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It took me about 18 months to feel merely indifferent about this place (leagues ahead of the first 9 months of hating everything about it)... and now, 3 years on, yeah, it's ok. DH and I were talking last night and we both feel that if we had to leave next month, we could both do so without feeling any kind of pang.
Don't get me wrong, I've got great friends here (/waves), have met some interesting people and seen some interesting places and like the perks, but there are so many frustrations that just don't need to exist in my life and so many underlying issues that I'm conveniently just blanking out (that's me having found out how not to hate the place)... and ultimately, I don't want to live like this. I've somehow managed to survive 30 years without cheap mani-pedis, brunches and buffets and if I ever get to the stage where superficial things like that are the main drivers for staying in such a place, you can officially come and shoot me.
As CT says, the big change is in your mind. I wanted to desperately find... something... roots, integration, cultural understanding... I don't know. Flitting around in an expat bubble wasn't what I'd hoped our move to be about... but then, I accepted that Dubai couldn't give me those things, but could give me a swimming pool, cheap mani-pedis and buffets... along with travel opportunities. Basically, make the most of what Dubai has to offer and try not to pine after what it can't. Treat every week as if it's your last because we are all transient, so go explore the region, do stuff... all that, really!