Sunday, January 20, 2013

Abu Dhabi, UAE: It Ain't All About Sands & Sun!

By: Edgar A. Petallo



I thought Abu Dhabi is all about deserts and sands, but much to my surprise there are a lot of trees and green grasses all around. A well-cultivated collection of Date Palm trees standing vibrantly from immaculately manicured lawns greeted my eyes on my very first day. Not to mention those blooming flowers of varied colors rambling down a cobbled pathway. They're all captivating and innocently ravishing!

The city's landscape as well as its architectural make-up were also highly commendable (meticulously organized in exquisitely amazing designs!). Its majestic presence comes with no surprise as it is the center for political, industrial and cultural activities and is the seat of the United Arab Emirates Government. Hailed as the city capital of the seven emirates (which include Ajman,  Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Um al-Quwain), Abu Dhabi is one of the world's largest producers of oil, holding 9 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. That's why it ain't surprising at all when it was once dubbed by CNN and fortune magazine as the richest of all cities in the world. 




Contrary to my pre-conceived ideas about middle eastern citizens, the Emiratis in Abu Dhabi are generally polite and friendly. Even in my workplace, I didn't have a hard time dealing with them. The locals here are of course conservative. If you're a man and a stranger, it is not recommended to talk nor touch or stare with the women most especially those who are all covered with abaya (black robe) and sheyla (headscarf). It is not even advisable to give them a handshake when greeting unless if they offer their hands first. Although the locals here are quite tolerant when it comes to the dress codes, it would still be more courteous and respectful on your part not to wear too revealing clothing. Basically the shoulders and the knees have to be covered especially when going out in public. 


The people here have relatively high  income (thanks to their government and law-makers who really have the heart to take good care of its people). Salaries are tax-free! No wonder a lot of expatriates are coming in seeking for some greener pastures. The main drawback however is the accommodation which is quite 'unreasonably' expensive. Lucky for you if you're working in government institutions or your company offers  free housing with left and right allowances. The food, transportation, clothing and other basic commodities are fairly cheaper and affordable, nonetheless.


Overall, Abu Dhabi is a perfect location where towering opportunities abound. It is a great place for internationally-qualified professionals seeking for a well-deserved career advancement in their lifetime. It is a promising stepping-stone for those who want to achieve and materialize their life-long dreams. 


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