First Impressions of Dubai: Through the Eyes of a Kiwi

Well, I made it here in one piece. (But with only one piece of luggage - who knew that 30kgs extra was going to cost £800?) On the plane, I started watching La La Land and literally feel asleep in 10 minutes. (You know I'm tired when I  fall asleep and miss the free plane meal.) I haven't been sleeping lately as I've been far too excited; I officially now live in Dubai!

Some of my friends in London found it strange that I was moving here without ever visiting. (Though, many of my GOOD friends told me that I would  love it.) As you know, I've lived a few places around the world; if you're ready for a challenge, prepared to be alone and excited to meet new people, then why shouldn't you enjoy something different? 


Everyone always has something to say about everything so I feel I came prepared for the worst. 

Being a single woman in the UAE, I was concerned wth how I may get treated but everyone is very polite. I've had help with directions, catching a taxi, topping up my metro card - you name it. I've FELT respected.

Dubai is very clean; there is no litter anywhere and the streets are washed down. The summer sky is gray and there is sand instead of grass - so different from NZ but so incredible! All the buildings are glossy and shiny and bigger than I had ever imagined.

I thought The Mall of the Emirates was huge but Dubai Mall is even bigger. So big in fact, taxis drive you around inside. One of my colleagues mentioned she got lost in there for 8 hours - I believe her.


If you follow me on my Instagram story (@briar_prestidge) you would have seen on Day 1 I went to the hotel gym to burn off all my excited energy, and then went exploring by Marina,  Jumeirah Lake Towers and Jumeirah Beach Residence.


When I'm standing in my heels and looking at this view it's hard to believe I grew up with sheep and cows (and goats, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, fish, worms, pigeons...)

When I'm standing in my heels and looking at this view it's hard to believe I grew up with sheep and cows (and goats, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, fish, worms, pigeons...)

As Dubai is rather spread out, I don't have that 'closed in' feeling like I used to get when I lived in NYC. (Perhaps I'm used to big cities now?) The Metro is straight forward and has carriages in the front for women and children. It isn't a requirement to stand here, however there is always more space. Taxis are also really cheap or you can rent a car.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was hopeful to find a room in Marina, and after a day or so searching on Dubizzle and looking at a couple of apartments, I have happily put down a deposit for a room on the 29th floor in JBR with sea view.  I'm sharing the apt with four Brits and one Aussie - isn't it dreamy? 

You all have been asking me what it's like to rent here (yes, it is expensive) however, you get a lot more for your 'buck.' My new apt is huge with four pools and a gym in the complex. I think back to my apt in LES, Manhattan - a shoe box for which I paid a pint of blood for every month.

On Day 2, I woke up to the sun shining through my curtains, put on my SPF 50, and went to a pool party at Zero Gravity with my friend Lauren who was visiting from the UK. For 200 AED you get unlimited food and drinks. There were many delicious beverages, and even my favourite food - sushi! 

Music was playing, there was some theatrical fire, steam, and girls in costumes - all overlooking the sea. Such a great atmosphere.

For the last two days, it's been back to reality for me, and back to work. However, I'm absolutely loving my new job! I am now a Recruiter for Marketing (offline and online, from executive through to director level) for Dubai's leading agency, so if you know of anyone wanting to relocate to Dubai let me know! 

An awkward tourist photo down at Dubai Marina.

An awkward tourist photo down at Dubai Marina.

I'm looking forward to sharing my new home with you!  Also, in the coming weeks I will be sharing my tips for rapport building and improving your price margins so you can kill it in the work place. Because who doesn't like making money? (If you missed my post on cold calling you can find it here.)

If anyone has further questions on Dubai or my move, I would be more than happy to answer. You can comment below, email me at or Facebook (Deals in High Heels). To see my obsession with skyscrapers you can find me on Instagram @deals_in_high_heels.

Until next time, 

Briar Prestidge xx