UAE 2010: From the desert sands of Abu Dhabi to the corniche

Date: 12th April 2010

After the madness of Dubai, it was back to calm ‘ol Abu Dhabi and more time with family. My mom wanted to show me the sands of Al Ain. So on a Sunday evening, we hired our usual taxi guy and headed outside Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi to Al Ain highway

Abu Dhabi to Al Ain highway distance sign
We were on the highway to Al Ain
Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain from car
To my right
Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain panorama
Stopped to take this panorama (comprised of 10 shots)

Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain oasisAfter driving for nearly 45 minutes, we got off the main highway and I got out of the car.

Abu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain road tyre tracksAbu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain road truckAbu Dhabi desert towards Al Ain sand dunesThe sands, once I got into them, were extremely fine and smooth.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert sand linesThey were so smooth that you could slowly slip in to the ground by just standing still for a few seconds.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert lizard salamander
The only life out there besides us

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert lizard salamander tracksAbu Dhabi Al Ain desert lizard salamander tracks hidingEven though I’ve had enough sand in my face growing up in the Middle East, being here really was quite a splendid feeling. There were plans to go dune bashing in 4x4s but due to my friends being available only on Fridays made it a little tough to cram it in my already packed itinerary. I didn’t want to opt for a tourist package either ‘cos it was too corny for me.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert father collecting sand
My father in the back, collecting UAE sand. He's being doing that for every country he's been to.

After listening to hearsay tales from our taxi driver about desert snakes and other ‘dangerous’ reptiles, my father insisted that I don’t tread any further into the sand dune and asked me to get back in the car. Plus it was nearing sunset.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain desert roundabout
We weren't far from Al Ain
Al Ain to Abu Dhabi highway trees
All the trees you're going to see out here
Abu Dhabi desert electricity power line panorama
Panorama comprised of 8 shots

Al Ain to Abu Dhabi highway

Al Ain to Abu Dhabi highway streetlight
Heading back to Abu Dhabi

The next day…

Since I wasn’t going to sit idle at home, after lunch I took a taxi and headed to Abu Dhabi corniche.

Abu Dhabi buildings near corniche
The skies were all grey that day

After taking two Nepalis-driven taxis back-to-back, I got down near Corniche Road.

Abu Dhabi office building construction near corniche
Abu Dhabi's construction scene is... still happening

Abu Dhabi buildings landmark near cornicheAbu Dhabi landmark sculpture near cornicheAbu Dhabi landmark sculptures near cornicheAbu Dhabi mosque near cornicheAbu Dhabi Markaziyah road signal

Abu Dhabi corniche underpass
You'd take this underpass if you wanted to get to the corniche

But I decided to take a stroll through the park on the other side of Corniche Road. Abu Dhabi corniche park signpostAbu Dhabi buildings corniche park lakeAbu Dhabi corniche park lake fountain

Abu Dhabi buildings corniche park rules
This park is only meant for boring purposes

Abu Dhabi buildings corniche park bridgeI crossed the road to get to the corniche.

Abu Dhabi buildings corniche bus standAbu Dhabi corniche watersAbu Dhabi corniche park treesAbu Dhabi corniche tilesAbu Dhabi corniche cycling

Abu Dhabi corniche cycle rentals
Don't have a cycle? You can rent one at the corniche

Abu Dhabi corniche underpass toiletsAbu Dhabi corniche pedestrian underpass

Abu Dhabi corniche excercise fitness
Really appreciated the emphasis on fitness at this corniche

Abu Dhabi corniche water fountainAbu Dhabi corniche beach domesAbu Dhabi corniche boxingAbu Dhabi corniche palm trees

Abu Dhabi corniche board signs
Abu Dhabi corniche plays host to many cultural festivals

Abu Dhabi corniche road Emirates officeAbu Dhabi corniche beach sand volleyballAbu Dhabi corniche food court Cold Stone CreameryAfter a coffee break from Cinnabon, I decided to head to Marina Mall for some shopping.

Abu Dhabi corniche walking at nightAbu Dhabi corniche road night

Abu Dhabi Marina Mall tower restaurant
That's a restaurant on top

After seeing Dubai’s mall offerings, there nothing special to point out about Marina Mall. It has all the usual stores — that’s it. And a Carrefour.

Abu Dhabi Marina Mall Vertu store
First time I've seen a dedicated Vertu store

After spending an hour shopping at Centerpoint, I took a taxi back home.

Abu Dhabi Adnoc tower

Found this post boring?

Don’t worry, the next and final sightseeing post from UAE will make up for it, trust me!

Next post in this series:

UAE 2010: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit

Previous posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Heading back to the Gulf after 7 years

UAE 2010: Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (& back)

UAE 2010: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

UAE 2010: Heading to Dubai by bus; checking out Bur Dubai

UAE 2010: Dubai Mall (Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Gold Souk) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Burj Khalifa, At the Top (and Wafi Mall) – Part 2

UAE 2010: Driving around Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Atlantis & The Palm Islands) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Walk and David Guetta concert – Part 2

UAE 2010: Showing my parents the sights of Dubai; inside Ibn Battuta Mall

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  • Vinay Kittur


    Hi Mithun,

    i just happened to syumble upon ur blog and i find it very detailed and extremely informative to read and follow,

    I have myself lived in Singapore and currently based in Dubai and your pictures made me nostalgic.

    Great work with the narration and the pictures are very beautiful…

    Good stuff bro,,, Cheers

    Vinay Kittur

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thanks! 🙂

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