Life in the UAE: Being A Black Woman in Abu Dhabi

Following my last post where I answered questions about work and finances in the UAE, today’s post will answer some questions about life in the UAE. This is written from the perspective of a single, Black American woman living and working in Abu Dhabi.

 

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What’s it like being a single woman in the UAE?

For the most part, it’s just like being a single woman in the USA. I drive, work, take care of my errands, shop, party, travel, and more. I don’t require my father, husband, or brother to accompany me to do any of this. Interestingly enough, I find that I am treated better in the UAE as a woman than I am in the USA. For example, ladies have a separate processing area at the DMV where we don’t have to wait in the ridiculously long lines with the men. Many other government and private institutions have ladies only areas. If you choose to use them, you usually find that your errand is done much quicker. Ladies also have an advantage in

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Life in the UAE: A Single Educator’s Perspective

I am often asked questions about my experience in the UAE.  I’m always happy to answer, but know that I can only speak from the perspective of a young, single, childless professor living and working in Abu Dhabi. With that being said, allow me to answer some of the most recently asked questions about work and finances.

 

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What’s it like being an educator in Abu Dhabi?

Try to remember that the education system in Abu Dhabi is still in the process of reform. Instruction is done in English, and learning no longer means simply memorizing and parroting back the information your teacher told you. This has an effect on schools from KG all the way up through Higher Ed. Since you likely come from a country that is older than  the UAE, which is only 43 years young, and are an experienced educator, you are an asset to this system.

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Finding Your Way Around Abu Dhabi

Whenever I first move to a new city, I gas up my car on an early weekend morning and purposefully get myself lost so I can try to find my way home. About a month after I arrived in Abu Dhabi I hired a tiny rental car and did just that.

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My Rental Car: Ford Figo

 

I’m proud to say that I have mostly learned my way around the city after 9 months. Let me tell you, doing that was no small feat. Here’s why.

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Tales from the Abu Dhabi Classroom: On Students Who Cover

Another interesting occurrence that I sometimes take for granted while at my job is my gender. Being female, I am afforded more liberties than my male colleagues. For example, when I want to enter my classroom, I simply open the door and walk through it. Before my male colleagues enter any classroom, they usually knock on the door and announce themselves. This gives the female students a chance to “cover” (or re-cover) if they so choose. What do I mean by “cover”? 

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A Funny Thing Happened When I Aired My Dirty Little Secret

Merci. Gracias. 감사합니다. Shukran. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me after reading my most recent posts about coping with mental illness and expat woes. Many of you have virtually held my hand and reminded me that I’m not in this alone. The thick fog and darkness are slowly giving way to clarity and light. The tears are still flowing, but I suppose there should be tears when you’re unmasking your pain.

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