There are tons of photos in this post, folks, be patient! OK, so, Where exactly in the world do we live? Like where on the planet??
OK, so if you recognized the big “bell” shape of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, let’s get a little closer……..
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. In a housing compound called Arabian Ranches.
The orange marker is where our housing compound is located. You see all the brown? That would be desert. 😉
Now, when I learned that TBG’s company had selected Arabian Ranches for our housing area, I had all these wild, exotic thoughts of Omar Sharif, nomads, bedouin tents, belly dancers and camels……
The whole “Lawrence of Arabia” kind of thing, I suppose. Well, nothing like that…..Here’s a link to the Arabian Ranches website. http://arabianranches.com/arabian-ranches-dubai
The day after I arrived, it started raining. Winter rains. Apparently they have about 4 days of rain a year here, and I brought one with me…. <smile> Here are some photos looking out over our balcony etc…. kind of amazing. Our back yard and gate opens onto a lake with a fountain, and I think I saw a small paddle boat there.
Not at ALL what I was expecting, it’s green and pretty and so incredibly well-landscaped! I’d envisioned a yard of desert sand needing to be raked weekly or something… you know, with painted rocks for decoration or such – not so. This housing area is mainly expats like us, people that came here from somewhere else to work, earn the money, then eventually leave. There are only 3 ways into and out of this gated community, about 4000 families live here, IIRC, and it’s guarded constantly and walled. Single and multiple-family homes and villas (doesn’t that sound fancy-schmancy???), playgrounds, parks, pools, tennis, golf, polo, soccer, all sorts of recreation opportunities. Really nice sidewalks and walking trails, lit but not obtrusively so – a lot of people will walk early in the morning and late at night, especially during the hot months.
There’s a small shopping facility here with a grocery, pharmacy, travel agency, salon, bakery, Pizza Hut, Indian restaurant, coffee shop, laundry, gift shops and ATMs, a mosque, an English-speaking school and a medical facility equipped to perform surgery on site. Pretty impressive, I thought. This is the small bakery/sandwich shop with specialty pizzas.
Our villa here (company-provided and furnished) is a lovely 2-bedroom, 3-bath on 2 levels, with tile floors throughout and three balconies plus a small covered porch. I’m not a huge fan of tile floors, but I see their practicality here. With one of those big giant microfiber swiffer-type things, it will make short work of dusting the floors.
It’s a bit bigger than the house we have in Alabama, I think, especially the height of the ceilings and the doors. And the front door is HUGELY wide and big…. It’s pretty dang impressive, I think. Needs a bit of a washdown, but it’s pretty interesting. Here are some other photos of the inside of our villa.
That door measures a full FIFTY INCHES wide!! And yeah, I forgot to take off the door hanger thing – we have no home mail delivery here, so people that want to send out junk mail do it through people that will drive around major housing developments and hang advertisements, flyers, catalogs, cards, whatever, off your doorknob….. I think I may use the fish extender that we used on the Disney cruise and see if stuff starts appearing in it!!