For Most a Change of Lifestyle is Nothing More Than a Dream


You’ve spent years of your life working hard to pay the bills, keep food on the table and raise a family. You’re also enjoying a decent return on the investments you made a few years back. Easy Street may not be around the corner quite yet but it’s getting closer. You can feel it, almost taste it. Yet the rat race has taken its toll. You know it has. Explains the bad tempers and high blood pressure. So maybe it’s time for a change of lifestyle?

First things first, you’re not alone. Thousands of Americans feel exactly as you do, every single day, often when they’re stuck in traffic jams on the way to work. That’s when the mind-numbing grind of the daily commute can really hit home, with a vengeance. So where would you move to, the other side of the country or half-way around the world? Many Americans have plumped for the Middle East with its famous, laid-back lifestyle. Do tomorrow what you can do today sounds about right. Its the sort of attitude that resonates. So just how good is personal banking in Oman? Is it easy to buy a home in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates? Do they have broadband in Bahrain?

Once started, the questions never seem to end. The answers, by the way, are very good, easy if you’ve got the cash, and yes, in that order! Oman is characterised by contrasts with wild mountain peaks and thousands of miles of rugged empty coastline to explore. And don’t forget the wadis,  dried up riverbeds found in the mountain valleys.

Wadis come into their own after heavy rains, says Oman’s Ministry of Information, when the rivers start running again and the vegetation is restored. However, some wadis have year-round running water, with deep, cool pools in which it is quite safe to swim if the currents are slow. On the whole, wadis are only accessible with a four-wheel drive vehicle, as the terrain can be extremely bumpy. Wadis are green, lush oases of palm trees, grasses, and flowering shrubs.

Beautiful. A million miles away from the pressures of deadlines, uncaring bosses and worries over whether or not you’ll still have a job to go to the next day. So what about Dubai? It’s a dynamic, growing global city, a business and cultural hub which draws expatriates like the proverbial magnet. Frenetic describes it well. Fortunes can be made there. High salaries are paid to expatriates, including many Americans, who have the expertise the country badly needs. Many homes are simply bought with cold hard cash on the table and not by means of mortgages, such is the money floating around the city.

Yes, Dubai is an incredibly exciting city, no doubt about it, but you’d probably be exchanging your present lifestyle for a similar one there. Hey, maybe a change is as good as a rest? Then there’s Bahrain, small in size but well connected in terms of banking and finance generally. It also has one of the highest online usage rates in the Middle East. So keeping in touch with friends and family back home would not be a problem at all.

The Middle East may not be everyone’s idea of the ideal escape from the ravages of life here in the West. Yet, thousands of Americans live and work there, enjoying the sort of lifestyle most of us can only but imagine. They actually live the dream. The rest of us merely dream about living the dream. And that, sadly, is the difference.

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