DUBAI // Alcohol addiction has taken a heavy toll on Obaid and even cost him the happy future he hoped for with the woman he adored.
The couple met in high school and were together for six years, but eventually parted as a result of his drinking. She is now married to someone else.
"I loved her so much and she loved me - we were very happy," he said. "But I was never able to propose because of my addiction. She would never confront me with it, she would only give me hints. She wouldn't talk about it directly."
Obaid's health suffered and he put on weight as his addiction grew worse. He started a number of businesses, including a restaurant and a children's clothes shop, but they all failed because of his drinking.
He currently has a property company with an office in Dubai that has never conducted any business since it opened in 2009.
"It's not functioning," he said. "I never spent time in the office so the sales people resigned and now there are only two employees. It's a very strange situation. They're getting their salaries but they're not doing anything."
Obaid is the youngest of six - he has two sisters and three brothers. Alcohol has taken a toll on his family. Three of his four uncles died because of drink - two from alcohol poisoning and a third in a drink-drive accident.
Obaid said he became isolated from his family during his drinking years.
"When my parents found out I drank it was a disastrous thing for them as it is completely against the culture," he said. "They tried to help me with my addiction. They thought punishment would work because they thought it was behavioural.
"A lot of families are trying to help their children with addiction in general, and alcohol specifically, but they don't know how to do it."
Obaid explained that addiction is a disease that requires treatment with specialist help from a psychiatric counsellor or rehabilitation clinic.
"I missed a lot of weddings of my close friends, cousins and other family members, as well as a lot of funerals and other occasions because I was away drinking. That was all I cared about.
"I stopped seeing my sober friends and found drinking buddies in bars. I wouldn't call them friends, they were just people I drank with.
"It was a very lonely and depressing life."