By Shais Memon
I have been living in Dubai for the past three years, and since my immediate family is based in Dubai, I haven’t gotten a chance to travel home much. But being an expat, I still miss Karachi. The city still feels like home because I was born and raised there and have numerous memories attached to it.
Recently, I had the chance of visiting Karachi after a very long time and ended up enjoying it way more than Dubai. Turns out, Karachi is better than Dubai in a number of ways.
1. When it comes to food, there’s no comparison
I feel this is an obvious one. The food in Karachi tastes much better than the food in Dubai. Our bun kebabs, biryanis, and barbeque are simply mouth-watering. There are Pakistani restaurants in Dubai as well, but only a few have the authentic Pakistani taste, and even that’s not anywhere close to the food in Karachi.
The best part is that this delicious food is available at every street corner of Karachi.
2. Every degree counts
The weather in Karachi and Dubai isn’t very different from each other, except that Karachi is usually five to 10 degrees cooler than Dubai, which makes a lot of difference. The intense heat and temperature in Dubai are unbearable during the summer and the prospect of outdoor activities is non-existent.
Also, Karachi winters are just perfect, whereas Dubai winters feel like moderate summer.
3. The importance of U-turns
The laws and layout of the roads are more relaxed as compared to Dubai. For instance, while driving in Karachi, you can take a U-turn easily, but in Dubai, majority of the roads don’t have U-turns. In fact, at times, you have to drive long distances to find a cut.
Want to cross the road? Do it from anywhere you like in Karachi, but in Dubai, you can’t cross the road from just anywhere without risking a fine, other than a zebra crossing.
Just as almost every Karachiite has been subjected of street crime, nearly every other person in Dubai has been subjected to street fines.
4. “I will give you best price”
If you have ever sold your used/old electronics in Dubai, you would know what a hassle it is. In Karachi, there is an established market for buying and selling old electronics, and that even for a reasonable price. Even if it’s complete junk, you will be able to get something for it.
I had a laptop, as well as an obsolete cell phone which I wanted to sell and it took me 10 minutes to sell them off for a reasonable price in Karachi. Perhaps the only way to dispose used and old electronics in Dubai would be throwing them down the garbage chute or in a bin.
5. When you buy things and convert Dirhams to Rupees or vice versa
As per the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), Karachi is the cheapest city in the world. If you convert everything from Dirhams to Rupees, it feels way cheaper in comparison to Dubai.
While shopping at Hyperstar in Dolmen Mall one evening, I kept buying items, mainly some local edibles which I wanted to take back to Dubai, as well as stock up for the time I was in Karachi. I kept picking up things off the shelves and noticed my trolley was stuffed. When I proceeded to the checkout, the bill was only about Rs1,600. My excitement escalated when I realised that I only paid AED60 for everything that I bought.
Karachi, the city of lights, is the economic capital of Pakistan. Unfortunately, it has been marred by violence and other issues over the years. Perhaps Dubai may not have developed as much were it not for the violence in Karachi during the 80s. But we Karachiites still love Karachi.
It’s a great city and will always be our home.