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Arizona State University alumni start new life in Dubai

Posted at 9:37 PM, Nov 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-06 01:01:41-05

They've traded in the Sonoran Desert for the Arabian Desert. 

Jeff Grigsby and his wife, Michelle, who are both Arizona State University alumni, packed up their entire family eight years ago and moved to the United Arab Emirates from Phoenix — and haven't looked back! 

It was 2009. The economy in the United States started to go down, and Michelle was looking for a change. 

"I was getting frustrated with my teaching job," she explained. "I found a job in Abu Dhabi and I brought it up to my husband."

"I laughed and said, 'Where is Abu Dhabi?'" Jeff said.

But this wasn't a joke.

Within a few months, this couple and their two kids packed their bags and their home and jetted 8,000 miles away to the UAE. They've lived all over the country until finally settling in Dubai. 

In between the desert safaris, the camel rides, and finding all the hot spots, this family found themselves falling in love. 

When you think of Dubai, you probably think of everything larger than life. It's home to the world's tallest building, the world's largest shopping mall, and the Burj al Arab hotel — which many critics say is the world's only seven-star hotel.

But Jeff and Michelle say that's not why they love living in Dubai; it's more about the experience their family has — especially their children. 

"Their eyes are open to so many different nationalities. They're so open to different cultures," Michelle said.

That's because according to some estimates, more than 80-percent of the population in the UAE is from other countries. 

Michelle says they miss their friends and family very much, but also added she misses Taco Bell and other delicious Mexican food available in the Valley.