Essential resources, books and links.

There are literally thousands of different books, blogs, and 'helpful' sites on the big circuit board of info that is the internet.

Some are really helpful, in that they actually hand over information that is relevant to the experience of living here in the great sandy climes.

SOME are really helpful in that they can be used to stabilise a coffee table, or in the case of blogs and sites, printed then used to stabilise a coffee table.

This is no random list. ALL of the stuff here has been read/used/plundered by us at some point over our stay.

SO, without further bother, and so I can diminish the chance of offending said 'helpful' sites, here's my list of all things helpful and interesting and most importantly pertinent to the UAE.


We were initially a bit sceptical about such a commercial grade looking book. But it's actually great. I call this a first year book. GREAT help for the first year, not sure that I need to update to the new one each year after though.

Truly handy,

We got this really early on in the preparation period prior before coming here. It got some pretty average reviews, but I can't see why. Gave us a good grounding in at least saying hello and giving taxi driver's directions.

I coupled this book (Wasn't available with the CD when I purchased it) with the Gulf Arabic website. The Gulf Arabic website is quite in depth for a free site, and although not in any way related to this book, seemed to work very well with it.

You can get these little beasties here, so handy. The road system is really straight forward here in AD (unlike Dubai, which is a nightmare) but like all new places it just takes a little bit of time to work out.

This map can do help with that. There's also one that is made out of cloth and just floats around in my wife's handbag like a handkerchief.

Also handy, and washable (I prefer the paper one that is linked to here, I just do)

An EXCELLENT read, describing the story of how this place came to be. It's hard to believe that I am posting this via high speed fibre optic internet, when 40 years ago, it would have needed to be a high speed camel to get the message out.

This is an officially sanctioned book on the birth of the Abu Dhabi.

A very interesting read. Written by an expat-brat who grew up here in the 70s and 80's, then left only to return 20 years later.

At times a sad indictment on what happens when so much money appears almost over night.

Discusses the duality of lifestyle of Locals vs Expats, and  difficulties met on both sides stunned by massive cultural shock.

Pulls no punches, am stunned it is available here.


www.abudhabiwoman.com - The go to place for all things Abu Dhabi ish. Excellent info on parenting and schools etc. Discussions can occasionally get a bit edgy, but the site is well moderated. Be patient with some of the folk on the board. Remember, the question you are about to ask has probably been asked a thousand times before - occasional huffiness ensues.

www.gulfarabic.com Mentioned above. Handy resource for learning some language basics.

www.linguisthouse.com mentioned in the 'loose nothing to translation' post, can't speak more highly of a translation company here. Friendly and helpful.

http://www.abudhabi.ae - sometimes a little hit and miss, but gets better by the day. Government based information available, fines (booooo) can be paid here etc.

This list is tweaked all the time, and if you have anything to add that has really helped you in your adventure, please just let us know the site/book and reason, and if suitable we'll add it.



  1. Anonymous12:10

    "occasional huffiness ensues" - gold. How very well put!

  2. Diplomatic enough?


  3. Anonymous20:53

    Nice Blog and some really interesting blog entries.. from a ABW member and Abu Dhabi lady. Thank you.

  4. I would recommend arabacademy.com as well. They provide a comprehensive Arabic language education through interactive activities, taskbased learning, and expert teachers. Based this through experience.

  5. I think a translator should (ideally) not have to bother with part files at all, especially in environments where the product to be translated might actually change several times a week or even per day (modern mobile apps for example). Versifying can become tricky at that point... swedish to english translation.

  6. Nice Blog and some really interesting blog entries.. from a ABW member and Abu Dhabi lady. Thank you.


Andrew Webber is a writer, living in Abu Dhabi with his wife, two cats and two dogs.

His first book "Erasure" was published in June 2012 and was followed in 2013 by the Prequel to Erasure, "Broken".

In 2016 Erasure was a prize winner in the Montegrappa Writing Prize - part of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

For more information click the "Erasure" book cover on the left side of this site, or simply go to www.athwebber.com

Thanks for visiting.