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  • Writer's pictureEmmanuel Adu-Awuku

Dubai - A city of dreams, A hustle of opportunities

Updated: Mar 30

Back again

Okay, okay, okay, I know we’ve been here before but this time it’s different. First time in Dubai was purely for pleasure, this time around, it was business…with pleasure of course. Dubai never misses on that.

Dubai felt different this time mostly because I had more time. First time in Dubai was a blur, pure thrill - I experienced Dubai’s “sin city” nature. This time around, I got the chance to experience its “hard working, hustle all day, hustle all night” nature and wow, I was more than surprised. It kept me inspired throughout my week; come along with me, let’s see how my day-to-day unfolded…


Monday, 03 February

Woke up at 3am to catch my flight. Everything was smooth all the way to boarding my flight and landing at Dubai International Airport. Consulting bae was in town and I was looking the part. I made a quick exit, called a cab and I was on my way to Downtown. Efficio’s office is by Dubai mall, with nice views leading up. I made it to the office as the team huddle was starting so phew.

Consulting bae

Right after, I said my hellos to the team and met my colleague, Abdelrahman from Egypt, for the first time - a stand up guy. We bonded a bit but quickly got back to the grind cause I’d lost time travelling, I was on the back foot.

I still had to check in so I left the office at 630pm. Guess what?! More views. The bright lights of Dubai were on show this time - absolutely stunning. The JW Marriott Marquis was my destination, commonly known as the twin towers in Dubai. I was checked in by Hope, a South African, the banter was great and off to my room I went. Hit the gym and went out to City Walk to catch up with Sandi. Lovely and quiet side of town, we went to Five Guys - suggested by Abdelrahman but honestly I expected too much. Five Guys was alright…

Five's a crowd


Tuesday, 04 February

Not too long after that I was back at JW prepping for the next day. I was familiar with the working routine, but not yet comfortable. Work was piling up and I wasn’t building enough momentum. Sleep wasn’t great so I was just holding myself together to get through the day. There were lots of interruptions and I couldn’t get to my tasks for the day, Consulting bae was needed on other ad hoc work - we killed that though.

Top golf

Luckily, the day whizzed by and we had our golf team bonding planned for the evening. Quick stop at JW, quick fire gym session and we could relax as a team - making a fool of ourselves trying to connect some swings. Simply relaxing, full of banter and drinks, and no less competitive - consultants want to win at everything! It was really nice getting to know the team outside of work. Back home to JW to rest.


Wednesday, 05 February

My most difficult day - my sleep wasn’t getting better and my stress levels were steadily rising. Luckily I had a dream team to keep me grounded and support me when I needed it. Mandatory team lunch, sprinkled with 10 minute hydration breaks, and a 20 minute sunshine break was a good reminder to breathe and keep calm.

Dream team

It was such a good end to the day so much so that I left the office later than I needed to. I had to skip gym for my dinner catch up with Sandi and Elizabeth - who I know from high school. Leaving the office wasn’t straightforward. I struggled to find a cab so I decided to gallivant around Dubai Address Downtown Hotel - oh my gosh, simply clean visuals, on camera and in real life. I had so many “no ways” moments. The luxury was visible. Dubai never misses on opulence and wealth - any day of the week, any time of the day, it’s present.

I eventually got a cab only to get stuck in traffic for 30 minutes. Habibi, don’t go to Dubai, it’s full - literally. Rush hour traffic in Dubai is horrible. I was anxious because I didn’t have data to check-in with Sandi and Liz - and I was running late for dinner, argh!!

Patience prevailed and I got to Amazonico; the ladies hadn’t arrived so that was good. Iram, one of the hostesses, gave me a tour of the place explaining the theme and everything - it was definitely giving MAMASAMBA by Rosebank. Eventually, the ladies arrived and we had a good time catching up over dinner.

Friends in Dubai

We cut dinner short because Thursday was still a work day to navigate and Sandi wanted to catch the AFCON semi-finals. Tough times were lasting there by South Africa v Nigeria. Sandi knows I like views so she suggested we walk through the DIFC to her hotel. It was a 30 minute walk but wow, it felt much longer - it was mesmerising. Just being immersed in the architecture and bright lights suspended time. It was breathtaking to be right next to such quality work - each building displaying its uniqueness without feeling out of sync. This place was crafted to look magnificent. It wasn’t by chance, it was intentional. That’s what I love about Dubai!!

Bright lights

Anyways, back to earth. We went up to the hotel bar, seeing South Africa equalise to take the game to extra time and potential penalties. I had tapped out, I was back at the hotel packing for my check-out tomorrow morning


Thursday, 06 February

I was excited to check out. I was missing Riyadh, I was missing my home. But we still had six good hours to clock in. My focus was laser sharp, and consulting bae was on it. I literally maximised every passing minute - I do wish I had this intensity from the moment I landed in Dubai but oh well…

3pm hit and it was time to say bye to the team and Dubai office. It was such a nice time, I enjoyed every minute and the challenges I had to navigate. Getting to the airport was anxious but traffic cleared up so I wasn’t in any danger of missing my flight.


Everything was mundane after check-in - immigration, security check, escalators, train, and finally boarding my flight. It was a smooth flight, mellowed down with some Afrobeats and RnB, while reading [The Asian Aspiration] and reflecting on the week that was Dubai.

Getting home was even smoother. One, two, and 30 minutes later I was home unpacking and catching up on Formula One. I was home, I could switch off in peace. I was back to being Habibi…

My second time in Dubai was quite marvelous. Weekday Dubai is all about the hustle and chasing the next opportunity while weekend Dubai is a party, too much of it and you’ll get lost in the sauce. Let us know which side you experience when you head to Dubai. Follow me on social media and stay tuned to discover and live new (and not so new) destinations with Global Ville.

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