I have neglected this blog lately. I am sorry… We have been traveling, and the blog just didn’t get done. Sometimes my husband travels to meetings and conferences with his job. I try to go if I can. We decided when we took this international assignment, that I would travel with him if possible. We won’t always be here in Japan, and when he goes back to his regular job in the US, he won’t have as many opportunities to travel.
At these meetings, there is often a spouses/accompanying persons group. I have gotten to know many of the wives and significant others and we have become friends. We look forward to seeing each other at the different locations where the meetings are held. Most all of us are expats in our various countries of residence. It is interesting to get together and “compare notes” about our experiences. Sometimes there is an arranged tour for us to go on, and there are also evening functions — dinners and receptions — that we are invited to attend.
This last week was a trip to the UAE — United Arab Emirates — at Abu Dhabi. This is, actually the second trip for us to the UAE. My husband was there for another meeting — at the same hotel — just over a year ago. UAE is an interesting place. A starkly beautiful country on the Persian Gulf side of the Arabian Peninsula. The country is largely desert, with most of the population living in cities along the coast. I have been to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi… both are sparkling, opulent, modern jewels in the desert. Everything is bigger, and richer, and more beautiful in the UAE.
The photo on the left was our hotel complex in Abu Dhabi… The Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Most of the towers are residential, but one belongs to the hotel. All of these towers are between 65 and 75 floors. The other two photos show the view out of our window on the 31st floor. Abu Dhabi is building artificial islands just offshore. Most will be used for homes, apartments, and hotels.
These three photos were taken last year in Dubai. At the top is the Dubai skyline from a harbor cruise that we went on. The top right photo is the Burj al Arab… the seven-star hotel in Dubai ($2000+/night!) Bottom photo is the Burj Kahlifa, currently the world’s tallest building at 160 stories. Dubai has some of the biggest shopping malls in the world. One has an actual indoor ski slope, and another has an Olympic-size ice skating rink. (Abu Dhabi’s largest mall had an indoor trampoline park and a bowling alley.)
UAE has a very diverse population, from countries all over the world. A large percentage of the population are expats, working in UAE, but with families living elsewhere. English is commonly spoken, but also Arab languages. The right photo above is the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi at sunset, and the bottom photo is the Grand Mosque during the day… always a dazzling sight.
We had a very enjoyable trip to the UAE. The people were very kind and welcoming. The culture is fascinating, and the country is modern and progressive. We hope to have the opportunity to visit there again.
Leaving again tomorrow for another trip… another 10+ hours on a plane, and another week in a hotel… Talk to you when I get back!