Expat life in Abu Dhabi pre-covid-19

So true it’s not always sweet and rosy on the other side of the fence but if you are lucky you will have often taste the sweet life than the lemon sour on your taste buds. Definitely the UAE particularly Abu Dhabi gave us a huge opportunity and a different kind of life that we didn’t experienced in our own backyard.

It is now finished and just reminiscing the good life we had while we are there pre-covid times. Unfortunately for those newcomers in times of pandemic they may find it very hard nowadays to even feel the life unless of course you want to risk getting sick if you do the way people do before the pandemic. There’s a lot of job losses and businesses closing here and there. On and off lockdown and non stop quarantining of people.

Let’s face the reality… I may not be able to see these places above. Travelling is banned overseas (well for us NZr’s & most countries) and it may take a year or so before we even get back to normal outside of our boundary. We definitely do not want to risk it.

No more lavish buffets, eat all you can and shop till you drop when there’s a big sale which is almost every public holiday or special events! End of those days we are so feeling carefree. FYI, foods (restaurants & hotels) and branded products are so much cheaper in the UAE or some part of Middle East and yes including Saudi Arabia… and may I add even GOLD. Even now they introduced 5% vat in the UAE for all goods and services, it’s still cheap as compared to prices in the West, South and most part of Europe. Correct me if I am wrong!

Seafoods galore & Hotpot nonstop

No more ladies night (50% are mom’s like me who sometimes enjoy the night out and the hubbies are the ones taking care of the children for once! Fact, most hotel bars are decent and caters to all women with free sushi and drinks to lure them). No more beautiful events to be held in the posh hotels and parks (Fact, you can even get 50% discount to these posh hotels by buying in groupon and other discount coupons!)

What I am saying is… I truly treasured the times we were in Abu Dhabi as an expat family. I will never forget the high and lows. These were good memories that will last a lifetime as we may never have this again.

Now back to our home country New Zealand, facing the reality now of having the pandemic all over the world and the market crashing down… I can also say we are lucky just in time to be HOME. NZ is still not open for other countries which I approve of to minimize the risk though on the other end our economy is suffering… but ALL countries are anyway so we just have to bear with it and try to be patient. Health is wealth!

Take care everyone!

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I say YES to life!!

As I say yes to Life, Life says yes to me. … | Louise hay quotes ...

In response to the Word of the Day Challenge YES as per this LINK.

As per the quote above… why not?  Life is too short anyway not to say yes to life!  There’s more about the world we live in that we must see and discover.  IF I didn’t say yes to a new adventure in the Middle East 5 years ago (particularly Abu Dhabi) I wouldn’t even know how beautiful this City is and other UAE cities too! Do not prejudge things, places, religions, culture, and people unless you already experienced it yourself and be open-minded. Saying yes open my eyes to these.  I will miss this place now that I have a new adventure ahead.  FOLLOW me while back living in our home country New Zealand.

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Yes, I believe we will get to the new normal way of life but it doesn’t discourage me to travel step by step (don’t worry even to your nearest suburbs or cities it’s ok!) and see how lucky we are and besides didn’t we get to learn new tricks and passion while on lockdown?  C’mon, don’t be gloomy! Say YES and you will feel life will say yes to you.  Cheer up!

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Different FUN challenges to inspire you

This is in response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge as per the below words. Please click each word per photo to go to the link, BUT first finish this read, like or comment that would be great! 😉 Sorry, some word challenges are a bit late but it’s better to be late than never right? This also highlights my past travel and those photos that I am wanting to visit again in person if possible.  If not at least I have them in the archives of my past experiences and will remember always in my heart.

Vibrant Colours 

 

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Visited this place two years ago in Baguio, Philippines.  I was captivated at their simple way of living and the vibrant colour of their houses.

Upwards

View to the top

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Nice warm weather with a cool breeze surrounded us with lots of tall trees in Auckland Zoo (will post about this next time).  My son wants to come back here once we can go back to normal life or half of it as some say life will never be the same again… (sigh!) very sad indeed.

Tea time in Abu Dhabi

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Those were the happy go lucky days. A time to indulge your sweet tooth and meet your happy friends making your life happier!

