U is for U.A.E

Today’s post for U is a look back at the 2 years I spent living in the United Arab Emirates. My husband, Robert’s job took him to the Middle East in 2008, first to Qatar, where I joined him in 2011 and then to Dubai at the end of 2012.

We lived right in the middle of Dubai in a district called Old Town which is really close to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa.

Looking at our place from Burj Khalifa

This is looking down towards our flat from the Burj Khalifa. It’s right in the middle of the photo in the low rise buildings.

UAE 3a

And this is the view from our balcony and my home office by day and by night. The balcony was a lovely place to sit out in the warmth of the evening.

Shona Easton Dhows at sunset 2

It was interesting to visit the creek. The traditional dhows line up, waiting to be loaded for another trip.


The loads are immense! You wonder how they manage to float once it’s all on board.


If you’re on foot, the best way to get across the creek is by abra for 1 dirham (about 20p).

Dubai Spice Souk

My favourite souk on the Deira side of the creek was the spice souk.

Jebel Hafeet

We made the most of our time in the UAE by visiting all of the other emirates as well. This is the view from the top of Jebel Hafeet in Abu Dhabi emirate.

Door 15

The new vast mosque in Fujairah emirate is still under construction but looking very beautiful already.

Blue Souk in Sharjah

The blue souk in Sharjah has to be on everybody’s list, especially if you’re looking for a carpet. This is also one for #BagsOnTour. Unsurprisingly we had a lot of visitors over the two years!


Our purchase – a heavy duty silk kilim, almost too pretty to walk on.

Shona Easton Dining in the desert

We did some crazy things like going to a black tie dine in the desert event, followed by sleeping in a tent.

Shona Easton Dubai friends 2

Always with great friends who will never be forgotten.


Some #BagsOnTour visitors took every opportunity to capture a photo for me!


And sometimes I’m in the photo too. The views back to the Dubai skyline from the beach are wonderful, especially as the sun starts to set. So for #BagsOnTour, I’m using the Lucia hobo in red and Jo has her mango satchel with her.

Mountain road 2

It’s not all desert in the UAE. There are some very scary mountain roads with breathtaking scenery up in Ras Al-Khaimah emirate.


Back to Dubai and a very civilised place for afternoon tea at The Palace hotel overlooking the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai fountain. Me and my Mum – both using the same Gina handbag – luckily in different colours!

Dubai Fountain & the Burj

Obviously I just had to include a photo of the fountains.

Souk Madinat inside

And I just loved a trip to the Souk Madinat whenever friends came to visit.

Shona & Dubai Marina

Bye bye Dubai. It was a great experience, living there for a couple of years. No doubt I’ll be back soon, after all, it’s on my way to India 🙂

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4 Responses to U is for U.A.E
  1. Gillian
    August 22, 2016 | 6:38 pm

    This was a great post – I always think of Dubai as all glitz and high rise buildings – it’s so nice to know that they still have dhows and souks. Those mountain roads look really scarey !

    • Shona Easton
      August 23, 2016 | 8:16 am

      I suppose what most of us see is the tourist information stuff that goes out to promote Dubai as a shopping and holiday destination. There is a ‘real’ Dubai too and some of the older parts haven’t changed in 40ish years. It’s well worth taking a stroll along the creek, in and out of the smaller souks there. Sadly some people just go there on an ‘all inclusive’ and don’t see anything apart from their splendid hotel complex and the shopping malls.
      I’m really pleased you like my post Gillian 🙂

  2. Genevieve Muwana
    August 22, 2016 | 7:23 pm

    Loved this post! Thank you so much for taking us on this virtual tour. Dubai in on my bucket list and I believe will be there in the near future.

    • Shona Easton
      August 23, 2016 | 8:07 am

      Thank you Genevieve. I hope you get your trip there soon.