Sand stripes, beige and blue. This is what your eyes see when you are about to land to Abu Dhabi. As you get closer to the city you start seeing more and more details, such as futuristic installations, glass architectures, and a number of construction sites.

I landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 7 am local time. The country greeted me with a very hot and dry weather. As soon as I collect my bags I decide to go to one of the many ATMs located in the airport. According to the exchange rate I understand that 100 dirham are about 20 euro. I jump on a cab as I try to avoid the many unauthorized taxi drivers that are trying to get my attention. In less than two seconds I am making my way to the hotel. The trip is fast and smooth; it feels like there is no traffic in this city – but maybe I am lucky because it is still very early. My taxi ride costed 85 dirham and it took around 15-20 minutes to get to the hotel. It seems to be very cheap as in Italy taxi rides are way more expensive, but here we are in the country of oil; driving a car is so convenient that (almost) nobody wants to use public transportations or to walk. People here walk only when they go to the mall, but this is another story.

I check in, I unpack my stuff, I take a shower, and then I am ready to start exploring the city. To be honest I really feel like having breakfast. Despite it is Ramadan, I decide to go to the Abu Dhabi Mall – which is located less than 3 kilometers away from where I am. I walk under the sun and, as soon as I start feeling the breeze of the AC on my skin, my blood pressure magically goes up again. You can’t escape the weather. Temperatures go between 37 and 41 degrees and considering that there is no trace of shadow, I must admit that this whole weather thing is playing a big role on my desire to walk around the city. As soon as I enter into the mall I magically forget about my tiredness and about the fact I am traveling in Abu Dhabi during Ramadan. In front of me all I can see is a huge mall with a wonderful air conditioning system; however, ALL shops are closed because of Ramadan. They will be open from 7pm until 1 or 2 am. I have no other choice than taking a look around this quiet and empty mall, but maybe I should come back for dinner.

My first day is very quiet. I enjoy some rest in my hotel room, I buy some grocery in a 24-hour supermarket and a local sim card that will be activated just after 9pm, as local offices will open only at that time. It seems like everyone’s life has shifted. Everything starts after sunset and goes on until late night.

See you tomorrow.


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 Tutte le immagini dell’articolo sono proprietà di Laura Renieri | Realizzate con Canon Reflex EOS 70D con ottiche Canon EFS 15-85 mm e/o Canon EF-S 10-22mm | Tutti i diritti sono riservati


Informazioni Utili

Ramadan 2014

Data ufficiale di inizio sabato 28 giugno 2014. Ultimo giorno ufficiale domenica 27 luglio

Abu Dhabi Mall 

10th Street – Abu Dhabi Mall – P.O. Box 47454

Abu Dhabi – Emirati Arabi Uniti +971 2 645 4858