Monday, October 1, 2007

ABU DHABI pt.3 - The Breakthrough

UPDATE: The sniper nest is actually a public address system.

Please note the worlds biggest golf ball in the selection of photos presented. I've been noticing that the Arabs are big into having the world biggest things. For example, in Dubai, there is the worlds tallest building, But I think it will only be the worlds tallest building for less than a year because someone else is building the next worlds tallest building right around the corner. Abu Dhabi has the worlds biggest mosque that will house the worlds biggest prayer rug.

Just for the record, I don't know if this is worlds biggest golf ball or not...but it sure looks like it.

There is lots of this crazy pink glass on these 70's type buildings. I'll tell you honestly that i kind of expected the whole city to look like Beverly Hills. You know...the world's richest city and all that. I read an article in Forbes that each native is worth $16 mil.
USD. How crazy is that? But let me assure you that Abu Dhabi is not like Beverly Hills. Keep in mind that not all of the city's inhabitants are native Emirati. There of course, is the working class (driving dapper dudes in the dish dash from neighboring villages), the service industry (Asian immigrants), and the neo-bourgeois (white idle housewives).

The architecture is fascinating. It's pretty amazing to be here at such a pivotal time of the city's evolution. I mean, it pretty much sprang fully formed out of the sand in like 1965 when oil was discovered.

Since Abu Dhabi is essentially the poor man's Dubai, they're totally trying to step up to the plate and let the world know that they are the King and that Dubai is but an Earl.

So they've got the Louvre, the Getty and Warner Bros. moving in and setting up camp. I think that they are all going to build themselves offshore islands. Which, p.s., I totally do NOT understand. There are plenty of usable sand dunes around here. The thought of a man-made magic sand island makes me incredibly nervous and nauseous. It's going to sink sooner or later and then it will be like Atlantis all over again. The lost cities of of Arabia. Do you love it or what.

The good news is that I finally found a bootlegger. Is that genius or what. His name is Kareem and he's an air-host. Which means he has recurring access to the duty free. Ham du lah.

This photo is of the Shang Ri La, where I am not staying but is nice and swanky. This whole scene is totally jet-set. I mean really. I think I've mentioned about the hotel night life scene. So bar hopping or clubbing is essentially hotel hopping. Sometimes there are multiple clubs in hotels which can be delicious. It's totally a no jeans, no trainers type situation and they mean it. I've never run into a cover but the drinks are about 35d which is about 10us. So it's not a cheap night out. But dinners are fairly reasonable you can get a dope spread, with all the good mazzas, juices, bonanza for about 100d or 30us, which is amazing and unbelievably delicious.

This is a spire on a mosque near my office.

I thought I had enough to blather to fill up 4 pictures but I started drinking and my room has turned into the clubhouse. It turns into the clubhouse most nights. You know what that's like, eh? If you don't you should.

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