I have been in the UAE and working at UAEU for just over a month now. Honestly some of that time has been frustrating. The inevitable bureaucracy associated with moving anywhere has meant that I am still living in the hotel. I should be able to get the keys of an apartment today – just in time to store a few things there before heading back to UK for Christmas. Everything official in UAE depends on having an Emirates ID card. Even couriers will not deliver things to you if you do not have the EID. Starting a bank account without it is impossible, and so is getting paid or renting an apartment. But I hope that I am over that hurdle now. Returning to the UK has a strong sense of deja-vu. Almost exactly a year ago I was also heading to the UK, we then got the emergence of the Alpha variant and I was caught by Hong Kong’s ban on flights from the UK and remained in London for three months. A year later covid cases are ballooning in the UK, and a new variant Omicron is beginning to spread. I cannot help but worry that returning is not the most sensible decision.