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Whenever I hear these words I am filled with dread because usually the opposite is true. Dubai is an ever expanding city and new developments seem to shoot out of the sand like mushrooms. As this is a city of renters and greedy landlords, friends move often. They move to new places that may or may not be finished. First time visits often involve complicated and detailed directions as many developments seem to find using street and house numbers unnecessary.

So, I might get sent something like this by a friend:

Take the old Emirates road (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed rd/311). Take the slip road just before the petrol station and turn left at the roundabout. Go straight through the next 4 roundabouts, then do a U-turn and take the second right. Go as far as you can, then go off road and cross over the sandy patch until you get to the road. Turn right. Go left at the roundabout. Then you will see a security gate, smile and wave. Go straight, take the third right, second left, second right then you will see shells of empty villa’s on the left side. Just after them is a very small entrance. Take it then once you have passed the empty villas you will see a row of pink ones that are finished. Go past them and turn left until you see the next row of villas, yellow this time. Our house is the 13th on the left with the flower pot outside and Pajero outside.

All fun and games that add to the excitement that is driving in Dubai!

The funny thing is though, that one year you feel like you are living in the middle of no where. Nobody knows how to get to you, you can’t get a taxi or a take-out delivery and your nearest supermarket is 20 min away. However within a year you are suddenly part of the centre of the city. Everybody knows where your community is located and you know you’ve really hit the jackpot once they open a Spinneys.