"Dubai Money" / by Deborah Clague

"After achieving that wealth, he decided he wanted more. He wanted Dubai money."

Some months ago, I was conversing with a client after a photoshoot. The subject of travel came up, in particular Dubai, a place I have always wanted to visit. I listened intently and was regaled with tales that were downright obscene. The client's daughter had recently moved there with her husband and he visited them frequently. He talked of the insane wealth in the nation, some of which they had managed to procure. Within a few years of hard work and clever investing, they were millionaires. 

I left that encounter intrigued. I like to learn about new things. But moreso, I like to experience them.

In my lifetime, I would really like to experience "Dubai money". 

So that's why I decided to visit and thus extend my year of adventure. 

I'm sure part of that initial conversation was embellished. Or, at the very least, any hardships covered up. Few want to hear about the blood, sweat, tears and setbacks that go into success. Most just want to believe that dreaming big is all one has to do. Because that's all most people choose to do. It's such bullshit. Unless you are born affluent, success comes at great cost. Friends, family, sanity. At the end of the day, for some, it might not be worth it. I thrive on it though. I love the challenge of setting a goal and meeting it. My ultimate goal is to look back on my life as I near its end and be proud of the person that I was, rich or poor.

But we're on the topic of wealth now, so ... I'd still really like to experience "Dubai money". 

The one problem, of course, is that I will be visiting as an imposter. I am not rich in Canada. I am certainly not Middle-Eastern rich. After doing preliminary research and trying to establish a daily budget (with an increasingly sinking dollar), I quickly realized that I will probably be frequenting the McDonalds in the mega-mall located next to my hotel. They have a value menu, just like my home and native land. In terms of activities, I'm a cheap tourist. 95% of my time is spent walking about doing photography. For the remaining 5% this trip, I am willing to laze about on the beach. That should be free. I hope. 

All in all, I am very excited for the experience, whether or not it includes driving a gold-plated Ferrari. But if someone could hook me up, I am so down for it. I drive a Nissan.