So enough about me . . . back to information about Abu Dhabi!! What I did not make very clear was that Scott and I could actually end up in three different cities – Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain, or Al Gharbia. Let me explain. Abu Dhabi is both a state and a city. Think of New York – you have New York State and New York City. Same thing in the United Arab Emirates (side note: Emirates is like the same thing as a state, and the UAE is made up of seven states which are color coded in the map to the right). So there is Abu Dhabi the state and Abu Dhabi the city. The Abu Dhabi Education Council hires teachers for the whole state, which means that we could be placed anywhere within the state of Abu Dhabi. And just so you know, Abu Dhabi is the big yellow area in the UAE map pictured above (you can click on it to make it bigger). So within that big yellow space we could be placed in the city of Abu Dhabi, the smaller city of Al Ain, or Al Gharbia which is also known as the western region and is basically anything else. The nice thing is that it would be about an hour and a half drive from any of the areas. If you look at the map to the left, you can see that Abu Dhabi is right on the Persian Golf. So that means beautiful beaches! It is the biggest city with about 650,000 people and so that means access to many amenities. The other city, Al Ain, is on the border with Oman. It is considered the Garden City because of it botanical gardens and zoos. The population is about 400,000. It would be great to be near so much greenery and since it is still large in size again many amenities. The last location is Al Gharbia which is any city, town, or small village west of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. While we not have as many malls we would still have internet, electricity etc. The benefit of being in Al Gharbia would be that we would experience more of true Emirati culture. In the two major cities it would be much more westernized. Scott and I are keeping our options open. We will not find out where we will be placed until we arrive and depending on how things go we might not even more into our apartment until a month. They do put us up in a hotel until housing is available though so we don’t have to worry about the expense. So I will leave this post with a few pictures. Here is another beautiful picture of the Abu Dhabi City skyline:

Al Ain’s travel site has a lot of details about the attractions. The site has pictures and videos about its oasis, gulf courses, zoos, and gardens. Here is an idea of what Al Ain, also known as the green city, looks like (this is Jebel Hafeet a famous mountain in Al Ain that signifies the border with Oman) :

Lastly there is Al Gharbia. Again they have a website with many pictures and a video. Here is an idea of what Al Gharbia could look like:

So quite a range of destinations. Again we are being open minded and already decided we will be happy wherever we are placed. We have no control over it so why fret? There are positives and negatives about each location but the important thing to remember is that it is only about an hour or two from each location so on the weekends we can explore the whole Emirate of Abu Dhabi! Can’t wait to be wherever we end up! Masalaama.