Old and New

I love going to my Spanish friend Ines’ home. She was busy with a pregnancy last year, but I did get to go to Abu Dhabi and visit her a couple times. Her husband works for Etihad airlines as a pilot and they live up past the 40th floor in a beautiful building, Sky Tower. The ground floor has a big grocery store and many cafes. There is a fantastic swimming pool, whirlpools, exercise room and sauna. It is part of a new development in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi is about an hour and a half from Dubai. It’s a straight shot down Sheikh Zayed, the super highway that cuts through Dubai and to the next Emirate. Abu Dhabi is older looking and less sprawling. It is still pretty small and less glitzy then Dubai.

Camel Transport

Camel Transport

When she lived on the man-made palm island in Dubai, we would go to the beach, Now we head to her pool. Then she always makes some nice, simple meal and we drink espresso from her counter top machine. After the meal it’s always siesta time. it might seem strange to nap at a friend’s house, but it is super relaxing! Ines says she didn’t always like to nap, but Spanish parents make you until it’s a habit. She can’t stay awake after a meal.

She has one of those couches that has the long seat for putting your legs up. She puts on a documentary and we fall asleep. This last time she put on this incredible documentary on the history of the UAE.

I know it’s more meaningful for me living here, but even if you don’t watch the whole thing, see the first 5 or so minutes. Sheikh Zayed, the “Father” of the country, and highway namesake, drives his limo over the sand dunes.

The country has transformed so much in the last 10 years! It started changing in the 1960’s, but the pace of change in the new millennium has been exponential.

It is unrecognizable in this documentary. The documentary, “Farewell Arabia”, is on the eve of these changes. It boggles my mind to see this film and ponder all the ways oil wealth revolutionized the UAE.

The narrator is talking about how much the country has changed and yet the changes to come were unfathomable in their scope and scale.

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