Since I leave exactly one month from today, I figured that I better get this thing up and running. I fly from Chicago to London to Abu Dhabi, totally just over 17 hours. That combined with a 9 hour time difference should make for an interesting first day in my new home. As of now, housing is still up in the air. All of my co-workers who are currently over there are living in one of the hotels. Hopefully we will have villas soon.
I’ll sort of assume that most don’t know a whole lot about Abu Dhabi (especially considering that I didn’t when I found out that I might be going). So here’s a quick history/travel lesson.
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the entire United Arab Emirates. It is also the capital city of the Emirate Abu Dhabi. The UAE is composed of 7 emirates (like states or provinces). Dubai is another of the emirates (whose capital city is also Dubai). Over 80% of the country is expatriates, like me, only most are from the UK or India and Pakistan. The UAE gained independence from the UK in 1971 (hence all the UK expatriates) and many of the Indian and Pakistani expats are involved the actual construction in the region.
The UAE is currently home to about 15-20% of the WORLD’s construction cranes and the tallest building in the world is being built in Dubai. (It’s not even complete yet, and from the top of what is finished, you can see the curvature of the Earth). The building is the Burj Dubai and it’s part of the Burj Dubai Downtown development which also includes the world’s largest mall, which opens at the end of October! (and is home to the region’s first SEGA indoor theme park).