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WATCH: Grass isn’t always greener on the other side as SA expat details life in the UAE

All that glitters is not gold: a tram leaves Marina Towers station in Dubai. Picture: AP

All that glitters is not gold: a tram leaves Marina Towers station in Dubai. Picture: AP

Published Jul 27, 2022


For some of us, the dream is to relocate and live in a foreign country where we can provide a better quality of life for ourselves and our families, be it for safety or financial reasons.

But we often question the massive move after realising things aren’t much better or even worse when on the other side of the ocean.

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A South African TikTokker who goes by the name Hempies and now resides in Dubai shared a different picture altogether since moving to the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking in Afrikaans about the cost of living in Dubai, Hempies asked when last did you pay R250 for a beer or R700 for a bottle of wine?

He also explained that if you happened to lose your job, you’d have to vacate the country within 30 days.

@the_hempies Replying to @charmainevanzyl56 soveel dinge wat ek nog nie eers ook genoem het nie! #afrikaans #afrikaanstok #afrikaanstiktok #satiktok #satok #southafricantok #southafricantiktok #leer #education ♬ Paper Birds (3 min) - Jordan Halpern Schwartz

“En dinge werk nie soes by die huise nie. Jy kan nie ‘n bietjie bly nie,” (Things don’t work like they do back home; you can’t stay for a little while) he said.

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And if you think about having summer for eight months of the year is your kind of party, think again.

Hempies warned that temperatures can reach as high as 98ºF (about 36.6ºC).

“As a matter of fact, 80% of people that live here, live in a vitamin D pod because it’s too hot outside,” he added.

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Talking about South Africans falling victim to load shedding and the cost of petrol, he explained that in the last two years petrol went up by 300% in the UAE.

Comments on the post related to Hempies’s video.

“Been back in SA 4 years. I lived in Dubai 17 years. The grass is green where you water it. My children are much happier. SA is gorgeous!!!” said a proudly Mzansi mom.

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“Thank you so much for putting the record straight. We must learn to appreciate SA and not be so focused on the negative. This is home,” commented another.