That is not really the question anymore – I moved here midnight last night. It wasn’t really a question in the first place – it makes a lot of sense. I’m starting a role tomorrow as an Associate Creative Director with an innovative agency who flew me out here two weeks ago. They sold the city to me the way any agency should sell good creative; directly, discerningly, with insight, genuine enthusiasm and no nonsense.
On Saturday April 16th I was on a deflating airmattress in a friend’s Brooklyn flat, two feet from a cat licking its turd-flecked arse. By Wednesday, after tears, hugs, hangovers, days in airports, two overnighters and fourteen hours sleep since the previous Thursday, I was sipping dark rum in the Armani hotel below 800 metres of Burj Kalifa, beside the world’s biggest fountain, which periodically spazzed to the notes of Thriller.
In two weeks I’ve said “Hey, missed you!” “What’s going on in your life?” and “I’m off now” to friends and family I’ve missed very much for the last year. Sister and brother are both getting married in the next 12 months. Our 19-year-old dog is literally on his last legs and has breath mum says “smells like Cancer”. My records are caked in dust. Leeroi, my ventriloquist puppet, looks maniacally depressed. The bees are coming into the conservatory to die. Even the pond looks like Yoda could pull the Millennium Falcon out of it. It’s time for something new, but half a world away?
Last night Europe prepared for Eurovision, as I watched rows of Kuwaiti oil-fields blaze in the dark from 35,000 feet.
Everybody starts new jobs. Everybody moves somewhere new. When I moved to New York I’d corroded my corneas (long story) and was clinically blind for the first fortnight. My workpass looked like I’d had an altercation and I wore sunglasses for a month, in corporate meetings at a Fortune 100. At least this time I can see signs/curbs/children/pets/rubbish bins.
I’ll be working in a fully emerged, burgeoning economy, by no means stagnating as nervous Europeans declare it to be. (They could’ve done with being this critical about another financial market three years ago). From the 11th floor of Media City, looking down over a pulsating Sheikh Zayed road, the spirit of this city is fast, and I better get up to speed.
I’ll be writing, drawing, reading, swimming and maybe skiing. I might try sailing. Probably drinking – responsibly (and not combined with sailing- but drunken offshore sailing would make an amusing and expensive sport). I’ll be meeting up with old mates and making new ones.
I wouldn’t be human to not feel stabs of “What-the-Flip?” and go slightly mental about the satanic hotel-corridor soundtrack of four panpipe songs on a loop: Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton and Daniel Flippin-Beddingfield. For the next month. I won’t see the rest of the Brilliant “Game of Thrones”. I won’t be able to run up to strangers and talk at them the way I used to, but I’ll get used to it. And I won’t be giving a quarter of my pay to George Osborne.
So there’s not really a question of Dubai or not Dubai, but to go DuBIG, and do it properly. Dubish Dubosh Dubang.