A nation without culture..?!

In the UAE you will find a mix of OLD and NEW when it comes to “culture & lifestyle”.

As initially stated, the Bedouins did not wake up on an oil well – it all started with pearl diving, handcraft and falconry.

..embark on a story of authentic culture and heritage..
(by Tourism Culture Authority AD)

To get a better overview of the UAE’s past you should either visit:

 Jahili Fort in Al Ain001_08.10.14_Al Ain (11).JPG

or

Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi
IMG_5468.JPG

..both showcase the national roots at its best..

Nowadays Abu Dhabi Tourism Cultural Authority, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and NYU Arts Center provide a vast number of cultural events and exhibitions – so, YES there is def. a lot of “culture” going on here 🙂

“While preserving the past, this is a place which shapes the future”
(by Tourism Culture Authority AD)

PS: my favorite “traditional” event is the Qasr Al Hosn Festival – check it out!

 

 

Boring sandpit or enchanting metropolis..?!

When it comes to “life in Abu Dhabi” people do often think we are surrounded by sand only; sit in a tent; sweat because of the unbearable heat and play with camels (if we, ladies, are even allowed to leave the tent! ;))..

..Near enough is not good enough..


Thanks to the “young” age of this city it got the chance to be shaped/created according to “our” needs!

This means we have received quite a few malls; big five star hotels with restaurants, bars and clubs; sports centers; beach clubs; gardens; museums; street coffee shops; view points; public event spaces; etc.etc. which was man made and we are also able to enjoy natural reserves; mangroves; great deserts and natural islands.

My TOP 5 activities:

..beach, beach, let’s go to the beach..
Saadiyat Public Beach; Yas Beach; Corniche Family Beach


..let the sun go down..
beautiful sunsets @ Eastern Mangroves Promenade


..seduce your palate..
yummy surf & turf @ Turquoiz


..good friend and a glass of Hugo..
Beach House


..dance the night away..
follow City Vibes and take your crew with you

Oh no..Abu Dhabi..?!

img_0200

..almost three years ago, when my new life period started, I immediately received comments like “what? you are moving to Abu Dhabi?”, “a Blondie in the middle of the Arabs?”, “you will have a restricted life, no car driving, covering, etc.” and “it’s not safe there, you have to take care”.

Thankfully these comments did not move me at all.

I was ready for this chapter and more than looking forward.

Looking back I am somehow proud that I did not approach Abu Dhabi and this region with these negative feelings otherwise I might have missed out on one of the BEST chapters of my life.

..you get what you give..good vibes, good life..


Abu Dhabi consists of more or less 20% local “Emiratis” and 80% of Expats (US, Asia, Europe and Africa guess what..incl. other “Arabs” Palestinians, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese etc.).

Why would we all live here if our life would be that “horrible”? 😉

Everyone who decides to come to the UAE, finds its own kind of happiness! From the CEO of an European company, the Asian taxi driver to the American teacher.

Yes, there are certain rules which we have to adhere to; they might be different from our “home countries” but how do you want a system of over 70 different nationalities and cultures to work in peace and with respect towards each other if you do not set the standards high? 😉

To finalize this introduction…

Yes, I do have Arab friends..mainly Arab dudes actually! They are Muslims but this does not mean they are extremist 🙂 I’m their “Amira” (princess) and can genuinely count on them for whatever it is..

No, I do not cover..even shorts (not the “belt-shorts”) are fine! Obviously you cover yourself slightly if you go into a Mosque – or would you go in a short skirt into a church?! + The “Abayas” (we do not call it burka!) are worn by choice and for traditional reasons not by force..

Yes, I drive – oh yeah..i love to drive – listening to my “ghetto” music..

Yes, as a “Blondie” I am respected and actually it is even advantageous in regards to queuing up in the supermarket or bus; cross streets; etc… hehe 😉 In general the “woman” rates high in the society, opposite all rumors.

UAE is ranked as a leader in gender equality in the region where women in the UAE are playing an increasingly stronger role in business, military and government. This achievement comes from the fundamental belief that women and men are equal partners in society.
(UAE Embassy in Washington DC) 

Yes, it is indeed safe! Criminality rate is under 1%..Where else..can you leave your bag unattended while going to the buffet to get more food?..can you walk alone on the street as a lady in the middle of the night?..does someone pick your wallet up after it accidentally fell out of the pocket?


..Funny enough..Everyone is travelling to Indonesia and is against or simply afraid of Muslims..Did you know that they have the world’s largest Muslim population?.. 

So pack your things (don’t forget your open mind!) and visit this beautiful Region and especially..

my Abu Dhabi