Calgary Select: Moving to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Bound

Who would have thought they would move half way around the world from Calgary to Abu Dhabi.  One such gal, I, did just that.  When growing up in life I have never thought about moving overseas and not on the earth would of thought moving to the Middle East.  I have heard of such places as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran and even Dubai in the most recent years but not Abu Dhabi.  The name itself reminds me of something I would see in Aladdin.

It bauds nice for me as I am currently writing my first fiction novel and it pertains to the Middle East so I am able to fill in scenes easier than searching them on the internet.  Recently Abu Dhabi has been in the Calgary news and with the most recent visit from Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton more and more people are coming to know of the richest city in the world, Abu Dhabi.

Unlike what you could have imagined Abu Dhabi and Dubai to be like it’s quite a modern cosmopolitan place with a hint of the Indian and Asian countries.  Clearly there are two classes of residences here.  The population is approximately 2.5 million in the UAE and growing.  The capital is Abu Dhabi and there are seven Emirates in the United Arab Emirates.

You rarely see an older vehicle or dirty vehicle here as it’s against the law to not have a clean car.  The local Emirate people are very friendly and the cultural differences defined.  Some of the more intriguing things I have experienced living here and was summarized in a recent email to me are:

You're not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat or a camel in a pick up

You think everyone's first name is Al
You need a sweater when it's 20 degrees Centigrade
You expect everyone to own a mobile phone
Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the maid
You believe that speed limits are only advisory
You expect all police to drive BMWs or Merc's
You know whether you are within missile range of Iraq and Iran
You believe that the definition of a nanosecond is the time interval between the time the light shifts from red to yellow to green and the time that the guy behind you begins to blow his horn
You can't buy anything without asking for a discount (habibi, best price)
You have more carpets than floor space
You expect all stores to stay open till midnight
You expect the convenience store clerk to come out to your car when you blow your horn
You make left turns from the far right lane, or vice versa
You expect gold for every birthday
You send friends a map instead of your address
You think it perfectly normal to have a picnic in the middle of a roundabout at 11pm
You know exactly how much alcohol allowance you have left for the month and the code names for the open license stores
You have a moon phase predictor on your computer
You never say Saturday instead of Thursday or Sunday instead of Friday
You expect queues to be 1 person deep and 40 people wide
You realize that the black and white stripes in the road are not a zebra crossing, just bait to get tourists into the firing line
You know what night is ladies night at every bar in town
Seeing guys welcome each other with a kiss no longer surprises you
You carry 12 passport size photos around with you just in case
You can tell the time by listening to the local mosque,
You start to say "Insha'allah" when you actually mean "No *$*^% chance!"
You overtake a police car at 140 kph
When a problem with your car AC or horn is more serious to you than a problem with the brakes
You can smoke a shisha in public without expecting to be arrested

To learn more about Living in Abu Dhabi here are some great websites below: