Friday, June 14

Dubai, Day One: Ghagra

It's not like I totally hate Dubai but I definitely don't understand why so many people come here for holidays. I guess Sun, sand and halal McDonald's just isn't quite enough for me. I can see why the whole crossing of cultures appeals - even though I not so secretly see that as a clich├ęd manifestation of identity crises.

And yet this marks the third time that I've visited here. I managed to pretty much exhaust the tourist trail on my first visit, and so it's quite telling that two out of the three visits have been so I can attend weddings. You see the thing is that although I don't feel Dubai as a geographical place, I (and I say this without reservation) love the people here - and as I found out almost a decade ago weddings are a wonderful, brilliant way to hang out with them.

So even though it was massively fun on this, my first day here, it was kind of expected that I would hang in parlours while ladies got their make-up tested, learn to sew sequins on a dupatta, be taught dance steps to Balam Pichkari and end up driving almost the height of Dubai at 3am in a tank of a 4x4 that passes as normal in these parts. This is why I came.

The truth is that I had only decided to come less than a week ago, and that only after the invite had literally dropped through my letterbox. I still don't quite believe that I left work on Wednesday to take the night flight that got me here this morning.

And already it's a decision I'm utterly glad to have made. Spontaneity rocks - who knew?

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Humaira Gulzad

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
Sun, sand, halal McDonald's and tanks is why Dubai is the best

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