After my making another trip to Abu Dhabi and one to California to assemble and brief my project team (five other professionals plus myself) I met the team in Abu Dhabi to begin our assessment process as requested by the Health Service in Abu Dhabi.
We spent a few days in Abu Dhabi city, assessing the clinic for the Health Service and then proceeded to Ruwais in the Western Region. Abu Dhabi, the Emirate, is very small but we drove about 150 miles to the far reaches of the Emirate. The oil fields are here with thousands of workers from other countries that use this Health Service that we are assessing.
There is a small hospital in Ruwais, and there are six small clinics scattered around the oil fields where the workers live and work. They typically live in air-conditioned trailer houses in encampments that have nary a tree, and since it gets very hot in this country, everyone pretty much stays indoors. In Ruwais, in addition to the hospital, there is an elaborate and huge health club that has every conceivable activity or sport for the workers to utilize. In Ruwais there is also a golf course with ‘browns,’ not ‘greens.’
It was amusing to see signs warning of camels along the road, like our signs warning us of possible deer! And we did catch sight of an occasional wild camel. The landscape is pure dessert, beautiful in its own way.
In the ten days that the whole team was in Abu Dhabi, we didn’t have a lot of time to see the Emirate, but we did go to Al Ain, Abu Dhabi’s second city. We attended the lifestock market which, had an entrance worthy of a medieval castle. Al Ain seems more traditional than Abu Dhabi city, which seems all brand new.
In the city of Abu Dhabi we visited the recently completed Sheikh Kalifa Hospital in which no expense has been spared. It really is a beautiful building and has been several years in construction and has cost several billion dollars.
and then to eat dinner, watching some Abu Dhabians smoke their hubble bubble pipes. The men wear dishdashas which they are very proud to wear. There is a law that none of the foreign workers may wear them.
The women wear the birqa in public.
We used email effectively to get reports written and edited and it only required one more trip for me to go to California to finish the product. Then it was back to Abu Dhabi for me to present it to the Minister of Health and other officials of the government. It was an interesting project in a locale that I probably would never have had the opportunity to visit were it not for this project.