About Me

Who is behind Glimpses of the UAE

Who is behind Glimpses of the UAE?

Who is behind Glimpses of the UAE

Hi! I’m Alison and originally a Scottish lass 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 but I’m also a naturalised Emirati 🇦🇪 and so my life has become a fusion of two rich cultures.

My life here began in the UAE back in 1999 when I moved in to a tower on Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai. I thought it was a skyscraper but, of course, it’s now completely dwarfed by its neighbours and I struggle to find it on the cityscape.

view from Oasis Tower Sheikh Zayed in 1999 over what is now DIFC
My view from Sheikh Zayed Road in 1999

Life then took me to the capital, Abu Dhabi, for a year and a half and then onto Sharjah for three more before I settled on our farm in Al Dhaid (Sharjah Central Region) for 13 years. It was there that I was in my element amongst the greenery and animals. My neighbours were donkeys, goats and peacocks. They weren’t the quietest of neighbours though!

Down on our farm in Dhaid
Down on the farm in Al Dhaid

I moved back nearer the coast in 2019 and although it’s more convenient, I miss the drier inland climate.

Glimpses of the UAE began as a website back in 2013 and was originally to be Beyond Dubai. I noticed that so many people visited or lived in Dubai and Abu Dhabi but didn’t see the rest of this beautiful country with its stunning mountains, nature reserves with so many species, beautifully curated museums, art houses, festivals, local heritage and more. The aim of Glimpses of the UAE was to show people just that.

Why I Love Sharjah is the sister website but as time went on, I focused on Glimpses of the UAE as Sharjah is spread across the northern emirates with its various enclaves and it made sense to keep everything in one place.

The Glimpses of UAE Facebook page was set up in 2015 and my Instagram account in 2019 to reach more people and spread the word more. In 2021 I created the Glimpses of the UAE map as a new feature to help people plan trips and also the Facebook community group.

When I worked on temporary contracts for the American University of Sharjah and then moved to the Outreach Department is when my exploring really took off. Since 2015 I have taught Business English to Emirati jobseekers across the emirate of Sharjah and spent time before and after sessions discovering Khor Fakkan, Kalba, Dibba al Hisn, Al Madam and all places en route, often taking a different route every day.

Living and working with Emiratis has given me an insight into their lives that I treasure and that I sometimes like to share. I did plan to share more about Emirati life and it’s definitely something I want to get back to doing more of. You’ll find a bit more of this on my social media than here.

My favourite things in the UAE are the people, the mountains, quiet beaches, the festivals such as Sharjah Light Festival and RAK Fine Arts Festival, and, of course, legemat!

I’m now also branching out more of Abu Dhabi emirate and also Oman as it’s great for road trips from the UAE. I plan to add more of Dubai eventually, but the less bling places!

My exploring isn’t over. There’s still so much to see and so many exciting new developments too. I hope you’ll stay with me on this journey of discovery and we continue exploring and learning together.

So now you know who is behind Glimpses of the UAE! You can follow on here, and also on Instagram, Facebook and through my newsletter. Don’t forget to check the Glimpses of the UAE map too.

Take a look at my other page In Scotterati Footsteps which has some posts on Oman.

Alison Watt, author of Glimpses of the UAE

Media Links

Public appearances, etc.

  • Presented at Xposure International Photography Festival 2023
  • Appeared on Dubai Eye ‘The Agenda’ magazine show
  • Contributed to article in Gulf News

Find me on LinkedIn

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