During the holidays, my family had the idea to visit Abu Dhabi, and meet our cousin who stayed there. My first thoughts were expected; shopping, hotels, plenty of sibling rivalry and a modernized city just like Dubai. I was about to find out just how wrong I could possibly be. So here is my first trip to the UAE, and all of my unexpected experiences there.
I was absolutely knackered when I landed in Abu Dhabi, having stayed up all early morning bingeing on the fabulous movie selection; because it’s possible for me to watch the Divergent movie after complaining for hours on end that it’s a rubbish adaptation of the book.
As the plane touched down with a slight bump, I stared out the window, desperate to leave the plane and go outside. After what felt like, hours on end of prodding people and penguin waddling towards then entrance and then *gasp* fresh air.
The Abu Dhabi airport has a stunning overview with an iconic tower shaped like a wind sail. Coincidentally, I was greeted by a calm breeze, and my uncle, of which the former was unexpected. I had staggered out with sunhats, sunscreen and shorts, expecting to be melted after leaving the airport.
Abu Dhabi is made up of a number of islands; I stayed at my aunt’s house on Al Reem Island. I kept up an unproductive sloth mentality, lying all over my cousin’s bedroom until my family decided to visit the Corniche. A gorgeous and neat beachfront, resembling Singapore, and ideal for cycling or running up and down, with headphones jammed in, and hair flying behind. I cycled for a while, then explored parts of the city. Abu Dhabi is connected with sub level walkways, cabs all over and a bus system, and the streets themselves are easy to navigate.
When evening falls, small, traditional bakeries open up to reveal lavash-ish flatbread, contrasting to the modern architecture and glass buildings dominating the islands. There are plenty of art galleries, small fairs and malls all over, although leave an extra day for the shopping. You’ll need it.