Home is where the heart is

Dubai, as seen today, is the epitome of modernization. From being the most prominent hub for traders and travelers in the 1950s to being the most attractive shopping destination in the world; from being known only for its vast expanses of beautiful deserts to being home to the tallest building in the world; Dubai has achieved great heights in such little time.

Born and raised in Dubai, I’ve called this city my home for 22 years now. It’s almost like Dubai and I grew up together. From playing at the Creek-side Park when I was five years old to now dining at its renewed self – Al Seef Dubai, I cannot believe how much has changed around me in such a short span of time.

The Umm Suqueim Park with all its different swings, slides and merry-go-rounds, the Fun City in Bur Juman Center (one of the only malls back then), the Jumeirah beach with the view of the iconic Burj Al Arab and the Mc Donald’s in Khaleej Center with the play area attached to it, were some of my favorite spots around the city as a child. Quite different from back then, now I spend most of my time shopping at the Dubai Mall, watching movies at Vox Cinemas and exploring all the amazing restaurants around the city to fulfill my foodie cravings. I still enjoy sitting by the Jumeirah beach while absorbing the view of the Burj Al Arab – I guess some things never change!

The best thing about Dubai is that even though it is approximately 2500 kilometers away from India, it gives us NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) so many wonderful opportunities to still be connected to our culture. It allows us to express almost all our social and religious beliefs with so much liberty. I love how the U.A.E. joins in celebrating diversity at every opportunity it gets. We celebrate Eid, Christmas, and Diwali with the same enthusiasm – with decorating malls, firecrackers being burst and lighting the city up. The U.A.E. always strives to enhance the lives of all its residents and makes sure that everyone living here is able to become their happiest selves.

Although much has changed over the last two decades, what Dubai means to me, remains quite constant. As we celebrate the 47th National Day of the United Arab Emirates, I take immense pride to be known as a resident of Dubai and to call it my birthplace. This place has given me an abundance of bitter-sweet memories to hold on to forever and I will always be grateful to the leaders of this nation for giving me such a wonderful home, away from home.

- Submitted by Leontia D'silva, Junior Digital Executive