So in a previous post, I mentioned that we could be placed in any one of three areas in the state of Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain, or Al Gharbia. Yesterday at our orientation we were informed of where we were going to be living. But to add to the suspense I’m going to show you some pictures of the grand ballroom in our hotel of where the orientation was held:

The hallway leading to the grand ballroom

Scott relaxing in the part of the grand ballroom foyer after orientation

So the way that ADEC has everything set up is that all 630 foreign teachers are currently living in three hotels – and each hotel is a different location. So, therefore, everyone in our hotel is going to the same place. The first thing that our director told us at the beginning of orientation was: I am pleased to inform all of you that you will be living in . . . drum roll please . . . AL AIN!!! If you remember from my previous blog Al Ain is the garden city, the oasis that has been inhabited since the 4th century B.C., the city that borders with Oman, and the greenest city of the three. Here is a link to the travel page – it takes a minute to load but it has tons of pictures of Al Ain’s botanical gardens, zoos, oases, and the Jabel Hafeet (second tallest mountain in the Emirates). This is also where the country’s founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was born. Al Ain is described by the travel brochure as follows: “Set among lush oases and towering palm plantations, Al Ain is a city which exudes history, culture, and nature. Through its museums, restores forts and palaces, souks and archeological sites dating back to the Stone Age, Al Ain, where archeological and cultural sites have now been inscribed by UNESCO World Heritage Sites, gives visitors an insight into a desert was of life which has helped form the resilient and hospitable character of Abu Dhabi emirate.” So with that being said – here is a picture, from the Abu Dhabi Travel website, of our future home:

And grandma and grandpa you will be happy to know that this is where most of the farms and plantations in Abu Dhabi are. This where they grow dates, plant food, and raise goats, cows, and other animals. It also has a large camel market! I cannot wait to to visit our apartment on Tuesday! You all know that I will post pictures of it as soon as I can. We are really happy to be placed here. It will be very green and lush compared to Abu Dhabi city and Al Gharbia and the cost of living will be lower than in Abu Dhabi city. Also it will be easier to get around and drive – people living there have told us that. The flat complex that we will be living in is named after Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon who, from what I understand, is the director of tourism and development in the Abu Dhabi Emirate. Can’t wait to share more! Diir baalak ‘ala haalak!