8 Reasons Why I'd Much Rather Live In Dubai Than Grind It Out In Toronto During My 20s
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Full disclosure, if I could, I would move to Dubai in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, my life is currently in Toronto, but hopefully, I will return one day.
I grew up most of my life in Dubai, and my family lives there. Working for a fully remote company means I can work abroad for a few months out of the year. So I've spent several months working in Dubai for a Canadian-based company and the flexibility has been great.
Nevertheless, I wanted to share what Toronto lacks and why I think living in the Middle Eastern city during my 20s would have improved my life.
I'm not saying Dubai is the perfect place to be for everyone. But, with the lifestyle I would like to have and what I look for in a better life, I found that the United Arab Emirates has much more to offer me.
Here are eight reasons why I think life in Dubai in my 20s is better than in Toronto.
So many people there are young
Some people believe that Toronto is filled with many young people just starting their careers and attending university. But Dubai is honestly where it's at.
I wouldn't suggest moving there for university by any means. Instead, in an ideal world, I would have gained my education in Toronto, started working for a few years, and then moved to Dubai around 25.
The city is filled with people in their mid-20s to mid-30s, all trying to live the best life possible and surrounding themselves with people from all different backgrounds.
Many beach spots, rooftop restaurants, and various places cater to the twenty-something-year-olds and it just makes you feel like you belong.
I'm tanned all year round
Mira on the beach in Dubai.
I didn't know I could get this pale till I moved to Canada nearly ten years ago for university.
My skin sometimes feels like I'm Edward Cullen's sister in Twilight. For me, the sun is a need, not a want. And, lately, Toronto is not providing. With more gloomy days and rain, the winter feels too long and the rest of the year too short.
Even though summer is the best time to leave Dubai since, ironically enough, it gets way too hot at that time of year, the city is always warm and sunny. In other words, you won't be a shade lighter than tan all year round.
Everyone my age is motivated and driven
Dubai feels like a real-life LinkedIn page where people are always motivated and inspired to share their latest projects or work news. On the other hand, Toronto feels like most of the people my age are comfortable where they are and not looking to become better and greater.
For me, it feels like young professionals in Toronto are not motivated — in other words, it looks like I'm doing things right, but it doesn't feel like it.
Whereas in Dubai, it feels like there are so many jobs, positions, and companies that are ready to take anyone willing to do the work and it feels more inspirational.
The city never stops hustling
Aerial view of Dubai.
No matter where you are in Dubai, there is always someone hustling. Whether that's opening the newest food truck or the most extraordinary art gallery. Dubai never stops.
You could go somewhere one month and head to the exact location the next and find something new.
People my age over there talk about investing in medical device companies or just being involved in the stock exchange and I feel too young to think this way. Honestly, I wish I could be around these conversations more often.
No income tax
Did you know that the money you make in Dubai is the money that will be deposited in your bank accounts? There is no income tax in the UAE.
When I moved to Toronto and realized that I had to file taxes, which meant the government would take money from me, I was shook to my core.
In the UAE, you will spot some things that impose a tax, but when it comes to your paycheque, you get what you make.
There's an actual beach
Kite beach in Dubai.
Even though there is a beach in Toronto, I wouldn't necessarily call it a real beach because, to me, a beach means the sea and sand. Not a lake and sand.
Lake water is so nasty in Toronto. It's slimy and makes your hair smell weird for days.
I don't even sit by the water when I go to Woodbine Beach. I prefer watching people volleyball because the water is just gross. Whereas in Dubai, the beach is beautiful and therapeutic.
The water is blue and refreshing and you get out of the water feeling like you belong on "Bay Watch," so let's not call the beaches in Toronto beaches, please.
It's a very fitness and health forward culture
Mira at a boxing gym in Dubai.
A lot of day-to-day plans revolve around when people are doing their daily workout and where to get a smoothie afterwards.
Many of the famous Dubai spots have gyms in them because people work out. Arguably, Dubai's workout vibes are much more prominent than in Toronto.
It might be because the winter in Toronto is basically bulking season to keep you warm during the cold months, and Dubai is a summer city. Staying healthy in Toronto seems more difficult than when I lived in Dubai.
Also, the various kinds of workouts offered are overwhelming. There are so many new things to try in Dubai, which makes for a great after-work activity with friends.
There's a better nightlife
A beach club in Dubai.
Where do you party in Toronto? King Street West? College Street? Are you a bar hopper on Ossington?
While the nightlife doesn't suck in Toronto, it's not the greatest, in my opinion. For any ounce of luxury, you must pay an arm and a leg just to have a good time.
Don't get me wrong, Dubai is not cheap, but when I am willing to pay for a good night, I will have a great night. In fact, even if I want to have a cheap night out, I will still have fun and not be disappointed, unlike the nightlife in Toronto.
I am 28 years old and feel old when I go out in Toronto. Meanwhile, in Dubai, it feels just right.