Wednesday, 30 March 2011

From Rag to Riches

The Viaduct Bards - Poetry in Motion

From Rag to Riches - A Story of Abu Dhabi by Mohammed Al-Fahim was written in 1995 and follows the transformation of Abu Dhabi from a Bedouin society into a booming economy in 30 years.  In 1960 Abu Dhabi was an impoverished community without electricity, roads, medical care or education.  It is essential reading for anyone wanting to live and work in Abu Dhabi, providing an insight into the Emirati culture and their unique relationship with the expat community which make up 80% of the population in Abu Dhabi.  The final chapter Beyond Our Dreams looks towards the future and 15 years later I live in this city which was full of hope, faith and perseverance back in 1995.  Today its a city that realises the importance of moving away from its dependence on oil and diversifying into new markets.  Now tourism, the environment, culture, arts and the financial sector are the buzz words in this fast moving city.  And yet it still retains its old charm with the old quarters of the city pulsating with life while the cranes are dotted along every street corner.  I welcome the challenge of getting to know this city over the next few years.

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