Thursday, May 29, 2008

... and, Some things I WILL Miss

I thought I'd put a bit of balance into this discussion because I don't want you to think that it's all negative here. Far from it.

I've told you about some of the things I won't miss and now I'll talk about some of the things I will miss.

I'll miss Al Ain city
. It's a lovely city sprawled out across a wide, flat area at the bottom of Jebel Hafeet which divides Oman and the UAE. Most of the main streets are wide, with divided roads whose median strips are populated with palm trees, grasses and small shrubs. They are clean and at any time of the year you can see gardeners tending plants and cleaners picking up any rubbish that's been left on the street.

There are no drunks stumbling about, graffiti is almost unheard of, and nobody here returns to their car to find someone has kicked in the side panels of your car. Vandalism here is very, very scarce as are street offences common in Australia.

We have some lovely friends. We'll certainly miss them although we intend to keep in touch and hope some will visit us from time to time. (There are too many to place their photos here)

Rosie, a lovely lady who cleans our house and irons our clothes will be missed. Not only for the valuable work she does, but because she is a friend.

Our mansion. Although our house at Alice Springs is lovely, we'll miss our Arabic mansion tht has more room than we need, airconditioning that is very effective and cheap to run, and which is rent free. (Can't do much better than that eh?

Food prices and Middle East foods. The price of food, as is the case with most things here, is very much cheaper than in Australia. There's no shortage of anything and there are some lovely foods like date honey that are peculiar to the Middle East that are nice to taste.

Beer, a category of essential food, is not only a little cheaper than in Australia, it also comes in a 500mL can. (Eat your heart out.) Look at this shot of a can in an Aussie stubby holder designed for an Australian 375 mL cans. Now I'm being a bit dishonest here. I will miss the price, but it will be good to get back to light beer and smaller sizes. It's very easy to overdo it here.

No tax on salary. I'll write that again ... NO TAX on salary. Everything you earn you keep. I'll certainly miss that.

Petrol prices. Petrol is so cheap here, you don't even have to bother about how much you put in your tank. 100 AED is roughly $30 AUD and you can fill your tank for 75 AED (60 L tank). Imagine that.

Well, that's just a glimpse. There are many other things I will miss and the misses outweight the won't misses, just to set the record straight.



Sikander7 said...

Yes there are many good points. Other aspects would include the respect, which I realise makes me sound like Colonel Blimp. But still, most service encounters are dealt with politely and well. By contrast, Britain does not seem to know what customer service is.
Banks are pretty good too: it is easy to send money anywhere and there are not the myriad charges that exist elsewhere. There is far less advertising of the "buy something useless at vast interest rates with easy pay conditions over the rest of your life" that seem essential elsewhere.

I don't actually want to return, but there are good things.

Robin said...

Had a good experience with telecom provider Etisilat this afternoon. Turned up 10 minutes after trading hours and someone helped me out. No complaints ... just did the job.

That's customer service and it's getting better here.

Someone in Al Ain said...

lots of people will be missing you..

specially me..

you are the first australian people i've met in my life and i would never forget you.

yet we didnt meet quite often..but i appreciate everything you said to me and mede me be on the right way of sucess.

i really wish you all the best and will keep in touch for sure.


Robin said...

Thank you Amer.

We will visit your blog to find out what you have been doing. We look forward to keeping in touch with you.

Anonymous said...

I am a new expat about to move to Al Ain , from Australia (Qld). 18 month contract , with option to extend 18 mth. The info and experiences make my choice all the easier.

Robin said...

You'll have a great experience in Al Ain. If you wish to read some of the articles I have written about the UAE and Al Ain in particular, see , there's a good one called, "I've Heard about Dubai, But Where in Hell is Al Ain?

Enjoy your stay.