|Fountain show at the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall, taken from our table at Outback Steakhouse:)|
So...let's see, what else. I wanted to answer some questions I got recently from a friend via email about living here. I think I may have mentioned some in prior blogs but will address again -
where is dubai? what is it like? how far away is it? what time zone is it in? you have a So it is warm there? Is it arabic? Is it in asia? Is it safe there?
|The Burj Khalifa|
We are in the continent of Asia, very close to India and Northern Africa. Also, very close to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Dubai is comprised of about 80% expats and only 20% local Emirates - so it is very diverse and we love that about it.
The main religion is Islam and many people speak Arabic although everyone speaks English here. The kids are learning Arabic in the American School so hopefully they will know the "local" language one day too. The Muslim people here are very nice, especially to women and the crime is very low because the laws are enforced and the police are very good. Because the religion is tied to the laws people don't normally break the law - since it will be going agaisnt the Quran too. In other words, Muslims don't drink so you don't have many drinking related incidents and hardly any drinking and driving issues. The visitors know better then to drink and drive and taxis are very cheap. On NYE in Dubai there was not a single vehicle incident related to drinking and driving reported. Not ONE.
You feel very safe here with kids - kids are the center of the world here. Everything, everywhere is kid friendly. We love that about Dubai, and love the weather and living on a beach. The weather during winter is about 80 degrees during the day and a little cooler at night. You can go on the beach year round. The summer is brutual- very hot but that is why the kids and I will leave for the summers:) Most expats do.
We are 10 hours ahead of Kansas City, 9 hours ahead of FL.
Hopefully that answers some questions. My dad also asked about Christmas and yes, they celebrate Christmas here. There are lots of Christmas trees, presents, Santas, etc. although it isn't a Muslim holiday per se they like to celebrate the Santa part of it..presents, etc. so it is very decorative around Christmas. And everyone says MERRY CHRISTmas here - not Happy Holidays. There are lots of Christians here so it is a nice holiday with lots of meaning in this part of the world too. You may have heard of the $11million tree in Abu Dhabi that made the news everywhere. Once again the country of extravagance takes the cake:) On any single day here we will drive by a few Ferraris, at least one Lambroghini and a Rolls Royce or two. I think Porsche Cayenne's are the most popular car here - they are everywhere.
|Weston's Kindergarten class|
The kids are still taking ski/snowboard lessons at Ski Dubai in preparation for our Spring Break trip in April. We'll be heading to Milan, Italy taking the Bernina Express train through the Alps to St Moritz, then heading over to Zurich and flying back. It's about a 6 hour plane ride and we are all excited about our first ski trip in Europe and the boy's first one ever. I need to take lessons now since the boys have surpassed me already.
Ok, think I'm caught up for now. Even though we like our new home we miss everyone back in the states. It is hard adjusting once again to life abroad and starting over making new friends, etc. but it is a great place to do it. Chip really likes his job working with the Ministry of Health (for Cerner still) and I'm slowly getting settled in. I'm looking forward to Spring Break and summer - we will head back to FL for the summer and I'm anxious to see family and friends and catching up. If I come home every summer I figure I'll see everyone in FL more than I saw them when we were in KC! And as far as my KC friends - come visit us in FL!