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Old 02-02-2013, 11:54 AM
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I have been offered a contract to teach in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I was curious as to what the lifestyle and culture would be like, especially for an American. I have been to Turkey and Egypt so culture shock should not be an issue.

Arts, entertainment, beaches, sporting events, sports leagues, etc?????

From what I understand its just a 30 minute drive from Dubai as well.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:06 PM
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Originally Posted by ViaSwiss View Post
From what I understand its just a 30 minute drive from Dubai as well.
Maybe in a F1 car, Dubai is like 80 miles from Abu Dhabi by road.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:37 AM
Location: Paris, France
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Abu Dhabi is a medium sized but fairly well-known city with a huge expat/Western population. It's not like Egypt or Turkey at all - and is similar to other Gulf boomtowns like Dubai and Doha - gleaming glass tower blocks, shopping malls, freeways that make L.A.'s look pathetic, and endless soull-less, faceless sprawl. It's a fabulously wealthy city, with some of the higest incomes in the world, but it also has an army of immigrant labourours who do all the toiling and have almost no rights. Abu Dhabi was basically a desert village as recently as the 1970s - hardly anything predates that era. Many of the outlying districts - Reem Island, Yas etc - are still being contructed.

It's not quite as brash as Dubai and the development is a little bit more careful and considered. The downtown 'core' of Abu Dhabi is a 70s grid of dense streets with skyscrapers which make it feel a bit like a mini, Gulf Manhattan - you can actually walk around on the pavement and there is *some* degree of steetlife - which is a pleasure compared to the centerless, car based sprawl of Dubai. The outer areas are just as bad as Dubai however, and are sprawling low density villa districts punctuated by dusty industrial estates.

There is a huge Western expat population - mostly European (especially British) but also N. American/Aussie/NZ too. Social life centres on the hotels where you can legally consume alcohol - or on the beaches and golf courses. It's a very tax-free, luxary-living lifestyle - similar to that you'd lead in wealthy parts of L.A. or Florida.

Dubai has an even bigger expat population and more stuff to do - it's more like 1.5hrs away, depending on which part of Dubai you're aiming for.

It's insanely hot in the summer - so hot you can't really ever be outside - but the winter is like a nice hot European summer - and is perfect for the beach. Abu Dhabi has miles of amazing beaches - better than Dubai's rather artificial waterfront, IMO.
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