Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ma'Sallama Abu Dhabi

After five and a half years in Abu Dhabi and 5 years writing this blog, it is time to say goodbye. I have decided it is time to move back to the UK and get back to some normality and my family (they are not normal :-) ). I quit my job in the early part of December, so I have had a nice few weeks de-stressing. Next week I fly back to the UK and start a new job for the company I worked for here in the UAE for 5 years, with the same boss who moved back home last year.

As I reflect on my time here in the UAE I will leave with some very happy memories, with some great new friends and some experiences I will never forget. Working in the UAE is no cake walk. The stress and exhaustion I have experienced has been unparallelled and was the main reason for going home. I have reached a burn-out point and feel I need to regain some balance and normalcy again. Abu Dhabi is a great place to live (well, except for the summer!), but for westerners it is in many ways alien, strange and frustrating. I have tried to embrace the culture and always accept that I am a guest in their country, so I respect their way of doing things, their laws, their norms. But the feeling that you are only one finger gesture away, or one wrong word to the wrong person away from jail, when you think about it, is a stress you don't need.

So I return to the UK looking forward to seeing family (especially my grandson Alfie) and my friends again. If only for a short while, I will enjoy the cold, wind and rain and snow - and also the greeness, trees and wildlife.

Whilst I will not be writing any more entries on the blog, I will leave it up for viewing. Although my up to date knowledge will soon diminish, I am happy to field enquiries about anything you have seen on the blog or anything in general about living or working in the UAE. Many things will change in Abu Dhabi in the coming years, but some things I'm sure will never change.

To those of you that have regularly read the blog, I thank you for your interest. I have been pleased that so many people have been able to enjoy the entries. Below is a screenshot I just took of the stats from when I started the blog...

Above all else though, this blog will be a lasting account of an amazing time of my life here in Abu Dhabi, for me to look back at. The first 3 years or so, has already been printed into a hardback book for keeping, so now I need to print volume two!

So it just remains for me to say farewell, Ma'Sallama ...


New Year's Eve - Gangsta's Paradise !

Last night I saw in the new year at a party held in a huge villa here in Abu Dhabi. It was an awesome venue , which included a bar (with a barman), a pool room, outside space with a swimming pool area - with music provided by a DJ. The guys who share the villa play in a band, which also performed at stages through the night (a rogue trumpet player was seen towards the end of the night too! ;-) ). We had good company, good food and enjoyed a great night welcoming in 2014.

 The venue

American occupants as you may guess

The awesome bar!

Pool area

Other pool area!

 ...and the band played on...