These seven pictures perfectly sum up expat life in Dubai
Weekends at the beach, Friday brunches and hours in beauty salons – living in Dubai can be hard sometimes.
Good thing then that artist Clare Napper has documented expat life so perfectly with her tongue-in-cheek collection, Highlife Dubai.
Since launching her first prints at the end of 2014, people have lapped up her art-deco-style posters, which Clare says are inspired by travel and tourism adverts from the early 20th century.
As well as some of the city’s best sights, the prints and posters capture the highs (and lows) of Dubai expat life, everything from ladies nights to home deliveries, road rage and road trips to Fujairah.
Clare’s most recent collection launched last week and is on show at Tribeca on JBR until December. Here’s a glimpse at some of the pieces you can expect to see.
1. Kite Beach
Only amateurs go to the beach just to swim. A standard day at Kite Beach involves kite surfing, a jog along the sand and then a touch of volleyball. After all that, you definitely deserve to gorge yourself on a food truck special.
2. No key, no problem
Welcome to Dubai, where we all feel safe enough to leave our bags unzipped, our car doors open at gas stations, our phones alone on tables and our houses unlocked. (And then proceed to complain when anything goes missing.)
3. Deira: Dubai’s heart
Dripping AC units, bustling souks selling everything from spices to tupperware, lost-looking tourists and a lot of traffic. Deira’s hectic, but we love it.
4. The mighty Burj
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world (if you didn’t already know). While the camera-wielding crowds outside Souk Al Bahar are annoying (you’re never going to fit all 830m of it in one shot mate, just give up) and the thought of one more visiting friend suggesting we go to the top makes us want to cry, we’re secretly pretty proud of it.
5. Salon time
To keep up the UAE’s glamorous reputation it’s our duty to be buffed, polished and moisturised head-to-toe on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. It’s the least we can do.
6. The glamorous Boulevard
There’s more to Downtown than Dubai Mall and the fountains (or so we’ve heard). Grab an over-priced coffee, don your designer sunnies and go for a stroll beneath the trees with the rest of Dubai’s elite while you stare at the tourists as they trundle by on the tram.
7. Safa Park (we miss you – well, half of you)
Living in the desert means our parks are almost as bustling as our beaches, which is why they can get so packed. Our Safa Park survival tips? Get there early, remember change for entry, and stay alert to avoid a flying football to the face.
See Clare’s work until December 26 at Tribeca, JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR. Tel: (05) 01441769. Taxi: Opposite Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort. highlife-dubai.com