last post is being modded, so it hasn't shown up yet. Maybe I said something controversial
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Haha not at all, I'm a Celt from Wales, and my engineer fiancee is from Southhampton.

I just have Iranian friends in London, who I've been helping with their album design (ajammusic dot com); I don't speak Farsi, I've just worked with it. And I publish books from all over the world. One of my authors is called Waseem Mahmood and his book, Good Morning Afghanistan, does talk about expats. I could see how you'd draw that assumption though. And my name is a silly pun. My real name is Helen.

To be honest, I would maybe just get the marriage certificate anyway, if it would make it easier. We are going to get married in six months anyway so it's not a big deal.

I'm into my music, but have a quite a divergent taste. I like quite grungy music, or any live music to be honest. I love the band I'm working for. I'm not expecting squat parties and a wild Brixton lifestyle (been there, done that, thrown away the tie dye t-shirt), to be honest I'm pretty adaptable. I'd be happy with some good pubs, some live music, some debates, and good friends to share food with.

Thanks for all your help...

xx
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Originally Posted by dubai_curious View Post
Haha not at all, I'm a Celt from Wales, and my engineer fiancee is from Southhampton.

I just have Iranian friends in London, who I've been helping with their album design (ajammusic dot com); I don't speak Farsi, I've just worked with it. And I publish books from all over the world. One of my authors is called Waseem Mahmood and his book, Good Morning Afghanistan, does talk about expats. I could see how you'd draw that assumption though. And my name is a silly pun. My real name is Helen.

To be honest, I would maybe just get the marriage certificate anyway, if it would make it easier. We are going to get married in six months anyway so it's not a big deal.

I'm into my music, but have a quite a divergent taste. I like quite grungy music, or any live music to be honest. I love the band I'm working for. I'm not expecting squat parties and a wild Brixton lifestyle (been there, done that, thrown away the tie dye t-shirt), to be honest I'm pretty adaptable. I'd be happy with some good pubs, some live music, some debates, and good friends to share food with.

Thanks for all your help...

xx
Lol - no real names on here

Grungy music not big here - though there are a few Pinoy bands who play a bit of nirvana now and again (Rock Spiders at Music Room are pretty good and the pub next to Capitol Hotel on Mina Road - can't remember the name - have a few bands doing that kind of stuff). We also have Linkin Park playing Abu Dhabi on Friday, though Chester promised not to swear...so maybe getting better.
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Old Nov 10th 2010, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: 'alternative' dubai

Oh dear, Linkin Park is better?
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