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September 10th 2009
Published: September 11th 2009
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Electra St
Ah......warmth, wait a minute, extreme 45 degree hot & humid!

Well ,after a break from living in Abu Dhabi, back in Melbourne for a while, I was glad to be leaving the long dreary winter, shedding the hat, coat, scalf, gloves & constant carrying of umbrella that had been adding weight to my winter hibernation!..

Flying across the globe, my first views of reconnecting with AD, were from the plane window, after a turbulant & noisy flight.. of the desert below stretching for as far as the eye can see..and a haze of heat & sand.

Off the plane, into Mr Arabia's arms (Paul!) aahh,...and as we step outside, the first thing that happens, is your glasses instantly fog up with all the heat & humididty....ah welcome back to Abu Dhabi!

It was all dejevu...the drive back from the airport, wide streets, haze of heat & sand, skyscrapers looming out of the desert.. the Great Mosque, stunning & mysterious as ever with its sensual domes & white marble inviting you through the hazy soft light of extreme heat.

After a day of recovering from jetlag by the pool, I was ready to re-acquaint with the

inner city
sand colored skyscrapers & inner backstreets of Abu Dhabi.

With Ramadan in full swing, the majority of shops are closed during the day or with limited hours, most re-opening in the evening until late at night, that often means doing your shopping/eating until 1am! With fasting all day, cafes/restaurants re-open again at sunset for "Ifta", the meal/banquet to break the fast. Paul & I thought we would try the Ifta one night, only to be met with a massive quantity of food we couldnt possibly eat, as yummy as it was, and it just kept on coming!

Changing your living patterns to the evening makes a lot of sense in the heat...During the days it is far too hot to be outside except for a quick dash in between air con buildings or car! If you do need to go out for a short walk, it is essential to keep on the footpath that is in the shade of the bulidings...even then 5 minutes & you are in a big sweat! So it is a quieter time in AD at the moment..more time spent in the coolness of our apartment, and the gym & pool on the

sunset over outskirts of Abu Dhabi
thats a nice place to hang out for a few hours.

We went out to Yas Island, the island being bulit from desert sands upwards!, It will be the formula one Grand Prix track for Nov 1st, along with a series of hotels (Paul is doing 2 of them), to a Ferrari theme park & lots more. It has been an amazing process to watch all this being developed out of what looked like an empty flat desert island. It is nearing completion, with the major hotels, theme park, marina & grand stands all taking shape & adding colour. Palms trees are truckloaded in...& later the lawn grass will be shipped in to cover the recreation & golfing areas! It is a major transformation...The Marina hotel actually has the race track pass under/through the hotel....if you google Yas Island you can get a better 3D idea of what it will be like when finished. For now, I have some photos of it in progress!

Ok, more to come soon....

Additional photos below
Photos: 40, Displayed: 24



Arriving downtown Abu Dhabi
 090 090

the locals

Mr Paul, whisking me away...

our neighbours
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view from our rooftop pool
 099 099

local mosque Ifta meal being served, see the rows of tables...
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typical inner suburban housing

we call it the m&m building..
 131 131

desert life...

construction worker, Yas Island
 147 147

transforming the desert, Yas Island

Paul's hotel, Rotana, Yas Island

Paul in foyer, work in progress, Rotana, Yas Island
 156 156

Pauls hotel, nearing completion

Paul checking its still standing!

Pauls hotel, Rotana, Yas Island

hard Yakka.....the man himself!

bar area lighting

11th September 2009

Atmospheric trees
Just googled you, as we'll be meeting up at Daksha's to draw, in October. What lovely atmospheric paintings - really cooled me down looking at them - quite zen !! A great relief after the walk round the corner - Went to the shop to buy TimTams, funnily enough...... T

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