Category Archive: Al Ain

The Things People Tell Me

The United Arab Emirates as a country was founded today, 2 December, exactly 50 years ago, when Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, and Umm-al-Quwain joined forces. Ras-al-Khaimah, the 7th emirate making up… Continue reading

Landscapes – A Virtual Travel Adventure

“Adventures will change you. They’ll saturate you with a fresh view of life. They’ll take every foundation you ever stood on and shake them until they crack. Adventures will tear away layer after… Continue reading

Farewell to the Oases City

In a city where buildings, with the exception of hotels and the minarets of mosques or communication towers, are not allowed to exceed 5 storeys (ground plus 4 storeys) or 20 metres, the… Continue reading

Unstable Weather

The gusts of wind make it difficult for me to lock the cat flap. My fingers feel clumsy as I lean over my cat, who insists on being loved and scratched, ignoring my… Continue reading

Shadows of the Past

Al Ain had been an important stop on the many trade routes that criss-crossed this part of the Arabian Peninsula, from when people settled in the area four thousand years ago. With its… Continue reading

Love Food Festival

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food. – Paul Prudhomme – Imagine biting into a gooey English Cheddar and Emmental toasted sandwich made from sourdough bread, followed by crispy Haloumi… Continue reading

An Evening Under The Stars

Red carpets are rolled out to form narrow pathways that lead to rows and rows of padded chairs facing an enormous purpose-built stage. A cup of coffee warms my hands, while my winter boots warm… Continue reading


“A gentle word opens an iron gate.” – Bulgarian Proverb – Words can fill a reader with magic and wonder. They can conjure up landscapes, visions, and characters that are vivid and tangible. Stories… Continue reading

The Best Part Of A Summer’s Day

The bright, silvery moon has, over the last couple of mornings, slowly been erased from the sky. In its place, only a persistent sliver remains. I step out of the cool interior of our… Continue reading

Wish Upon A Star

The gentle snoring of my husband creates little eddies of sound in the otherwise motionless air. There are no other sounds. The sultry night air feels heavy on my skin. Like a warm embrace from a lover. I… Continue reading

An Ocean of Words

Books have always held a special allure for me. Even as a small child, my mother used to recount, I would gently page through magazines and books, careful not to rip any pages. Spending hours… Continue reading

Desert Rain: A Soundtrack

Layers of cloud cover the sky, swirling into a witches brew of grey. Big, fat raindrops burst and explode against window panes, leaving watery trails in their wake. With time the drizzle turns… Continue reading

Hili Archaeological Park

During that magical hour when the shadows start to lengthen and the light turns soft and golden, Hili Archaeological Park is the perfect place to visit. The soft cooing of pigeons is only… Continue reading

Celebrating A New Year

While Dubai was busy with a record breaking firework show on New Year’s Eve, I found myself under a canopy of stars that could rival any ostentatious spectacle with its simplicity and sparkle. I must admit… Continue reading

Wadi Al Nahyan

Pushed up from the seabed millions of years ago, Jebel Hafeet does not just dominate the landscape around Al Ain, but is a fascinating geological feature. Here geologists can study Eocene and Oligocene… Continue reading

The Growing Season

During the long, hot summer months our once beautiful garden dwindled and disappeared, except for a tenacious origanum, basil, mint and jasmine. We had to concede that the desert won, but we bided our time,… Continue reading

Atta Allah – God’s Gift

The Arabic root for camel, jamel, is also the root for beautiful, jameel. With their long eyelashes, curious eyes, and long, slender legs, I do think camels could be considered beautiful creatures. Their… Continue reading

A Sea of Green

The steps of the half-restored ruin that angles towards a periwinkle sky, are slowly disintegrating. The earth from which it was built is flaking away and is returning to a powdery dust. At the top an unexpected… Continue reading

The Sounds of Summer

The dull thud of the concrete truck, as it starts to regurgitate its contents, penetrates through the closed windows that keep the neighbourhood sounds at bay. The building sounds we daily hear in stereo punctuate our waking hours, and… Continue reading

Omani Halwa

Omani Halwa is a sticky, gelatinous sweet that, although it has become a symbol of Omani hospitality, is just as popular here in the UAE. It is served at all sorts of social… Continue reading