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And finally a view of the sky outside my house.  It somehow tells me that Life is still beautiful and more to look forward to the next day.  Do not be gloomy as what’s happening in the world right now.  Have faith and there’s hope!  See below (better late than never!) 🙂

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I hope you like these photos.  You may also join the word or photo challenge as per those links to Cee’s blogsite.  The more the merrier!  Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

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Expats saying goodbye!

How can you really say goodbye to a place and people who matter to you for a long time? Who helped you coped in a new environment and lifestyle? Who became like a family as they can relate and understand what you are going through? It’s hard and I’m sure some ex-pats can relate to this.

Some of you dear readers know me for so long by following me through my journeys from Auckland to Abu Dhabi and a 10 month stay back in my birth Country Philippines then back again to Abu Dhabi and now finally going back for good in Auckland, New Zealand.

Some of you can understand that though I always bring positive travel blogs and ex-pats life, it may not be always positive and happy all the time. Yes! That’s life and sometimes life isn’t fair.

This is the time to say my last goodbyes to Abu Dhabi and to all my friends and Mom’s group as I won’t be back anymore. Though it saddens me to say my final goodbye to them, the positive side of this is I’m not hanging or feeling unbalanced anymore as I know that we’re going back home for good now in New Zealand. I can better plan our lives and we focus on what’s necessary and in my heart knowing that I will stay HOME.

Goodbye Abu Dhabi. You’ve been very good to us especially to me that I have experienced a different lifestyle that I never thought of and meeting so many people from all over the world and even learning from them. Thank you for all the experiences and opportunities.

Ma’ assalama!

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Another home away from home!

Going back to Abu Dhabi after being away for more than 3 months makes me realized that I am actually missing my good life here as a mom and as a person. It took me awhile to adjust (not that easy) but I did and I started to be happy! I was busy with lot’s of things going on around me. School events, volunteering, watching my son doing his sports, meet ups with 3 groups of friends, family time, even errands I find it good as it’s my me time to be alone and do some houseworks and I do love cooking, little luxuries in life  (that we cannot do in NZ) like some brunching (in 5*hotels) with friends and family, theme parks, fine dining and more travels.

The lifestyle here that I became adjusted to really makes me wonder why life keeps giving us a crack after I finally settled in.  So yes, we’re back to New Zealand and so many things had happened while we were away for 4 years!! Life is not the same anymore or perhaps I am not the same anymore. (Sigh!)

Coming back here in AD for a quick visit so our family can be together again.  Life sometimes sucks being an expats but it also gives you a lot of opportunities and new perspective in life that we didn’t know before.

So shall we go back for longer period in the land of the desert and opportunity?  I don’t know.  Guess I just leave it for the fate to pick us up and go with the flow. It happened before so I won’t be surprised if it happened again.  So far all I know is… this is another home away from home!

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A dream… a premonition.

This is for the Daily Post: PREMONITION

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Everybody dreams.  

I have a dream a long time ago, in fact, a decade ago perhaps… even before my son came into our lives.  It was a feeling of happiness, wonder and then all of a sudden a feeling of losing something.  In my dream… it was a greyish cloudiest day or night. Hubby and I were checking out some beautiful houses and the road was not easy to navigate as it has a steep hill… up and downslope just like in some Auckland roads and streets.  Found “the one” and I believed I told hubby to stop looking for others as I have found the one I want us to live.  Unfortunately, he didn’t share the idea and told me we better check out other houses though the one that I liked was really “the one” for me.  It was a very vivid dream as if it’s real and up to this day I can still remember it and strange but true… I can still feel what I was feeling at that time.  A feeling of disappointment and wonder.

And yes, it was a PREMONITION, alright of what was to come in the future!

NEW ZEALAND

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Auckland Ferry, vinneve

From our beautiful Auckland City, in the WEST particularly we headed to a BIG adventure of a lifetime in the …

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Abu Dhabi – as an ex-pat.

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Abu Dhabi Skyline, vinneve

To live temporarily in my birth Country THE PHILIPPINES, Manila – to try to see the other side of the World and talking about my old childhood to my son which was great but unfortunately, it’s not the same as I thought it would be. Lots of things changed.

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MOA bridge, vinneve

And now going back again to Abu Dhabi and God knows where we going to stay for good this time!  Had talks about living in Switzerland and Australia.  Both, we have the right to live and be happy.  But it seems the premonition lingers up till now.  I guess you better stay tuned and follow me what part of the world we’re going to end up!  Besides, wherever we will be … there will always be some TRAVELLING and ADVENTURE.

