living in the United Arab Emirates

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Things we love about UAE

  • Arabic language
  • All female beaches
  • Family friendly
  • Home comforts readily available
  • Hearing the adhaan
  • Halal food!
  • Sun, sun and sun!
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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Qatar Airways, a trip to Ikea and a sandstorm!

So it seems that I am officially an expat. Mr. Camel Man has been an expat for 2 months, but baby-Zanga and I began day one... today!

It was awful leaving the family. With baby-Zanga being so little it felt like a betrayal taking her away from her grandparents, uncles and aunts. We try not to think about it too much and try and focus upon the reasons why we decided to make such a huge jump in to the unknown.

It is becoming increasingly hard for couples with children to actually spend time with their kids. Both parents have to work for a family to be financially comfortable. If we stayed in England (especially with the economic downturn every news channel has been bleating about for the last few weeks) it would be a daily struggle to make ends meet. We don't want to have to depend on our family, we want to be independent and feel accomplished. We just could not do that in England. And although it is our home, we love it, we were born and bred on that delicate island - we just could not continue living there for the time being. We felt that when something more stable is being handed to you on a plate, you'd have to be a fool to say no to the opportunity; and so instead of being fools we grabbed that opportunity with both our hands and our feet and flew away!

After a brief stop-over in Doha (Qatar), we eventually flew in to Abu Dhabi at around 11 at night local time. It was excellent! I could see the Yas Hotel and also Ferrari World and it just looked so beautiful. The service on Qatar Airways was not bad at all to be honest. With a 10 month old, excitable, hyper little girl on my lap it was not always going to be the easiest of journeys, but the staff were very friendly and did their best to be helpful which really did relieve some of the strain I was feeling trying to get the little madame to sleep! She did eventually get to sleep - in... what looks like a very strange looking coffin (eerie indeed).

When I came out of the air conditioned airport and in to the United Arab Emirates I honestly felt like a blanket of heat had just been wrapped around me! It was a real shock to the system. The humidity was and still is overpowering! I used to say 'England's humidity blah blahdy blah' but I take that back my Dear England - I'm very sorry I ever said a bad word!

The apartment is pretty much empty. We have a mattress, a changing mat, cot, a few hangers, a fridge - and a cooker (PROBABLY THE BEST OVEN I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY SHORT EXISTENCE), oh, and of course a TV. After a day of trying to catch up on sleep we decided that it would be fitting to try and find a few things for the apartment. Ikea was on the top of our list as I just LOVE their wardrobes with all their fixtures and storage fabulousness. As we left the building it was beautiful, all blue skies, boiling (I'm lying - it was like 28C) weather (air con car though), a hot breeze.... and then quite suddenly, the sky went dark, the trees started blowing about, and we couldn't see very far in front of the car bonnet (and yes, cross my heart and hope to die, it was as dramatic as it sounds!). Bless our little cotton socks - our very British minds said 'Oh, well, we're on an island after all, a fog must have come in!' but no, we were wrong - very wrong indeed. It was a sandstorm, my very first! It comes in at like super speed, you don't know what's hit you. One minute everything is clear - and the next ... it kinda looks like this >> Abu Dhabi Sandstorm (I didn't film the vid, and no you do not have to watch the whole four minutes!)

Oh and after all of that, typically... we did not buy a wardrobe. We did buy storage for the living room, a small table for the kitchen, and a bed frame and head board - Team Zanga is obviously not in it for the win.

I am so looking forward to exploring this part of the world!

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