UAE 38 National Day

Honoring the 38th UAE National Day

The UAE has been the media spotlight – both positive (Abu Dhabi F1) and negative (Dubai World hiatus) – heralding a new era of Dubai Bashing (see my thorough how-to here) as well as justified criticism and the typical market flux a la Pelham 123 (so who made $300m now?).

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But today is the 38th UAE National Day, and these special occasions, like Eid and Thanksgiving and Christmas, are here to remind us of the greater good that we keep tucked in the shadows. For it is easy to dwell on our miseries and use them as our crutch to move forward, but it takes a movie scene, an Oprah episode or a family-feud-free-family-gathering to remind us that we have it good.

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What has the UAE given me? A good beating! Yes, and I am thankful for it. Tough love is what everyone needs, and tough is what Dubai is about. Being exposed to so many cultures (and, seriously, there are just so many nationalities here) teaches you to be tolerant and respectful to people around you. It teaches you how to collaborate and communicate effectively in teams and with individuals. It gives you pleasure when expats greet you with “Eid Mubarak” and inform you – genuinely – that their perception of Arabs has significantly changed through their stay in Dubai. And it lowers the barrier of the “them vs us” concept, when we all hold hands together for a cause, raising awareness through marathons and walkathons around town.

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On the sombre days, Dubai teaches you patience. It teaches you to network, to use your wits, to appreciate the value of money (and damn this city is expensive!). It shows you who your true friends are and how much value do you have in people’s lives, and they in yours. With Dubai’s every-changing population, and the tough competition – both on personal and career levels – it becomes quickly apparent who you should place your trust in.

But most of all, what I am truly thankful for is to be part of this “movement”, to celebrate the rise of a nation, no matter how much it stumbles on the way. When I have visitors over and show them around town, not all of them are impressed. “We have tall building in NY, so?”. Indeed, NY is a class of it’s own. But you won’t appreciate Burj Dubai unless you have seen it being built over the years, floor by floor. It’s difficult to appreciate or imagine that the 25km stretch of land between Dusit Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road and Jebel Ali was a desert only 7 years ago. It won’t make sense to an outsider as you describe how Garhoud Bridge was only three lanes, and how the 7 lane roads were 2-3 lanes only a few years back. It’s sounds ludicrous as you describe how one thing was here a few months back and now it shifted in its entirety to another location.

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Yes, Dubai functions and looks like a living being. It evolves and changes – too rapidly sometimes – but you, too, grow with it, and grow to love it. I don’t know about you, but I feel a deep sense of pride when I show someone around town or talk about the city. There is a sense of awe as I drive around town at night or take a trip on the metro just for the heck of it, to see the city from a slightly higher altitude.

 

So yes, you can bash Dubai or the UAE as you like, come up with rhythmic news titles and call yourself an expert in laughing at Dubai’s constant stumbling about, mediocre media, censorship, and the cult that is known as Etisalat.

But what has your city done or achieved in 30 years? 10 years? Last year?

  • http://www.missarafat.com/ Rula A.

    Sounds super fun.. Happy National Day :)

  • http://eshda3wa.blogspot.com/ eshda3wa

    happy national day !

  • http://eshda3wa.blogspot.com eshda3wa

    happy national day !

  • Anonymous

    Thank you dear!

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    Thank you dear!

  • http://www.missarafat.com/ Rula A.

    Sounds super fun.. Happy National Day :)

  • yaser

    I see that you have unfortunately sold your soul to the devil.
    are you Syrian or Emarati.. I am confused.tfehh.

  • yaser

    I see that you have unfortunately sold your soul to the devil.
    are you Syrian or Emarati.. I am confused.tfehh.

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com/ BuJ

    Great post!!! Happy National Day!

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com BuJ

    Great post!!! Happy National Day!

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com/ BuJ

    btw, is there a way to get notified via e-mail of a response to my comment? same way on blogger type blogs?

    muchas gracias senor!

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com BuJ

    btw, is there a way to get notified via e-mail of a response to my comment? same way on blogger type blogs?

    muchas gracias senor!

  • Anonymous

    Rula -
    Thanks!

    Yaser -
    I am Syrian living in the UAE. Considering I lived here more than I have in Syria I guess I am entitled to celebrate National Day here too!

    BuJ -
    Thanks! There is a plugin for that, thanks for taking note. I will install it shortly

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    Rula -
    Thanks!

    Yaser -
    I am Syrian living in the UAE. Considering I lived here more than I have in Syria I guess I am entitled to celebrate National Day here too!

    BuJ -
    Thanks! There is a plugin for that, thanks for taking note. I will install it shortly

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com/ BuJ

    yislamu 2idek! great stuff. thank you KJ!

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com BuJ

    yislamu 2idek! great stuff. thank you KJ!

  • http://thoughts-ahmad.blogspot.com/ Ahmad Hamdan

    Happy National day to Emirate and Hope for Dubai to go out of it’s crisis

  • http://thoughts-ahmad.blogspot.com/ Ahmad Hamdan

    Happy National day to Emirate and Hope for Dubai to go out of it’s crisis

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com/ BuJ

    yaaay thanks very much KJ for installing the “bombarded with updates” widget :))))

    always a gentleman!

  • http://bujassem.blogspot.com BuJ

    yaaay thanks very much KJ for installing the “bombarded with updates” widget :))))

    always a gentleman!

