My Abu Dhabi Thoughts 2014

— The big smile of a laborer — because I know it comes from the heart

— The smell of shisha at a cafe — even though I don’t smoke

— The thrill of the city lights as they shine against the dark desert sky

— The willingness of a friend or a stranger to do almost anything — for nothing in return

— The way a friend from another country pauses to come up with the best word so I will understand them accurately

— The twinkle in an eye from a soul that has lived through tragedy

— The cheery conversation of two British kiddos during the morning school run

— The smell of foods I have never heard of — from countries I’ve never visited


— How I secretly am drawn to the chaos of miscommunication

— That I have almost grown to appreciate the smell of oud

— That I could now compete on a game show and correctly guess a sentence understanding only two words

— When disaster strikes we all pull together empathizing with people and countries we have never met or visited

— I am addicted to the surprises that the UAE constantly offers

— Realizing I now understand global politics, history, relations and also realizing that many people don’t

— My empathy for others has grown enormously

— What I want is for everyone I love to feel/see what I am experiencing

— I have grown used to driving in the chaos of the UAE roads

— I feel a little lost without a National dress

— Mam/Sir doesn’t bother me anymore

— It saddens me to know that many people around the world are misinformed about life in the Middle East

— The slang words I don’t understand but am always willing to try

— I love rubbing elbows with people in the supermarket

— The smell of rain is like heaven

— I love unexpected friendships that pop up out of nowhere

— And most of all, I love seeing the world in my child’s eyes


— My heart is full for the one we lost on a sad December day

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Thank you to the unknown artists whose photography and art I have used in this post.

8 thoughts on “My Abu Dhabi Thoughts 2014

  1. Beautiful blog, insights explained. I thought my frustrations here were making me a more narrow minded person but in fact you learn to embrace those frustrations, understand them and appreciate so many different things , different cultures, different nationalities and different hardships that I find it hard to relate to comments or blogs from people in my home country now as I find them narrow minded and annoying at times. It is such an eye opening place-to good aspects and bad aspects – but I think my family and myself will be better people from experiencing it. And it is a beautiful country with many beautiful people in it.


  2. Hi Juliana, Thanks for reading! Oud is both and instrument and perfume. I looked up the spelling as I was writing and I could’ve added an h to it but I don’t believe it is the most common spelling.


  3. Hi Sarah, in the beginning living here is frustrating. Then it becomes managable. Then it becomes ordinary. Then it becomes boring (according to my friends that have lived here 7+ years). Sometimes I struggle to see Abu Dhabi through “new eyes” because I have lived here for 3 years but I never want to my sense of awe when it comes to the experience because living here is extraordinary in so many ways. Thanks for reading!


  4. Nice read, but 10 months in I still don’t feel these two points as much as you do:
    – How I secretly am drawn to the chaos of miscommunication – This still drives me mad. As do the taxi drivers way of driving

    — That I have almost grown to appreciate the smell of oud — Not sure this will ever appeal to me

    Lovely to see someone elses opinion of living here. Tx for sharing.


    1. Hi Simone, Thanks for reading. Oud sometimes bothers me but less than when we first moved here. I love miscommunication. Unless of course, it is with the Etisalat guys!


  5. I love this post. As strange as this may sound I relate a lot if it to Canada. Nobody realizes how ignorant most Americans are when it comes to their northern neighbors except those married to a citizen that have live a there like me.

    I love how you share a side of life in a country that te US government wants it’s citizens to deplore (that would be any nation with any Muslims). Maybe we can change things by breaking down stereotypes one blog at a time.

    Happy new year


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