(Notes for the Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah)

Archive for Abu Dhabi

December in Abu Dhabi: Santa in the Sand — ديسمبر في أبو ظبي : سانتا في الرمال

Around (everyone else’s) Christmas time, the UAE is stil tropical, still desert. But of course, Santa still comes to visit (admittedly from the Philippines).

Top: December sunset
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Middle: The road past Liwa to Mureeb
Western Regions, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Bottom: A visitor tells Santa that she just wants a picture with him for Christmas.
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Christmas in the UAE: Polar Bears — عيد الميلاد في الإمارات : الدببة القطبية

Polar Opposite Caps
A Christmas diorama at the Intercontinental Hotel
Abu Dhabi, UAE

More yuletide shenanigans from INGULFED today @ the Huffington Post

Christmas in the UAE: Blue Santa — عيد الميلاد في الإمارات: بابا نويل ازرق

Merry Christmas!
Happy (fifth night of) Hanukkah!
!*عيد الميلاد مبارك

*(Are we saying this now?)

Even though the Emirates Palace apologized for its last year’s “attempts to overload the tradition” by decking out a 43-foot plastic tree in diamonds and pearls, the UAE is hotter on X-mas than ever before.

According to one very high level administrator at a foreign-run university in the UAE (and I paraphrase), “the government was giving me flak for not putting a Christmas tree on campus.” Apparently, they wouldn’t have been cool with a menorah.

Happy holidays!

Check the Huffington Post today for more holiday stories from INGULFED!

Photos above: lobby of the Jumeirah Hotel
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Grocery List: Abu Dhabi

One head lettuce: 5.3 dirham / $1.44
4 carrots: 3.45 dirham / 94¢
4 tiny limes: 0.6 dirham / 16¢
0.065 kg Indian chilis: 0.65 dirham / 18¢
1 loaf boring brown bread: 1.5 dirham / 41¢
3 Chinese golden apples: 3.35 dirham / 91¢
1 white onion: 1.7 dirham / 46¢
4 cashew ice cream bars: 7.8 dirham / $2.12
2 pistachio kulfi bars: 1.9 dirham / 52¢
3 small cucumbers: 0.65 dirham / 18¢
3 lemons: 2 dirham / 54¢
6 small tomatoes: 1.6 dirham / 44¢
3 giant figs: 6.45 dirham / $1.76
1 red repper: 3.75 dirham / $1.02
4 black plums: 3.30 dirham / 90¢
3 red onions: 0.65 dirham / 18¢

Total: 44.65 dirham / $12.16

$رأس من الخس (1) : 5.3 درهم / 1،44
جزر (4) : 3.45 درهم / ¢94
ليمون صغيرة (4) : 0.6 درهم / ¢16
تشيليز الهندي (0،065 كلغ) : 0.65 درهم / ¢18
رغيف خبز ممل أسمر (1) : 1.5 درهم / ¢41
تفاحات ذهبية صينية (3) : 3.35 درهم / ¢91
بصل أبيض (1) : 1.7 درهم / ¢46
$قضبان الآيس كريم الكاجو (4) : 7.8 درهم / 2،12
قضبان القلفي فستق (2) : 1.9 درهم / ¢52
خيار صغير (3) : 0.65 درهم / ¢18
ليمون خضراء (3) : 2 درهم / ¢54
طماطم صغيرة (6) : 1.6 درهم / ¢44
تين ضخمة (3) : 6.45 درهم / 1،76$
فلفل رومي أحمر (1) : 3.75 درهم / 1،02$
برقوق سوداء (4) : 3.30 درهم / ¢90
بصل أحمر (3) : 0.65 درهم / ¢18

$المجموع : 44.65 درهم / 12،16

Once and Future Happiness: This Decade on Saadiyat

It is essential that we have hope. For human beings to push forward we must have some confidence in the brighterhood of tomorrow — happiness is our fuel and our pot of gold. Saadiyat Island, the UAE’s Orwellianly marketed “Happiness Island” will host New York University beginning in 2014, and will has already begun selling villas to early birds with big nest eggs. The major museums are on the slate for five years Gulf time, or approximately 7-? years.

Here’s a blurry look at some major projects and where they stand.

Major Projects — اهم المشاريع

The Guggenheim

Future: Guggenheim

Now: Guggenheim

The Louvre

Future: Louvre

Now: The Louvre

Now: The Louvre

Saadiyat Beach Villas

Future: Saadiyat Beach Villas

Now: Saadiyat Beach Villas

Monte Carlo Beach Club

Future: Monte Carlo Beach Club

Now: Monte Carlo Beach Club

Park Hyatt Hotel and Villas

Future: Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

Now: Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

Shangri-La Hotel

Future: Shangri-La Hotel, Saadiyat

Now: Shangri-La Hotel, Saadiyat

Now: Shangri-La Hotel, Saadiyat

New York University Abu Dhabi

Future: New York University Abu Dhabi

NYUAD in 2014?

Now: New York University Abu Dhabi

Now: New York University Abu Dhabi

St. Regis Resort

Future: St. Regis Saadiyat Resort

Now: St. Regis Saadiyat Resort

Zayed National Museum

Future: Zayed National Museum

Now: Zayed National Museum

State of the Etihad — حالة الاتحاد

Housing for construction laborers.

Now: Khalifa Highway

Now: Saadiyat Marina

Saadiyat from Space

Now: Saadiyat Beach

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Now: Manarat al-Saadiyat convention center

The Vision — الرؤية

(Buzzwords in the UAE: “vision” and “outlook” and “innovation” and “tomorrow”.)

Future: Cultural District (Inshallah)

Falcon Guantanamo — غوانتانامو للصقور

(It’s actually a hospital.)
Scroll down for pictures.

At the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, the national bird of the UAE is given the royal treatment — as in, a treatment similar to monarchs in other countries: forced mani/pedicures under anesthesia, beak sharpening, and surgical repairs to their plumage.

The birds vary in value from 20,000 to 200,000 dirham, or about 5,000 dollars way on up above 50,000. White birds are prized, and falconers have a choice between species. According to

[In the] UAE three major species are used for falconry. They are Peregrine, Saker and Gyr. Peregrine is widely spread all over the world except Antarctica. Saker flies fast and hunts at low level. Gyr is powerful and prefers to catch larger preys.

Trends in breeding favor a cross between the Peregrine falcon and the Gyr: these alpha-birds have both speed and appetite, and have been known, at the top of their game, to take down gazelles.

Watching a bird go under anesthesia is like watching your mother-in-law get drunk very fast. SQUAWK! Squawk! Squawk. Squaaawk. As the knock-out helmet is put over them, they resist briefly, but wake up to find their nails trimmed and polished.

Shadow Play — لعب الظل

People moving or not moving
Spots along the Corniche
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Black and White — أسود أبيض

Click to enlarge:

The Abu Dhabi skyline at night
(Canine vision)
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Lost — مفقود

Off in the desert
Qasr Al Sarab Resort
Liwa, UAE

Streaks — ضبابية

Above: A dhow
Below: A speedboat
Along the Corniche at night
Abu Dhabi, UAE

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