  • C.I

    I was born and raised in AbuDhabi- Yet I feel no sense of attachement Whatsoever to the Emirates. I got asked so many times, don’t you miss your school, your friends, the places where you hung out as a teenager? and My answer was always a No. I also always disliked dubai, I just feel like it is too plastic for my own taste. It lacks an identity. Nevertheless, I completely understand how a certain place can make you grow as a person.We tend to tie the experiences that shape us back to a certain place…
    But anyway, I did end up bashing the emirates ..haha..My Bad..
    It would be cool to read your thoughts on other countries you would consider living in and why…Hey..Maybe I should do that too in my own blog instead of just yapping away…hmmm..

  • C.I

    I was born and raised in AbuDhabi- Yet I feel no sense of attachement Whatsoever to the Emirates. I got asked so many times, don’t you miss your school, your friends, the places where you hung out as a teenager? and My answer was always a No. I also always disliked dubai, I just feel like it is too plastic for my own taste. It lacks an identity. Nevertheless, I completely understand how a certain place can make you grow as a person.We tend to tie the experiences that shape us back to a certain place…
    But anyway, I did end up bashing the emirates ..haha..My Bad..
    It would be cool to read your thoughts on other countries you would consider living in and why…Hey..Maybe I should do that too in my own blog instead of just yapping away…hmmm..

  • Faith

    Yay Nice =p
    Kel 3am e UAE W ENTW B5AIR
    HAppY B-DAY UAE
    my very 1st time here in ur blog ‘n loved it

    Check me i had a post for Emarati Bloggers
    in this lovely day of your country =)

    best Wishes

  • Anonymous

    Ahmad Hamdan -
    Thx man, inshalla it will :)

    BuJ -
    Glad to be of service!

    C.I. -
    Lots of people feel the same way you do, so there is no shame in admitting it :)

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    Ahmad Hamdan -
    Thx man, inshalla it will :)

    BuJ -
    Glad to be of service!

    C.I. -
    Lots of people feel the same way you do, so there is no shame in admitting it :)

  • Faith

    Yay Nice =p
    Kel 3am e UAE W ENTW B5AIR
    HAppY B-DAY UAE
    my very 1st time here in ur blog ‘n loved it

    Check me i had a post for Emarati Bloggers
    in this lovely day of your country =)

    best Wishes

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com/ hamza

    great post KJ.

    I appreciate what you did and UAE really deserves all the khair.

    I don’t claim that I have and understand the bond that you have with Dubai since I lived there for only half the number of years you lived in. Unfortunately, each time I go there, I feel like a stranger and that is because of how quickly the city evolves.

    Out of all the arguments against Dubai, I hate the argument where people say that Dubai is so ‘plastic’and fake. It is true that it might not have the culture that other countries might have, but at least they are trying to do something and as you have said, tell me a city that developed like this in 30 years or 10 years.

    I love Dubai and I bow to the Government and for everything they’ve done over the past year and I am sure that Dubai will come out of its crisis soon. (Whether you admit it or not, Dubai IS in a crisis)

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com hamza

    great post KJ.

    I appreciate what you did and UAE really deserves all the khair.

    I don’t claim that I have and understand the bond that you have with Dubai since I lived there for only half the number of years you lived in. Unfortunately, each time I go there, I feel like a stranger and that is because of how quickly the city evolves.

    Out of all the arguments against Dubai, I hate the argument where people say that Dubai is so ‘plastic’and fake. It is true that it might not have the culture that other countries might have, but at least they are trying to do something and as you have said, tell me a city that developed like this in 30 years or 10 years.

    I love Dubai and I bow to the Government and for everything they’ve done over the past year and I am sure that Dubai will come out of its crisis soon. (Whether you admit it or not, Dubai IS in a crisis)

  • C.I

    Hey Hamza,

    I made sure to personalize my comment about dubai’s “plastic-ness”. I merely said that it was too plastic–For my own taste.
    My comment(and opinion) is based on the evolution of my taste when it comes to liking or disliking a certain place. If you ask me 6 years ago, I may have told you that I liked dubai (It was and still is certaily a lot more interesting and progressive when compared to Abu Dhabi).

    As well, My comment in no way implied that Dubai’s economic growth is not impressive. Because the truth is (and as much as I hate it-because I am so biased:) ) it is quite impressive. However, it is quiet predictable- I mean, the Emirates is quite a rich place, and it would be a huge disappointment if the wealth was not invested to grow and develop their economy.

    And yes- Dubai is in a crisis.But hey, its fun to watch and read about! We are finally integrating with the world :)

  • C.I

    Hey Hamza,

    I made sure to personalize my comment about dubai’s “plastic-ness”. I merely said that it was too plastic–For my own taste.
    My comment(and opinion) is based on the evolution of my taste when it comes to liking or disliking a certain place. If you ask me 6 years ago, I may have told you that I liked dubai (It was and still is certaily a lot more interesting and progressive when compared to Abu Dhabi).

    As well, My comment in no way implied that Dubai’s economic growth is not impressive. Because the truth is (and as much as I hate it-because I am so biased:) ) it is quite impressive. However, it is quiet predictable- I mean, the Emirates is quite a rich place, and it would be a huge disappointment if the wealth was not invested to grow and develop their economy.

    And yes- Dubai is in a crisis.But hey, its fun to watch and read about! We are finally integrating with the world :)

  • C.I

    P.S. Can you note the horrendousness that is my spelling and grammar today?

  • C.I

    P.S. Can you note the horrendousness that is my spelling and grammar today?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rizwan-Shannu/100000638144186 Rizwan Shannu

    ASSALLAM ALYKUM UAE ……happy brithday UAE