Views #783 | Low-Intermediate 4


Greg talks about living in the United Arab Emirates and its two main cities.
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Todd: So, Greg you taught in the Middle East.

Greg: Yeah, I lived in the United Arab Emirates for awhile.

Todd: Wow, that's a lot different than most places.

Greg: Ah, it's very different. I'm glad I went to experience another culture, another way of life.

Todd: Yeah, what do you remember about it?

Greg: Well, one thing that's so unique about the United Arab Emirates is that actually there are people from all over the world there.

Todd: No kidding.

Greg: The native population is maybe 30% of the population.

Todd: 30%.

Greg: And the rest are foreigners who have come in to work in various ways.

Todd: Where do these foreigners come from?

Greg: From all over the world. You know, you have a lot of English teachers from the U.S. and England and Australia and New Zealand and Britain, and so on. You have a lot of Philippinos working as shopping, in shops, in stores, and you have people from India coming and working in construction. People from all over the world, and actually it's very cosmopolitan.

Todd: Oh, what's the biggest city in UAE?

Greg: Ah, it's probably Dubai.

Todd: What's Dubai like?

Greg: Actually, I never spent that much time in Dubai because I lived in Abu Dhab. I just went to the airport in Dubai. Abu Dhabi though, I tell you, it's really amazing. The architecture is really beautiful. The Arabic architecture is just amazing. The mosques. The marble on the building, really, beautiful.

Todd: In Abu Dhabi though, did you live in a house, or did you live in an apartment?

Greg: I lived in an apartment on the 14th floor.

Todd: The 14th floor.

Greg: The 14th floor. Oh, it's, Abu Dhabi is amazing. You know, maybe 50 years ago, there were just some small villages, but after oil was discovered, and the country became rich, there was like an explosion in the population and new buildings were going up every day. They're growing like mushrooms. I could see the ocean, though from my apartment. I remember how beautiful the ocean was.

Todd: Hey, what's the cuisine like?

Greg: Ah, the food is amazing. Because you have people from all over the world, you have food from all over the world.

Todd: What's the local food? Is it rice-based?

Greg: Oh, they eat rice, and a lot of, camel meat, camel meat is unusual and the cheeses are really salty.

Todd: OK, camel mea, cheese, and rice.

Greg: And a lot of Mediterranean foods too. Dates, the dates were fantastic.

Todd: Really.

Greg: I never liked dates before I went there, and the olives. The olives are also wonderful. Out of this world.

Todd: You're making me hungry.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!!

native population


The native population is maybe 30% of the population.

The 'native population' refers to the indigenous or original people from a certain country who were there before colonialists came.

Notice the following:

  1. I always try to meet people from the native population, as I think it is important to learn and respect their culture.
  2. There are not many people from the native population who live here anymore.



People from all over the world, and actually it's very cosmopolitan.

When an area is considered to be 'cosmopolitan,' it has people from all parts of the world living in it. It is very diverse.

Notice the following:

  1. I think quite a lot of the major cities in the world are very cosmopolitan these days.
  2. She likes to visit places that are cosmopolitan.

explosion in the population


There was an explosion in the population and new buildings were going up every day.

When there is an 'explosion in the population' it means that there is a rapid increase in the number of people living in a certain area.

Notice the following:

  1. In the early part of the century there was an explosion in the population.
  2. Immigration means that certain countries have seen an explosion in population.



What's the local food? Is it rice based?

When cuisine is 'rice-based,' it means that rice forms the basis of most of the meals.

Notice the following:

  1. Most of the cooking that I do at home is rice based.
  2. I would like to know more about Thai cooking; is it rice based?

out of this world


The olives are also wonderful. Out of this world.

When something is described as 'out of the this world,' it means that it is wonderful.

Notice the following:

  1. I love your dress; it is out of this world.
  2. The holiday was wonderful. It was simply out of this world.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
native • cosmopolitan • explosion
rice-based • world
  1. I got hungry a lot more often in Vietnam, because all of their food is .
  2. With the increase in technology and development, there has been an in the population here.
  3. The concert we went to last night was out of this .
  4. Most of the population was killed off by disease.
  5. After growing up in a city like New York, it was very hard for him to move to the country.