Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The Liwa Oasis
An undated image of a camel train leaving and oasis.
Liwa is part of a crescent shaped oasis made up of 15 small towns that form the gateway to the dramatic expanse of the “Empty Quarter” also known as the Al Rub Al Khali Desert – the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world - larger than the combined areas of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Artifacts found in this area, on the western edge of the United Arab Emirate (UAE), date back to the Stone Age, around 5500 – 3500 years B.C. While details are sketchy, it is believed that the first inhabitants of this area were Bedouins of the Manasir tribe followed by the Bani Yas tribe who arrived around the 16th century.  The ruling family of Abu Dhabi is the al Nahyan family who are members of the Bani Yas Tribe.

With its freshwater pools and palm groves, the oasis of Liwa was a major destination for the early travelers who crossed the desert in camel trains to bring their goods to trade. The first European to enter Liwa was the late Sir Wilfred Thesiger who documented his 1940’s travels on the Arabian Peninsula in his book Arabian Sands.”