Week three of the #nobuyzone has been slightly more challenging than the previous two as I was on holiday – sort of – in Dubai.
My husband still has some business links out there, I had air-miles to use up before they expired and it was a sort-of anniversary too. Twenty years ago I packed up a house, waved it off to storage, got on a plane with two young children and headed out to join K (who had already been living there for a couple of months). We stayed for 7 years and saw the country expand and prosper at an exponential rate as we raised our two small boys. It was a great place for a young family, but eventually we were ready to head for home when secondary education beckoned.
Many of our friends in Dubai stayed there and we caught up with them this week, got a bit of a tan and toured favourite Dubai places: it says a lot about our lives there that food and drink were the focus – we were never beach club fans or sun-worshippers!
Oddly life there used to include a lot of malls: first off it was a good place for a walk if the temperatures were soaring – the air conditioning was heaven! But it’s got to be said that shopping was a feature of the lifestyle. There are dozens of malls, thousands of shops and all the recognisable brands from around the world from M&S to Crate and Barrell. Most westerners were out on an ex-pat income (and usually tax-free) and earning more than they had at home so maybe a little more free-spending than usual.
I liked spending on our villa: picking up candle holders and cushion covers, kitchen do-dabs and cookware, but many people I knew loved the fashion shopping and spa treatments – you could always find whatever you were after in one of Dubai’s many malls!
So we visited a couple of shopping haunts and had a stroll around the country’s biggest centre. And what a weird feeling it is to wander up and down a shopping mall and not browse the shops – I didn’t particularly feel particularly virtuous or deprived – just disinterested. I had made a couple of things to wear for the holiday as a treat and that was enough. I don’t know if this will last but if it does not buying should be doddle (yep, that’s likely….)
Naturally I didn’t take knitting and so my works in progress are still …well, in progress. I’m at the armholes of K’s sweater so that’s good, but to be honest that’s about it. Hopefully I’ll have more to show you next week. In the meantime here’s a little collage of pictures I took of the Abu Dhabi Louvre – a newly opened and wonderful addition to the capital of the UAE.