Wednesday, February 9, 2011

all roads lead to abu dhabi

I've had more opportunities during this trip to the UAE to live life drive in the fast lane. When Captain Scott had to leave for a few days, I was given the keys to one of the company cars so that Tophi and I could get to work each day. Those few days went by accident free, and now it appears that I can be trusted behind the wheel. Visitors don't normally drive when they come to the Emirates. Local drivers are notoriously aggressive, but I have had training during my years on Long Island. A recent survey asked UAE drivers (mostly men) what they thought about their driving abilities. Almost 25% of those surveyed admitted that they engage in "risky" driving behavior -- the other 75% lied.

Recently, Tophi and I had the pleasure of taking the Sharjah Transport bus from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi. The trip takes about 2 hours and costs $15 round trip. As we crossed through the familiar portion of Dubai, there's a sign that reminds drivers that ALL roads lead to Abu Dhabi, so there isn't a need to be in a certain lane (read: stay in your own lane, you reckless driver, you.)


We arrived at the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station after a little over two hours of riding in a packed motor coach. Tophi tells me that the bus was better than he expected.


Abu Dhabi's Sheik Khalifa recently declared that the city be divided into zones and sectors to aid navigation. There are no longer street names; signs like the one shown here are oh so helpful.


We walked past an air quality monitoring station that read, "Breathe Easy. We are monitoring the air."


I found the entrance gates to this park to be interesting. I think that they are tea kettles.


Abu Dhabi has its own share of unfinished projects. The Abu Dhabi Swimming Beach Extension project used dredging machines to increase the beach area.


Abu Dhabi's Corniche Street Beach is divided into different areas: private, family, and public. You have to pay to use the private and family beaches. The paywalled beaches were pretty empty.


We walked down to the Emirates Palace Hotel, but we didn't try to enter. There was a big event, and we would have looked quite out of place. The hotel was originally intended to be a sheik's palace, but he turned it down. I guess it wasn't big enough...


Tophi thinks that this is the service entrance to the Emirates Palace.


Abu Dhabi has its share of superlatives, too. This flagpole is the world's tallest, over 139 meters high.

Abu Dhabi was a refreshing change after seeing Ajman, Sharjah, and Dubai. The people in this emirate seem more active and must enjoy a higher quality of life. There are fewer unfinished projects, so Abu Dhabi doesn't have a skyline of construction cranes.


1 comments:

Jeremy Hassler said...

As we crossed through the familiar portion of Dubai, there's a sign that reminds drivers that ALL roads lead to Abu Dhabi, so there isn't a need to be in a certain lane.

Khalifa City Abu Dhabi

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