Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Top 3 Reasons for Leaving... or Staying

Here's a clip from an article in The National newspaper today:

"...On Sunday, the (UAE) Ministry of Health said it believed that 24 per cent of Emiratis have diabetes as it proposed a 10-year plan to combat the epidemic. ...the ministry’s estimate might be conservative since only 15 per cent of the population were believed to be aware they had the condition. ...“on top of that there is another 14 per cent of people who do not know that they have diabetes. And on top of that you have another 24 per cent with impaired glucose intolerance – we call it prediabetic.”

That's over 50 per cent of UAE population with diabetes or at serious risk of it, y'all!

Beginning of 2009 marked 1.5 years of my living in UAE (1.667 for Q). The article above just triggered me to put together the following two lists.

Top 3 Reasons for Leaving UAE

1. Stress. In addition to work, navigating through daily routine tasks is no less exciting than a Wii game. Just the other day, I realized my conversation with the building maintenance staffs felt like a little UN summit. :)

Image from http://bp1.blogger.com/_Hq0IJdSo9-4/SJBk2xuUzSI/AAAAAAAAA-4/gIhUCrMgeHk/s1600-h/Porters.jpg

2. Diet and exercise. The combination of meat-heavy diet and lack-of-exercise has significant effect on my (our?) waist line, and further on mental health. I try fighting back by becoming semi-vegetarian and exercise more, but it's not easy when Q and our friend GG spent the whole night cooking up a feast - not that I'm complaining, sweetie!

Image from http://lh6.ggpht.com/_pQ0s9t2f9G0/SClX_-r1jzI/AAAAAAAAA1M/vXKVYSX7pc0/DSC07963.JPG

3. Reckless driving. I'm listing this as a separate item because the situation is quite serious. We can be as careful as growing eyes on the back of our heads, but it doesn't help when 20-something Emiratis driving (read: flying) their fancy Porsche cars and knocking down pedestrians in batches. 21 traffic-related deaths in 72 hours, what the heck is that?!?

Image from http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2319/2331953032_27898d2c58_o.jpg

Top Reasons for Staying in UAE

1. Jobs. They started off as good-paying jobs for additional savings, now we are in more for a shelter from the global financial storm. For those of you who are curious about the job situation here, rumour has it that Dubai suffered from heavy job cuts in the past two months, but Abu Dhabi has been relatively quiet. *Fingers crossed!*

2. Cultural influences. Besides living in an Arab country, we plan to continue travelling to more (nearby) areas taking advantage of our geographic location. Jordan, Egypt, Syria and South Africa (or another African country) are on our list.

3. Friends. Like we said in the past, the quality of friends we make here is truly humbling. In addition to friends back home (i.e. you!), they are the ones that help keep our feet in the sand - as opposed to "on the ground", get it? :)

All in all, given our experiences so far, Q and I will likely stick to our original plan of living here for 3 to 5 years, but maybe now more towards the lower end... Well, hopefully we will leave before my hair turns completely grey, inshallah! :D


Anonymous said...

Hey Shu,

Great article. Agree with your three reasons for staying but I'd say my top three reasons for leaving are the 1) the transient community which makes it difficult to develop a sense of belonging; 2) the poor soft skills in the b2c (business to consumer) market - it drives me nuts and is somewhat related to the transient community because skills and knowledge don't seem to get passed on; and 3) high cost of living - the rent situation is also driving me batty!

Anonymous said...

I hear Dubai is losing a lot of foreign workers. I only remembered to visit your blog again because I read that and wondered how you were doing in Abu Dhabi.