Articles in Category: Abu Dhabi Letters

Driven to Distraction 2

December 29, 1993
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Most (i.e. about 90%) of the vehicles on the road here are late models in very good condition.  You never see an “old beater,” they're not allowed.

Every second or third car is a Mercedes or BMW, and there are tons of four-wheel drives (Range Rovers, Nissan Patrols, etc,).  We also see a smattering of Audis, Legends, and assorted sport cars.

This weekend in Sharjah we parked next to a Ferrari Testosterone - oops, I mean Testarossa.

Traditional Roles

January 11, 1994
Abu Dhabi, UAE

When we decided to move here, I had hoped that we would get to know and befriend some of the local people.  So far that’s proving to be a challenge, for a number of reasons. 

First, less than twenty per cent of the population of the UAE comprises UAE nationals – the most recent figure I've seen is 16 per cent; 84 per cent consists of expatriate workers

Driven to Distraction 3

December 30, 1993
Abu Dhabi, UAE

None of the Abu Dhabi maps, or the city's residents, use the aforementioned numbering system. 

Instead, they use both 'official' and 'unofficial' names - neither of which bear any relationship to the zones, sectors or street numbers used by the street system signs.

Sometimes the official and/or unofficial street name will be posted at an intersection, sometimes not.  None of the buildings have numbers; all business addresses are post office boxes.

It's all very confusing for newcomers...

Language & Culture

January 4, 1994
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Asalaamo aleikum!

For the non-Arabic speakers amongst you that means: peace be upon you!  Asalaamo aleikum is the usual greeting for all occasions here; the correct response is: wa aleikum salaam which means "and peace be upon you also."

I haven't taken an Arabic course yet - I went to enroll before Christmas and found out that the course ran Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from November 16 to December 29, which would have put a real crimp in our weekends and party time over the festive season, so I decided to see what they have to offer in March.

A Different Kind Of Workaday World

January 29, 1994
Abu Dhabi, UAE

I haven't found a job yet, but I have a couple of irons in the fire, and I’m doing the odd freelance project for a local public relations and advertising firm.

I applied for a position (Head of Information Section), with the Abu Dhabi Seaport Authority, and have been for two interviews, and an equal number of examinations in the past two weeks.

The job was advertised in mid-September, they called me for the first interview three weeks later.  I'm the only female candidate for the position, along with six men (I know who the competition is because we all had to write a test at the same time).

They're also considering me for the 'lower' position of public relations supervisor, for which I’m the lone female candidate on a ‘short list’ of 13.