Things I will miss about Dubai:
1. The weather in late Autumn and early Spring. This cannot be beaten.
2. The swimming pool on the roof of my apartment block. I doubt I’ll have one of these in Sakhalin. Maybe a skating rink, but not a swimming pool.
3. Multi-screen cinemas.
4. The shopping malls. Normally avoided, I will surely miss being able to buy all manner of clothes, household goods, and electronics all under one roof. The first time I need a new pair of jeans, I know I’ll be wishing the Bur Jamman Centre had a branch in Yuzhno.
5. Driving about in a Mercedes coupe.
6. Clean streets. I know they are covered in litter and sand, but at least it’s dry dirt. Your car doesn’t get covered in sludge, and your shoes don’t need a polish every day.
7. Being able to nip out to the grocery store without changing clothes or putting on a jacket.
8. The abundance of electrical and computer shops, and the prices at which they sell stuff.
9. The Viceroy bar in the Four Point Sheraton hotel, and one or two other bars and restaurants.
10. Seing the sun shine every day without fail.
11. The Fillipino band in the Sea View hotel.
12. Cans of Pepsi for 1 Dirham.
13. Proximity to a major airport served by a pretty decent airline, and a superb geographic location for travelling.
14. Scuba diving. Although I’ve heard you can do this in Sakhalin, if you bring a pickaxe with you.
15. Watching live Premiership football immediately after work on a Saturday and Sunday.
16. MBC2. I know they show a lot of crap, but I’m going to miss it. I really liked how they had no watershed for showing 18-rated films. You could wake up on a Friday morning and find yourself watching an uncut Platoon.
17. The general benevolance, or laziness, of the police. They leave you alone, which is good. I’m going to yearn for this after a year in Russia.
18. Dirt cheap petrol.
19. Seeing Dubai’s megaprojects completed. I know half of them won’t be, and the other half will be white elephants, but I’d still liked to have seen the Burj Dubai and The Palm finished.
20. The guarantee of doing next to bugger-all at work in the three months of summer and a month of Ramadan.