Archive | April, 2016

No Regrets?

29 Apr


I’m fast running out of time here in Abu Dhabi. It has got me thinking about whether I would have done anything differently. Would I have spent longer here instead of going back to the UK for the summer months? Unlikely – it’s already reaching temperatures of 40°C in April. Should we have used the UAE more as a stepping stone to the rest of the Middle East and further afield? Perhaps but we made holiday choices based on what we fancied doing at the time. Are there things we didn’t do that I still want to do? Definitely, but there are only so many weekends and holidays in a two year stint.
What have we not done that maybe we should have?

The Falcon Hospital
I’m told it’s an enjoyable and informative tour but needs booking well in advance and we never got our act together.

Ferrari World
Not really our thing.

Yas Waterworld
We’re perhaps feeling our age for this one but friends rave about it and we should probably have just tried it and blow the expense.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
We should definitely have gone here this winter but it didn’t really come onto our radar until too late.


Christmas Carols in the Desert
Another one I really wish we’d done but the timing wasn’t right for us during our time here.


Muscat, Oman
An injury meant our trip to Muscat became a very different holiday from the one planned as we didn’t really leave the grounds of the fabulous hotel. As enjoyable as the break was, I would have liked to go back and really see the city not to mention more of the country.

Regrets? That’s much too strong a word. Our stay here has been nothing short of amazing, a time out of time really. It’s true, we will never live in this way again. So no, je ne regrette rien, of course.


Not Much Longer

24 Apr


My time in Abu Dhabi is rapidly coming to an end. These last few days are rushing by as I try to cram in lots of things I’ve not done before or want to do one last time. I don’t know whether it is just because I’m psyching myself up to leave but I’m ready to go.

You know it’s time to leave Abu Dhabi when:

You expect doors to just open for you and taps to turn themselves on.

If a taxi costs more than £4 you’re horrified but you expect a glass of wine to be £10.

You find 25° a bit chilly and the receptionist wearing a scarf seems appropriate.

You automatically take a jacket to wear inside and take it off when you leave the building.

You’re used to being called “Ma’am” and “Miss Catherine” is positively friendly.

You get irritated if you don’t have the pool to yourself or if it is not heated or chilled to exactly your preference.

You start saying that all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunches are over rated.

Drinking cocktails on the 80th floor no longer gives you a buzz.

You don’t notice the amazing, death-defying window cleaners or you get irritated that they haven’t managed a perfect shine at 70 floors up.

Undertaking, tailgating and sudden lane changes are the only way you can get to work, while five lanes to choose from is not enough. Making u-turns doesn’t mean you’re lost.

You develop vitamin D deficiency because you daren’t expose any skin to sunlight without factor 50.

You actually consider getting a maid.

You buy a boat in Greece.

OK, so not all of the above apply to me personally but I’ll let you guess which ones do!

Movie Night

11 Apr


Movie Night has really taken off in Abu Dhabi. No surprise there. After all, who wouldn’t want to lie on a sunbed, under the stars, on the shores of the Arabian Gulf? OK, your view may be restricted by a palm tree and the screen may wobble a bit in the breeze but who cares? The film won’t be hot from Hollywood – there are plenty of mega cinemas in AD for the latest blockbuster if that’s what you’re looking for. No, Movie Night is not about the movie. Sure, it helps if it’s Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman dishing out the one-liners but “you pays your money and you take your choice”, right? Nope, it’s free.

Of course, the hotel management is not providing this out of the goodness of its heart. Waiters are on hand to bring you food and drink at the usual 5* hotel prices and we did indulge (you guessed, huh?). A burger and a beer might set you back a bit but the beef is wagu and of a size that means you probably won’t want any breakfast the next day. But it’s up to you. No pressure. So get there early to reserve the best sunbeds.