Since I had a long layover in Abu Dhabi, I decided to get into the city!
I somehow managed to misplace my credit card, and the police did not at all understand it could have been gone. It is the emirates, so you should feel very safe since the punishments are very high for theft such as exclusion to find work.
The taxi’s are very well organised and clean, the drivers are very honest. I was lucky to have a talkative driver and learned that some people have a ‘priority ticket’ to just ignore the speed limits, not sure what he meant with that in a rich region as this one :). The drive to Al Reem Island took about 30min, costed around 80 AED and takes you past the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is beautifully lit at night! However I did not manage to take a picture at that time, so here is one taken on the way back.
I was also lucky to have lovely and hardcore Cattie (from the USA and already living 5 years in Abu Dhabi) hosting me 🙂
We went to an irish pub since it had a high chance to meetup with some friends and they still served food around 11pm.
We had a very cosy and open-conversation evening (not something I was expecting from someone from the USA), with many friends stopping by which had a similar, interesting mindset in several ways. Some things I learned (note from the people that moved here):
- Many employers pay for your accomodation, and often you don’t have much choice but you can be sure it is a very nice flat! This can cost around 100.000 AED a year!
- You have door to door services for everything: from laundry to shopping delivery (for a small tip)
- Every hotel / appartment block have their own gyms, swimming pools, often shops, etc…
- ‘simple’ wages are about 4000 AED / week (+-1000 euro)
- Beer costs easily 36 AED (9 euro)
- Many foreign people have the feeling they live in a ‘bubble’ of luxery lifestyle (party, drinking, social interactions). Strange thing is that they are very aware of it, but I guess they just like it too much. I guess you have to live here for several months to fully understand it as all the people of the table felt to some level the same way.
The pub played live music, something which is not that common in Abu Dhabu I learned from Cattie. There are actually quite some business opportunities here!
After a very short night of sleep, the wakeup was spontanous with a sunrise and spectacular view over the resurrecting new buildings.
On the way back, I was suprised to find a schoolbus driver cleaning all the windows for everyone to enjoy the views 🙂
Once in the airport, on the way to the gate, there was an art gallery where you could buy some local art. These things drew my attention, since I’ve never seen this effect before.