Abu Dhabi Hotels were our first homes

My family and I arrived in the United Arab Emirates on July 19, 2017. We stayed in two Abu Dhabi Hotels until August 10, 2017. You read that correctly. We lived in two hotels for 22 days.

This wasn’t our choice, but I’m not complaining about it either. My wife is a teacher for the Abu Dhabi Education Council or ADEC, so these were our initial accommodations. I could easily complain about being thrown into a hotel for a long time, but that’s stupid. They paid for our flights and our hotels. Woot!

So how did we enjoy our two miniature homes?

Abu Dhabi Hotels


Novotel was the first of our Abu Dhabi Hotels.

First thing first, the heat. I know that doesn’t have to deal with the actual hotel, but hear me out. When we stepped outside…OH EM GEE. My glasses would acquire a layer of fog that was difficult to shake. I mean, thirty seconds of having no eyes.

The boys would stay outside for about ten to fifteen minutes. They hated being trapped in the hotel, and the mall wasn’t liberating enough, so we had to let them out for a brief period. They’d return to the room covered in sweat and drained like they had a day at the park.

The Struggle

The food! Listen, Linda. Food was not a friend. It was an enemy combatant. I’m for serious.

We had no fridge, microwave, or cooker. Staying in a hotel is kewl for a day or two, but never plan on staying for three weeks. It’s just a horrible idea.

Only one of our Abu Dhabi hotels had room service for food delivery. That was Novotel. The food was good, but a little expensive for a family on a budget. So, we learned to make oatmeal, ramen, and Banana Mac from a kettle.

Hood Recipe

Banana Mac? Chess. It is a healthier version of Mac and Cheese. The recipe is simple, but difficult using a kettle. For those with toddlers that need the help and want to experiment, here’s what you do:

  1. Boil water in a kettle.
  2. Place water in a small bowl with macaroni.
  3. Stir and sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain and pour more water in.
  5. Allow macaroni to sit for 10-15 more minutes depending on how soft your kid likes it.
  6. Mash banana (cinnamon is optional)
  7. Combine banana and pasta

This is much easier without the kettle, but that’s the long version.

Kairo wouldn’t eat until we finally made this. We were so happy to see him finish a meal.


Kids get restless in a hotel. By restless, I mean they turn into little horror films. So we had to get creative with our games. By “we,” I mean Kairo. He created most of the games that Kalel and I played.

  • We chased and captured bees with our hands! (Don’t try this in real life).
  • We fished on our “boat” or bed base.
  • And we slid down our slide
    Boat fishing at the ImagiPond
    National Park Daddy Slide







Life was stressful, but we had each other, which can be good and bad simultaneously. The hotel accommodations were great, and we had fun. Plus, (big plus) Kalel learned how to walk here.

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotel in Al Ain, from what I know, isn’t a four-star hotel, BUT I liked this hotel way more…until the last day. Of our two Abu Dhabi Hotels, we enjoyed being here the most. This had little to do with the hotel and more about our familiarity with Abu Dhabi. After three weeks, we comfortable in our new homeland, so we had more fun.

We ordered food and used pasta for the kids to balance out their other meals. Also, we found more shows for the kids to watch to occupy their time.  

Then, we faced the heat. Abu Dhabi city was a good prep. The humidity made going outside much worse. Al Ain doesn’t have that nasty humidity as often. So the heat was easier for all of us to grow into.

People at this hotel recognized Tiyaanah and wished her a happy birthday. They even sent a gift. It was good.

Again, the stay didn’t feel as long. We had fun times, but things got stressful towards the end. ADEC gave us a few days to find housing after we received our housing allowance. Most people had already placed deposits, but we weren’t willing to take any risks, so we waited for our deposit, which left us in a sticky situation.
Fortunately, everything worked out. We now live in a sweet villa.


5 thoughts on “Abu Dhabi Hotels were our first homes

    1. Hey, Jihan! Yeah. I’ve had it for a few years, but I’ve fallen off more than once. Now, it’s my full-time job, so I should be able to update everyone on how the kids are doing!

  1. So glad to find this blog especially as I have kids and also planning to work with Adec. So when you say housing allowance do you mean the 20k for furniture? Or is this the family housing allowance?

    1. Hey, Deen! Yeah, the 20k for furniture. But please don’t look at it like it’s actually for furniture. During your first month here, you’ll likely have a couch, bed, and a few other necessities when you receive that allowance. The 20k is more for your electricity deposit (2000 AED I believe), housing deposit (I forget that amount too but I think it’s 500 AED but it also depends on where you are), food, car rental, and whatever else comes up. My wife and I had a good amount saved before we arrived and we burned through that before the housing allowance. My final check came in for work, we burned through that too. But we cashed out on her California retirement and that left us pretty well off, so our housing was furnished early.

      Everyone’s situation is different, but I have enjoyed my experience so far. Let me know if you have any questions. And if you get placed in Al Ain, come visit. Being trapped in the hotel is hard.

      1. Thanks Kashif wow sounds like a fair bit of money that needs saving beforehand. I will definitely keep in touch and let you know when I apply etc. Really nice blog .

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