In this week’s update, I talk about what I’ve been up to in my second stint in Dubai since leaving Australia as well as the relatively unchanged state of worldwide travel since last week’s update.
Dates: 05DEC21 – 19DEC21. This information is only current as of these dates. The rules are changing rapidly, and it is imperative you consult the IATA travel map before planning anything.
The Global travel situation is largely unchanged from last week’s Unrestricted Traveller Report. Southern Africa is still locked out most of the world (although some countries like Australia have opened back up to them) and Colombia is going full steam ahead with their new measures. England is maintaining their ‘Plan B’, however looks unlikely to increase restrictions due to the Tories (the conservatives) pushing back against these measures.
A quick shoutout to my home state NSW which was freed from a lot of restrictions this week on the 15th of December. Hoping that trend continues there and around all of Australia!
Dates: 05DEC21 – 19DEC21
Umm Suqeim, Dubai. I am staying in a hotel called the ‘Metropolitan’. Rates in Dubai around Christmas time and New Year are really expensive, even moreso this year because of the 2020 Dubai expo that has been taking place since November. Earlier in my journeys, I stayed in ‘Downtown Dubai’, however in this date period, I wanted to experience a more suburban area near the beach. I can say with confidence that the area I am staying in now has 90% less traffic and would be a lot better suited for day to day living.
I am training at ‘the J-Club’ which is an extension of the 5-star Jumeirah Hotel in Umm Suqeim. It costs me around $10 to drive there and back to my hotel every day, and trust me it is worth it… The rates to stay there are insane! As for the gym itself, as you would expect of a 5-star resort, it has all the amenities one needs and MORE. Although pricey, the gym justifies this by offering stacks of free water bottles and towels when training and when relaxing in the magnificent steam & sauna room. You are also able to access a lap pool outside, as well as a tennis court. After you’ve finished a workout, you also get 10% off at the restaurant right next to the gym which offers amazing protein shakes and very succulent meals. If you have the money to spend, this gym facility has all you need.
Pretty much all I’ve eaten here comes from the aforementioned restaurant next to the gym. It is pretty pricey if you’re eating there everyday, but I just keep coming back because the food there gives me everything I need and more. From tender steaks to creamy carbonara, all my tastebuds are satisfied without me needing to be too adventurous in my food choice.
Restriction Rating Flying in:
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being amazing and 10 being impossible, the restrictions flying into Dubai are 1.5/10. The only thing most countries have to do is provide a negative PCR. You show this to the airline you are flying with, and once you’re in Dubai it’s smooth sailing. The border process is extremely quick and efficient, and you’d have to be wanted by interpol to be knocked back at the airport.
Restriction Rating on the Ground:
I discussed a lot about the restrictions on the ground in one of my previous blogs, so I’ll keep this section short. In Dubai the restrictions on the ground are a 5/10. Although everything is completely open for business, there are some oppressive rules on mask wearing everywhere as well as some rules that severely dampen the nightlife.
Cultural Shocks & Differences:
Once again, I highlighted some aspects of cultural differences in Dubai in my previous blog, however the longer I stay, the more I learn.
The main cultural aspect of Dubai I have noticed being here longer is the real transient nature of the place, which contributes to the reason it is so safe and wealthy. People from all over the world come here in their best and most productive years to work tax free, and to make money that they can send home. The Government of Dubai really leaves you alone with the expectation you’ll be working hard and contributing to society through your consumption while you’re here. It is for this reason they do not offer any foreigners a UAE passport, only residency. As a result of these ‘hands-off’ policies, the country has experienced massive growth in the past 20-30 years and will continue to do so (in fact somebody told me they had already started the process of building a building taller than the Burj Kahlifa!). If you want to learn more about how the Government operates with no personal, corporate, capital gains or wealth tax from its population, sus out the video below!
Nothing much to report on in regards to nightlife. I did go out a couple of times during my first trip to Dubai from 06NOV21 to 20NOV21, however I tend to use Dubai as a base to focus on work rather than play. The couple of times I did go out however were okay. I talk about this a bit more in my recent video about Dubai that I have embedded below!
Business & Investment:
Since being in Dubai, I’ve really had the opportunity to sit down, take a breath and sort things out structurally in my business. There’s still quite a way to go, and it’s looking like I’ll need a couple more months to figure everything out, however I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The main thing I’ve done since being here is start the formation of my Dubai company. Through having this Dubai company, not only will I be able to keep my money in a jurisdiction with no reporting or auditing requirements, and with stable banks, but I’ll also get a residency permit. This means I’ll have the right to live here for however long I want. A good plan B to have in my pocket for the immediate future.
As I said last week, I have not thoroughly looked at investments in a while. The only interesting thing I spotted in the news cycle this week was the collapsing Turkish Lira. This could present an opportunity for extremely cheap house prices, as well as a really cheap holiday.
General Insight & Cool Uncategorised Stories:
Been a rather uneventful two weeks. I have pretty much spent my time completing a Uni assignment and focusing on everything finance, residency and business.
Pretty sure I picked up a cold or something throughout the week, so I had to take a day off from gym. I am writing this on the 17-18th of December, and am due to leave to South Africa in 2 days. Hoping a positive PCR doesn’t ruin my travel plans!