When I first moved to the UAE two years ago, my heart firmly belonged to Bur Dubai. I swore that as long as I lived here, I'd never leave. Until now.
Can't beat Bur Dubai falafel
When I first moved to the UAE two years ago, my heart firmly belonged to Bur Dubai. Once I'd learnt to navigate the hectic, winding streets, eaten my fill, found the best - not to mention cheapest - place to pick up a portion of crisp, fluffy falafel and discovered how close my flat was to the pretty, meandering lanes of the Bastakiya, I swore that as long as I lived in Dubai, I'd never move.
Friends used to laughingly ask when I'd up sticks and move somewhere more central and I'd tell them that I was perfectly content where I was. After all, Bur Dubai had character: I liked the fact that on a Thursday or Friday evening, crowds of people gathered to sit and chat - by the side of the road or on a random piece of grass outside the supermarket - and I loved seeing the area transformed into a multicoloured mass of twinkling lights as Diwali approached.
Gradually, though, my defences started to become worn down. The drive to our Dubai office in Media City slowly but surely began to feel like a bit of a slog; when I travelled to Abu Dhabi it was even worse, particularly when, after saying goodbye to my Marina-dwelling colleagues who made the journey with me, I knew I wouldn't be home for another half an hour or so.
As more and more of my friends migrated towards the newer part of the city and meeting for an impromptu coffee became all the more improbable, I started to reconsider my options. When things started to go wrong with my flat - the door leading to the kitchen came off its hinges and the AC packed up all in one week - I decided to make a move.
And you know what, as much as I feel like I'm being a traitor to Bur Dubai to admit it, I'm really rather glad I did. I like waking up in the morning and being able to see the boats in the Marina, it's really rather pleasant living so close to the beach and it's great being able to see my friends more often.
The only thing I'm missing now is a truly great falafel spot. So, if anyone would like to make a suggestion, you've got my email. If not, it looks like I might be making my way back to Bur Dubai every 10 days to get my fix.