Our member Ms H. Sengupta was immensely worried when her daughter took up a job in Dubai and went abroad. But her first visit there made her happy, relaxed and proud of her daughter’s decision. She shares her exclusive memories of Dubai.
At that time, we used to stay in Orissa, a place called Belpahar. My daughter used to work in Bombay (now Mumbai). One day she called up and informed us that she had got a new job and it was a great opportunity for her to go abroad, to Dubai. This was in 2001, we obviously being very protective didn’t want her to go abroad, and suggested she continued her job in Bombay. But as opportunities were rare in those days, she decided to take it up and fly to Dubai, leaving us anxious.
After settling down in Dubai, one day she asked us if we were interested to go to Dubai? As it is we were anxious of her safety and security, so my husband and I immediately agreed. Visa and tickets were arranged by her.
On the opportune day we started for Mumbai and then left for Dubai. The sight of Dubai itself was dazzling and it looked grand. From the airport the car sped through the smooth wide roads of the outskirts to the main city. The sands around were glittering and the roads were lined with date palms. The city was adorned with big showrooms of various kinds. All the places were absolutely spic n span and dazzling.
My daughter used to stay in a studio apartment which had everything for comfort. We enjoyed staying over there. The next day she took us to a mall nearby for shopping. Mall culture had not started in India yet, so we were astounded by the glaze and glamor. Since Indian currency didn’t work there, we used Dirham the local currency. We bought a lot of things but mainly food items which seemed different to us.
The sea was nearby my daughter’s apartment. An old market was adjacent to it where antique things were sold. We also went to a museum nearby. It preserved the native Arabian lifestyle, their utensils – pots and pitchers, camel rides, robes and attires. A very astounding fact was the presence of a Hindu temple there. It was a small temple of Sri Krishna and Shiva, beautifully decorated. There we received desi ghee laddus as prasad. There was also a Gurudwara adjacent to it.
At the beach we were fascinated by the huge ships going by, there was also a big boat lit beautifully which I kept gazing at mesmerized. Later I was told that it was a cruise which was taken on rent by affluent people to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries and such events. Along the sea beach a beautiful paved way was created, beside which there were benches at intervals for people to sit and enjoy the spectacular view. On the other side there was a lawn which had lush green short grass. A striking thing was a clock made on the grass which depicted the actual time. On our way home we could see plenty of shops on both sides of the road. Though everything was available in our country, the way the things were displayed in the shops, attracted us a lot. We bought a few souvenirs and memento as a remembrance of Dubai and also to gift our friends and relatives.
We also went to see the famous Burj Khalifa, the main attraction of Dubai. People were found walking in the streets even after midnight. Shops were open till late night and all communications were available too. In Kolkata or Belpahar, everything seemed quiet and asleep by 9 pm. Dubai was absolutely in contrast.
So, the fear that we initially had about the safety of our daughter eroded completely. We realised that it was an absolutely secured place, even better than Bombay for a girl to stay alone. We were happy to have visited Dubai and even more happy of our daughter’s decision to shift there.