Tourist court is a win-win

Nobody wins when a tourist gets arrested in a foreign place for doing something they didn’t even know was illegal.

Abu Dhabi

Of course, ignorance of the law is no excuse anywhere, but some places have a reputation for making things excessively difficult for people — often naive young people — who break the law.

So, it’s good to see that one popular destination is doing something about it.

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Christmas is all around

Christmas markets, Christmas lunches, Christmas shopping … it’s all happening, and not just in traditionally Christian countries.

From Kakadu, Shanghai

Not long after I moved to Abu Dhabi, somebody sneered on social media about  “politically correct” Britain, where some councils had (allegedly) banned Christmas, and then added for good measure: “I bet you’re not allowed to celebrate it in the UAE, either.”

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Flowering of the desert

The northern winter really is a good time to visit the United Arab Emirates. Few people may think of greenery and flowers when they think about the desert, but — thanks to the hard work of dedicated gardeners — it really does bloom at this time of year.

Here are some pictures I’ve taken in Abu Dhabi over the past few days.

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My neck of the woods

Those of us who like to travel sometimes forget about the delights of where we live. While researching the next exotic destination, we are sometimes oblivious to changes in our own neighbourhood.

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It pays to have a look around; to go somewhere new but nearby. I did this today with my first proper visit to Al Maryah Island, which has been designed to be the new central business district of Abu Dhabi (which, in case you don’t know is where I live).

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