25 December 2009

Christmas in Abu Dhabi

I am very tired and full. It is quarter to seven at night and I am still full from lunch. I don't think I can manage to write. Pictures will have to suffice.

We will start with decorations.

This is Al Wahda mall which is close to where mum works. You see they manage to work their national colours (green, red, white, black) into the Christmas decorations.

This is the foyer of the Beach Rotana Hotel where Mum has joined the beach club. The next two are also the Beach Rotana. The gingerbread house is real gingerbread and lollies. It is big, life-size - there is a girl inside selling sweets out of the window.

These next two are in the Abu Dhabi mall, which is a short walk from Mum's apartment. Santa is inside the hut that has the penguins on top. This is one of the smaller malls but had the best decorations. Santa and his elfs are Philipino.

I made Christmas cookies this year. We took them to Mum's work and gave them to the teachers. They worked out really good. They are not gingerbread but spicy, with cinnamon and cloves. Everybody loved them, I will definately make them again. Can't believe I never had made them before. I must say the trees, snowmen, stockings and canes were the best. The stars and snowflakes were alright. The men and angels and bells were boring. In my opinion that is.

And of course seeing as Abu Dhabi is hot and full of palm trees, it just would not be Christmassy if you did not cover them in coloured lights.

So today we went out on a boat for lunch. It is a yacht, but just a small one. Here is the Marina, which is across the water from the city. Basically Abu Dhabi is built on the coast, on a spit of land that has mostly been reclaimed from the sea. There are islands all around, but you don't notice it because you can drive across to them. The Marina Mall is on one such island and as you probably get from the name the Marina is right there too.

The yacht is called the Shuja and belongs to a hotel, Le Royal Meridien.

So we went inside and chose a table, and one of the waiters took a photo of us. And then about a million more so that everybody had one on their own camera.

Then we decided to move because it was nicer upstairs on the deck. So another waiter was asked to take another stack of photos. And we are me and Mum, three other ladies that work for Cognition Consulting, but in different schools to Mum. And a man who used to work with Mum at one of the other schools and was stuck in Abu Dhabi alone for this year.

Here is a view looking back as the boat moves away from the Marina.

Here is a view of the city as we travel along the waterfront, the Corniche.

And to finish, some snowmen:

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