Dear Dubai and Dubai residents
You ask why people live in Abu Dhabi, we must be bored? Don’t we wish we lived in Dubai?
No. We answer. We love our city. You know why? Let me tell you.
I’ve lived in both cities now – and I know the pros and cons for both.
Sure, Dubai gets more of the big events, and has more people.
But, there’s more to it than that.
I ask you: Dubai – don’t you tire of needing an hour to get from anywhere to anywhere?
We don’t in Abu Dhabi because our infrastructure can cope with our drivers.
We don’t need to merge onto shockingly small roads with 10,000 other drivers.
We have a grid system on Abu Dhabi island and highways connecting our hubs, rather than narrow single-lane roads providing crucial connections.
Sure we don’t have a metro, but we have buses, and everything’s so close – the max you’ll pay for a taxi anywhere is Dhs50.
You ask us: ‘Don’t we get bored?’
With the majority of the UAE’s wealth sitting in Abu Dhabi, we are offered a wealth of free activities.
Want to watch the UAE national team play the Socceroos? Go for free, it’s on in Abu Dhabi.
Want to see some amazing art? Go for free to Manarat Al Saadiyat, the Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibitions or one of the myriad galleries.
Think the nightlife is boring? Go to Aloft Rain Parties – they’ll blow your mind; rain machines, the best DJs in the country, fire-breathers, UV paint all around a swimming pool.
Or try the amazing house band at Heroes – sure it’s a bit of a small venue, but it’s always packed with people.
Or go to O1NE Yas Island, where they have headline acts, and amazing 3D imagery in a round nightclub that looks like something from the movies.
Yas Marina is a beautiful dining precinct overlooking the marina and Yas Viceroy. There are bars and lounges, with ladies’ night on Wednesdays, why not head there?
Oh, did I mention there’s a ladies’ night on every.single.night? (Yes, even the weekends).
Sure you have the Dubai autodrome, but Abu Dhabi has Yas Marina Circuit…and Formula 1 (need I say more?).
Run every Tuesday, or cycle – they have free bikes you can use – on the Yas Marina Circuit.
Friday afternoon? Head to Al Maya Island for an amazing beach and pool party with DJs.
And sorry, but ballet – sit in an armchair at the Emirates Palace and watch Swan Lake (rather than the football stadium style seating at World Trade Centre thanks).
Oh need a day out? Why not kayak through the mangroves, or do some stand-up paddle-boarding at Yas? Or do a snorkel-safari with Noukhada.
Everyone asks me: Isn’t Abu Dhabi more expensive than Dubai?
I’ve lived in both cities now, and I can say without a doubt – Dubai is more expensive. Sure there are more alternatives in Dubai for places to live, but other than that… no.
In Abu Dhabi, there are cheaper alternatives for food (shawarma are Dhs4 thanks, not Dhs14) coffee, parties, and oh, did I mention there’s a ladies night on every night of the week?
To break it down:
Taxis – cheaper in AD
Electricity – cheaper in AD
Palm District Cooling – doesn’t EXIST in AD
Food – cheaper in AD
Alcohol – cheaper in AD
Entertainment – cheaper in AD
Now I’m not saying Dubai is bad, but us Abu Dhabians, we love to live near it…not in it. What do you love about your city?