Yes to (Bani) Yas!

One of our must-do’s was a trip to Sir Bani Yas Island for a stay at the Desert Islands resort. A 15-minute ride off shore about 2 hours west of Abu Dhabi, the island is home to a wildlife reserve, an old Christian monestary and beautiful coastline. Sheikh Zayed, founder and first president of the …

UAE turns the big 4-0

It was 40 years ago that the British ended their treaty with a group of nine sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf. And while Qatar and Bahrain would go their own way, the remaining seven sheikhdoms, led by the revered Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nayan, formed the United Arab Emirates. Comprised of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, …

Ramadan Kareem!

Today marks the start of Ramadan – the Islamic religious observance, marked most prominently by a month of fasting. I’ll be honest – up to this point in my life, the only thing I really knew about Ramadan was that it was practiced by Muslims. Sad, I know. However, there is good news – my …

Living in sin

Reason #73 that we know we’re in a Muslim country: living in sin can get you jailed and even deported. Check out this piece which covers the issue. As with most laws, if you don’t make a big fuss, you’re likely not to get in trouble. But, that’s why we like to play it safe!

Creative English

When in China, we were overwhelmed with “Chinglish” – a rare language based somewhat like English…if Google Translate was the supreme ruler. We’ve found a similar language here (Engabic perhaps?), whether from our landlord’s notices or a recent restaurant experience at Abu Dhabi Airport. The restaurant is Hippopotamus, originally French but found on every continent. …

A Time-Lapsed Vision of Abu Dhabi

Using more than 21,000 pictures and countless hours of editing, filmmaker Beno Saradzic created this beautiful time-lapsed video of Abu Dhabi over the past two months. It is made even more powerful by the video’s introduction which shows Abu Dhabi as a small village as little as 40 years ago…very cool stuff.

License to Kill….a pint, that is!

While you are free to drink at a hotel bar in the U.A.E. (provided you aren’t a Muslim), purchasing liquor at a package store is illegal without a liquor license. In theory, if you were caught with alcohol in your car or home without a license, you could be heavily fined or even arrested. However, …

Hitting the Dunes

One of the traditional “touristy” yet fun things to do in the UAE is a desert safari – where you basically get taken bashing through sand dunes by a local driver on a mission to elicit screams and set up home base at a makeshift bedouin camp with food and activities such as camel riding. …