August 8 slipped past without my noticing - seven years since I arrived on a British Airways flight from Heathrow in 2002.

Despite some frustrations - which I'd have wherever I lived - Dubai has been extremely good to me. A fantastic opportunity that I hope I've made the best of so far.

I will always be grateful to those at Tech Access, Sun's distributor for the Middle East, for offering me the job that had me come over. At the risk of sounding sycophantic, I also feel gratitude to those people running the UAE. Various British journalists might only see the negative side of the place, but there are positives everywhere you look, particularly when you look at things in the context of the region in general.

We have no masterplan to spend X number of years here before trying to go somewhere else - we are taking things as they come. I am hoping that we'll be able to continue to stay here, enjoying life and work, for the foreseeable future.