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There is always a reason to travel. 

 

 

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Wonderful Maze of Abu Dhabi Sights

via The Daily Post: MAZE

Hello my dear readers;

Just some collections of photos in Abu Dhabi.  A maze of sceneries, fun, and adventures that we have experienced being an expat here.  For people who are curious what could be in store for them when transiting, stop over or visiting the capital of UAE.

Please click the photos to enlarge to finally enjoy the view! 

For me… Life is like a maze… it’s you who decide where to go whether left or right. Wherever you go make the best out of it and try to win NOT to lose hope finding your way. 

Thank you readers, and come back for more or check my older posts.

 

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AD Events: MON Festival

via Daily Prompt: Timely

Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Mother of the Nation Festivals

The great weather before it turns to nasty hot so it is timely to finally have this festival just finished a couple of weeks ago and how I wish we have visited twice as we didn’t see it all in just one late afternoon to late night.  Some are tourists from another GCC Country.  Some are locals and expats like us and their visitors.

So many events going on from January to April but I only managed to come to a few and enjoy them.  It seems life is becoming busy for me since I have accepted that I will be here for quite some time to support my wonderful hubby and son.

Here are some photos.  I hope you will enjoy viewing them too but the thrill and excitement were to be there in person.  Anyway… see U again next year!

Please click this LINK to view my post last year RE: Abu Dhabi & MON Festivals 2016 LINK.  Thanks! 

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Beautifully decorated lanterns, vinneve foto

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Mini car route with Nation Towers @backdrop, vinneve foto

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Zorb over the water, vinneve foto

Lots of activities for the children for all ages and some of them are free.  Of course, you just have to go on the queue and be patient!  We went to see a documentary about water in UAE and it was a mini Museum and beautifully presented to people.  My son loves doing his own kite and there are some markets (souq), music/concerts, and lots of restaurants around the Corniche where they built this event.  Last year we went to see a magic show & acrobatics and a Comedy stint but we were late on a schedule this year so we missed it and walking back to the next zone was too far away!  Still, we enjoyed and my son was happy that’s more important than the one we have missed.

Cheers!

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Arts at the (Emirates) Palace

PORTRAIT OF A NATION was on display when we decided to visit the Palace finally!  I was excited as the last time I tried to visit we didn’t get in without any prior booking to a hotel or one of their many restaurants.  I guess there was an event going on that time and/or fully booked and cannot accommodate an additional guest without permission. So here we go and see how luxurious it can be to visit and admire the Palace from top to bottom and how nice it will be to dine here, though I warn you to bring a bigger wallet if you get my drift?  Anyway… why not splurge once in a while since you are here in the luxurious Abu Dhabi emirates!

FYI for Abu Dhabians or visitors … there will be a new photography exhibition about retracing the footsteps of the Bedouin women and the journey is retold through the arts.  Please visit: womenheritagewalk.com  Or just go and visit the Palace from May 31st to June 14th.  

There are some great details that my poor old camera cannot capture so bear with me.

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The Ceiling!

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Different soil from the 7 Emirates

We saw a lot of interesting artworks on display but I cannot post it all here.  It is better to see to believe and you will appreciate it yourself.

THE GROUNDS OF EMIRATES PALACE

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Beautiful landscape & fountains surrounded with high rise buildings!

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Comfy seating outside

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So many lights!

 

 

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Enjoy walking with your loved ones beneath the lamp posts!

Thanks for viewing and see YOU again next time!  🙂

 

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Daily Prompt: Stroll

This is in response to The Daily Post/Prompt: Stroll

Glad to stroll and fortunate to be near Umm Al Emarat Park formerly called Mushrif Central Park.  They have some events for everybody to attend to like Food Festival, Science Festival, and other family events, and on regular days just lazy around the park, read, play, go and visit the mini zoo or have a cup of coffee/tea with friends.  Better do it now before it gets any hotter though people here will surely visit at night (nocturnal) when the heat becomes unbearable at day time and the lighting will surely delight even the young at heart… besides as what J.K. Rowling says, ” Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas”

 

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Park near downtown, vinneve photo

 

All photos are mine.  Please do not copy them without crediting me.

Thank You for your time. 🙂