I grew up in these deserts, and although I have no Emirati roots, this country is embedded in me. No matter where I travel to, be it the streets of Manhattan or visiting family back in Manila, it’s only a matter of time before my heart starts to crave for Dubai. The streets of Satwa were my hood. Riding my BMX around my parking lot was how I spent time as a pre-teen. Sinbad, was the only amusement centre at the time, and the few dirhams I got as pocket-money was spent playing Street fighter in the arcade machines. Dubai City Centre rocked our teenage years when it first opened, we were so over Al Ghurair by then.
I remember my dad driving us around Trade Centre, and my sis and I would look at it in awe mesmerised by how tall it was. And now, it’s the skyline of JLT, the Marina and JBR that attracts all the newbies.
This country survived the empty deserts, the emptiness and the depths of the recession, and I know, it’ll always find a way through whatever the future holds.
Dubai is a goldmine for most, tax-free, and a place most ordinary people can easily become millionaires. But for me, it’s more than just a money ground. Most of my friends have been raised here, some even born here, and although we’re still not entitled to a passport, citizenship, or any ‘privileges’, this is a city that will always live in my heart.
Happy 41st ya Emarat ! Can’t wait to live many more years in this beautiful country !