Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Reader Questions Answered

     I always love to hear about what you want me to blog about. I will try and answer your questions to the beast of my ability. I have a few questions that readers have asked about so here are the answers.

1. How do you manage your hair? 

     The options for getting your hair done are pretty good. Actually, I was quit impressed when I arrived that there were so many affordable places to get black hair done.
     I get my hair braided every two months by lovely Ethiopian ladies in a salon here in Al Ain called Nail Corner (funny thing is I have never seen them do nails). They charge about 85$ including the hair and do not take very long. The 'fancy' updos that you see when I go out are done by me. They aren't as hard as they look and I like to wear my hair up when I'm out. 
    If you wear a weave I would suggest bringing weave hair with you because my friends tell me that the selection here is not plentiful and natural hair is rather expensive, yet not impossible to get. You will have no trouble getting someone to sew it in for you at a reasonable price. 
   A wash and blowout is also super cheap running at about 15$, I have friends that go every week.
    In terms of hair grease, oils, conditioners and those other types of potions. Bring them with you because they are few and far between here.

2. Tell me about the men, not only the Westerners but locals also.

      Ahhhh yes, the issue that is on so many women's minds. To be honest there are more Western men out here than I thought there would be. Granted many of them are married. The single ones are few and far between and for this reason they are like kids in a candy store. Men are men and the same issues that occur at home are out here also. 

   That being said, I have met a few nice guys out here, none of them were teachers though. They ranged the gamut from department store salesman to lawyer. If you are also open to date outside your race, that opens the doors even more. 
     I must admit that I do not think that Emirati men are interested in black women, but that is just my personal opinion/experience. There are also many men from other Arab countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria ...) and they seem interested in dating outside of their race. 
    There are many opportunities to meet people, so make sure you take advantage of them because you never know, some people have met their future husband here. 

3. I want to know about the food! Costs, groceries, restaurants, interesting dishes you have tried. 

     The funny thing is there are more restaurants here than in Montreal! I have never had IHOP or Cheesecake Factory until I came to the UAE. Also restaurants like PF Chang's, Red Lobster and Olive Garden either don't exist in Canada or are few and far between. So if you think you are going to miss the restaurants from home, you won't. They are here in abundance.
    The cost I would say is comparible to home and in my opinion the groceries are cheaper. They have a nice selection of fruits and vegetables but certain things are extremely expensive (blueberries, raspberries) but other fruits are extremely cheap (watermelon). Unlike home where you just bring the fruits to the cash and they weight them and enter the code when you check out. The UAE is a little different, you have to weight them in the produce section BEFORE you get to the cash. 
     Most food items are not hard to find here, granted there are certain cereals and other treats that you may have to bring with you or have someone send.
     The UAE grocery stores are starting to have organize sections, so if you are into that you won't be completely out of luck. 

    There are pork stores for non Muslims where you can buy pork chops and bacon. 
    Since I grew up in Montreal, I am accustomed to things like falafel, hummus, baba ganoush and shish tawouk. They are all delicious and if you have never tried them I suggest you do when you come out here.

    I also like that they are big into fresh juices here and all malls have numerous juice stands with an assortment of flavors.

     There is a dessert that I really like called um ali; it is kind of like a bread pudding with nuts. It doesn't look very appetizing but it tastes so good.

Cardamon tea is also one of my favorites and only costs a dollar at the gas station.

Hope this helps! 


  1. Miss Haneefa,
    I've recently started following your blog and I'm so glad that I have. I'll be relocating to the UAE this August to teach in a cycle 1 school with ADEC. I'm so glad that you addressed these questions. I wear my hair natural, but in the form of locs. I have found that many responses for hair care are for natural hair or for individuals that wear weaves. Do you know of places for dreadlocks?

  2. I know of a lady in Al Ain that takes care of locks. My friend's husband has locks and goes to her and says she is very good.

    1. That's great news! I'm still waiting for my departure date, so I still don't know where in the UAE I'll be placed yet. I'm sure that I'll be able to make time to visit the woman you mentioned. Is it ok that I email you for further details?

      Thank you so much for the inside scoops you provide. Keep up the fantastic posts.

  3. Thank you for answering my question! You are the best :) Stay positive!! You can do it!