Book Review: Only in Dubai by Sophie Robehmed

I have known the author’s Dad for a few years now – he, like me, is an Al Ain resident – so when he told me about her new book I had to get a copy asap.   I must confess to not knowing exactly what I was buying, but Sophie is a very talented writer so I was certain I would enjoy it, and I did.

“Only in Dubai: An Essential Guide to the Emirate’s Expats” is a tongue in cheek look at the expats you will encounter when you live/visit there – but the title is slightly misleading in that you will come across some of these characters in Abu Dhabi too, albeit in less concentrated numbers.  Heavens above – you will even find one or two in Al Ain, but more about that later.


I chuckled my way through the twenty chapters – even though I rarely head to the big cities I have encountered at least one person falling into each category.  One similarity between all expats is that we are here to make a better life for ourselves and our families but some expats hate every second (The Reluctant Expats) whereas others jump headlong into the experience (The Dubaiophiles).

Each category starts with a wonderful illustration by the talented Karim Al Dahdah, followed by an overview and some examples of where to find them and some things they are most likely to say.



Excerpt from next page

“Most Likely to say

“Nothing pleases me more than watching a camel, wild and free in its natural desert surroundings, as I sit on the sand dune on silence with a glass of milk fresh from its udders”

The Desert Diva is Guilty as charged!

Sophie has created a book which is interesting, witty and incisive without being offensive, which is just as well since in the UAE you can get into trouble for offending someone, even if you did not mean to.  It is beautifully crafted and well worth a read!  You can buy it in the UAE for 76AED from Magrudys, Virgin and WH Smith (and also in Sophie Studio, Hilton Hotel, Al Ain).  If you live anywhere else you can order it from Amazon. Buy it today – you will love it!

PS as I am not your typical expat and someone who dislikes Dubai except for the shopping and sailing opportunities it affords, I was certain that I would not fit under any of the labels – well, ahem, I fit quite neatly into TWO!

Signing off, Yours etc,
Culture Vulture/ Explorer

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