City of Gold

Arriving in Dubai, you come to see incredible wealth, the City is a buzz, business seems to be on a HIGH, the film business is certainly booming. The new desire to keep up with the Jone’s means innovative content is the new buzz word and this is a wonderful addition to the film world, as corporates compete for attention in a busy market.

One of my first commercial shoots to attend was this commercial involving, two high performance cars racing around a track at high speed with the camera vehicle tracking it capturing some awesome footage. This seems to be a norm here, pushing the boundaries and doing fabulous work. The creative concepts and creative execution here in Dubai really is top notch and Boomtown-Productions is a leader in this area. The companies reel is mind-blowing. Boomtown-Productions is my new home till the end of 2021, with further potential going forward.

Where you make big bucks, the costs are also high, Dubai is not cheap, it is really easy to spend 50 USD in a day and that’s just doing and UBER and buying a pretty plain meal. So if you planning on moving be aware the living costs are not cheap. So make sure what you think is a good offer covers what you need to as comparatively its expensive.

When you look at Dubai and what’s been achieved with literally a desert , the foresight and ability to transform what was unusable land into a thriving city is unbelievable. The leaders who dreamt to achieve this have certainly left a legacy behind and created something rather special. It feels like a miracle. Dubai is 50 years old this year, and the celebrations are achievements are well deserved. This City is becoming a leading destination not only for business but the touristic elements are also appealing on many levels.

If you don’t like lifts, don’t bother visiting Dubai, …. most places have multiple stories, which was an immediate challenge for me – which I needed to overcome with great urgency or : – be prepared to walk 23 plus floors to get to a meeting sweaty and exhausted and looking like an idiot. After a few trips you gain trust in technology and zipping up and down 50 floors is a breeze?

There are 22,000 taxi’s in Dubai. Each of them hustling to do business, most of them need to earn 3400 USD before taking home any money. Thats requires them to work 16 hour days, be without their families who are Pakistan or India. The competition is steep and so are the prices!

These drivers send most of their money home, and live minimalistic lives in Dubai in order to support their families. This shows great loyalty and love when one sacrifices your own needs and looks after others.

The one driver I traveled with was an aspiring cricketer and he said he was inline to play for his country. His dream was shattered when his father fell ill and he had to earn money quickly to help pay the bills. Driving a UBER or TAXI does not take a degree so that was his quickest route to earning, he is now stuck in this life and his dreams are in the past.

The hotel I am staying at THE TIME OAK HOTEL and SUITES, it is excellent, The staff are friendly, its central and there is never a dull moment. It seems to be perpetually full. There does however seem to be much prostitution in the surrounding areas, mainly of Russian decent. Rather alarming how blatant this is considering the society’s moral position.

The man who does my room, services all rooms on this floor , so floor two is his responsibility. I asked him his name and the following day greeted him by his name, to which he responded that nobody addresses him by his name and he was deeply touched. I had issues with my mobile phone, so he offered to loan me his, and go on his day off to assist me. Words cannot describe how great this young man is and how much I respect him. Its the small things in life that matter, to make a difference in someone else’s life is meaningful and in return blesses you as well.

Communication via WHATSAPP is not possible, you can send messages but voice calls are banned. FaceTime has proved to be a good alternative but really does rely on good internet and connectivity. Keeping in touch with family abroad has been rather frustrating to say the least. Motif application works I am told.

The food is outstanding, you have literally every cuisine in the world available as its a City where multi cultures meet, and only the BEST survive as the competition is tough. The immense wealth also allows for cuisine that is next level as there are lots of people with disposable income who are prepared to pay for the best. Pick from Lebanese, Arabic, Indian, Pakistan dishes.

Another interesting bit of info from the UBER driver is that they use HYBRID cars, and the fuel only kicks in at 40km, an automatic setting, so under 40km/per hour the car uses battery.

My driver this mornings said he works 4am-630pm. The 4am gives him an airport drive, then 6am he gets the kids going to school, then 8am till 10am he gets the people going to work. Shows, all jobs have a science, have peaks and troughs throughout the day.

Is this a City of the Future? The EXPO certainly points that way?

Home is Portugal which is a complete contrast to the fast paced City, it offers tranquility, and a slow pace of life.

Bruce Mac from the City of Gold, Dubai.

Published by brucemacdirector

Telling meaningful stories whether they shorts or features is what gets me out of bed every day. Passionate about those captured in slavery. Biographical films (The Perfect wave with Scott Eastwood) and (Biblical epic Samson with the late Rutger Hauer, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Zane and Taylor James) My recent short films Beat The Curve, Sex Tourism Labour have been awarded best shorts across the globe in 2020.

4 thoughts on “City of Gold

  1. Just beautiful how a small act of kindness, gratitude and respect, can brighten someone else’s day, and even more beautiful when that kindness is returned.


  2. We lived IN Dubai as a family for 5 years, whilst my son was in primary school. Life in Dubai is a paradox. The city never sleeps and the wonders are vast, both natural and man made. But the man made part has been built on the sweat and tears of workers. Under trying circumstances, extreme heat and back breaking work. I say workers because it is not just the labour that suffer but even managers who have to deal with crippling dead lines language & culture barriers . But did I love my time there as an expat Mom, absolutely, would I do it again, without a moments hesitation. Would my husband do it again, I doubt it. It took years for my son to stop referring to Dubai as home. He couldn’t understand why he had lead a life behind security gates (South Africa) and that there were no friends to play with in the streets. He attended an International Baccalaureate (IB) school that taught him to think and question, not accept, and for that I’m eternally grateful. And I made friendships that have lasted the 11 years since my departure.


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