Thursday, 5 March 2009

Postcard Bani Yas

... from a place, somewhere in-between ...

Bani Yas: The Tribe of Yas

Outside Abu Dhabi, the cosmopolitan lifestyle begins to give way to tradition. There are differing levels of this too - the real tradition, bedouin tents, goats and camels are for most folk, a thing of the past. Instead we have growing settlements and modern lifestyles as witnessed in the big cities.

There are bright city lights; with non-stop traffic, a buzz on the street and plenty of eateries, social hangouts and entertainment; there are villages, slower, more provincial, with their own elements of charm, winding paths, livestock and simplicity. There are small towns, that combine the convenience of city amenities with the gentler pace of life and then there are places in between. Not wanting to offend anyone, I'll pick my words carefully. "In between" is ok if it offers security; though often enough it's a no-mans-land, neither here, nor there; missing that deeper something (the heart, the soul) that is the essence of every city or village.

Bani Yas, about 50km outside Abu Dhabi is, sometimes referred to as a town. It is also known as the home patch of the ruling family of Dubai.

It does have a shopping precinct, that comprises an ADNOC and a co-operative society. It has a park in Bani Yas East, a hotel in the spot they call Mafraq and a hospital too.

Bani Yas has sand, rocky desert, roads, desert shrubs and carefully constructed villas. It has masjids and people who commute in every day and work there. It has a housing estate, some schools and a graveyard.

It's also where currently, I go most days to school where I work as a school improvement advisor.

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