Blogs from Middle East - page 4


Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi November 27th 2018

A lie in was had after the late night last night. Bethany and Nick were still asleep by the time I got up and showered. Once dressed I started my usual routine of getting some cups of coffee. I sat out on the balcony to start my blog I hadn’t written the night before. The air was humid from the rain that had hit the main island the night before and I lazily lay back on the balcony furniture whilst recalling an exciting, exhilarating and a once in a lifetime day. The moment of the race that stood out for me was the three world Champions (Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso) doing donuts on the start finish straight. A great tribute to allow Alonso to join them after a terrible few years with McLaren. He will be ... read more
Abu Dhabi Hill
Sunset from the stand
the not quite Red arrows

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi November 25th 2018

I wake up in panic. There is a knock on the door. Jesus have I overslept. I stagger bleary eyed to the door to find Lisa. “You wanted me to wake you for your run”. This was not mentioned the night before and it was apparent that Lisa had dreamt the whole thing. She apologised and I close the door I collapse back into bed look at my phone and it is just after 6am. Having got to sleep at 2 am last night I receded back into sleep until my alarm went off at 9.30. The usual morning routine takes place. I shower, dress and sit down for a cup of percolated coffee before departing to Denny’s to get our fill before we get the taxi to Yas Island. Today is race day and as ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi November 24th 2018

The alarm went off at 8am and I roll over and switch it off remembering the texts my wife was sending me a few hours before. Probably not appreciating the 4 hour time difference she seemed determined to wake me. The run for this morning was out of the window. I staggered bleary eyed into the kitchen and again praised Lisas hospitality as I poured myself a freshly percolated coffee she had prepared before leaving for work. Outside the streets were busy with weekend traffic and the city looked alive with energy. I took my coffee back to bed and put on an audiobook in order to kick my brain into gear. A couple of cups of coffee later, having showered and dressed I knocked Nick and Bethany awake. I left them to carry out their ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi November 23rd 2018

Now let me make this quite clear from the start. I had been warned not to drink the water from the tap. Lisa has kindly bought water to drink and to brush our teeth in. Not a drop had passed these lips since arriving. The food has been magnificent and I have no doubt that this is what caused the incident when I got to the race circuit today. Now I know you are all waiting with baited breath of the potential story that this could lead to but you will have to wait because this story starts with me waking up. The day is bright and I can tell that it is going to be a hot one. In fact I’ve heard that they only had a days rain last year and in fact I ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi November 22nd 2018

Here I am sat on the balcony on the first morning of my much anticipated trip to the Middle East. This is my second visit to this area of the world having done a quick stop into Dubai on route to New Zealand 15 years ago. This time I would be stepping out of the airport and entering a culture and diverse region that I am totally alien to. Why I would leave my wife and kids for this trip one month before Christmas is a personal one. For years I worked within Motorsports having worked at Britain’s newest race track (at the time) Rockingham in Corby. It was here, working 15 hour days, that I met a family that would become as close to me as my blood one. Sheena Macdonald was working in the ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates November 20th 2018

Stopped in Dubai for a couple of days on the way home. A bustling city and pretty amazing with all the building going on. Mark of course had to go skiing even though it was 29C outside and -4C inside on the indoor ski hill. I passed going and watched instead. No broken legs so we can go home safely now!... read more

Middle East » Syria November 16th 2018

Murray went to Syria for 1 week for war damage assessments with a team from the UN and planning for the return of refugees. We went to Damascus and visited Eastern Ghouta which is a damaged region in Damascus. It was sobering to see the extent of the destruction, with signs of hope as people were beginning to return to restart their lives after almost 8 years of war.... read more
7% of dwellings totally destroyed
400,000 houses totally destroyed
Estimated 1.2 million houses destroyed or damaged

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai November 15th 2018

What would a person do if they were walking in the desert and found a golden coin? Would they keep the new found wealth for themselves or share it with others? Would they purchase extravagant baubles and shiny trinkets to impress less fortunate friends and neighbors? Would they spend lavishly on short-term necessities or might they invest for the future in an attempt to prolong the benefits of their good fortune? What if that person was a leader of men, who felt a responsibility for the welfare of others? What if instead of a single gold coin, they found a treasure trove of many coins? What if the citizens in their charge, while proud of their heritage, had never known the life of privilege and luxury that great wealth brings? Might that leader attempt to give ... read more
Sheikh Zayed Road- Dubai
Dubai Marina
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai November 13th 2018

It’s 5.30 am and Tony has picked us up to go to Heathrow - we are off again this time for four and a half months starting in Dubai and ending in Singapore late March 2019. Flying Emirates on an Airbus 380 it was a good flight eventually getting to our destination in Park Island Dubai Marina. We were staying with our friends Katy and Steve Clements who have been out there living for a few years. A good start to our travels. An easy evening was followed by an early morning getaway to Abu Dabhi with Katy kindly driving. First stop the Grand Sheik Zayed Mosque - the largest mosque in the country. Words don’t really do it justice but it is a beautiful and serene space capable of holding over 40,000 worshippers. The main ... read more
Sheik Zayed Mosque Abu Dabhi
square at Mosque
water at the Mosque

Middle East » Iran » South » Kish Island November 13th 2018

In this blogpost we'll just share some personal reflections, our next blogpost will tell more about where we went, what we saw and did. "Iran .... we feel sad leaving you and your beautiful people behind, we hope all our so called 'leaders' will not screw up too much ..." It is with mixed feelings and thoughts that we have left Iran, after travelling through the country for 60 days. It has been quite an experience, a very real travelling experience I would say. Iran has left an enormous impression on us with all its nature, culture, history, food, beautiful buildings and of course people. We have found that we still learn new things, cultures and languages. We enjoy meeting new people and talking about the commonalities and differences in our lives. We love seeing new ... read more
Iranians are cool
Iranians are cool
Iranians are cool

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