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Au revoir Abu Dhabi
Thursday, September 09, 2004
I just arrived back in Berkeley after a 17 hour flight. Pleasant reflections of Abu Dhabi appear and fade. My body has no idea what time it is.

One mega-memory is the magnificent food I've eaten this week. Not just the banquets, either. The Rotana Beach Hotel puts out a buffet to die for.

Fresh fruit at breakfast

Arab appetizers (click for larger photo)

Salad bar

Salmon, sushi, calamari, mussels

Air-dried beef, calamari, octopus salad, tabouleh, mini-pitas

Le dessert

The locals say Abu Dhabi is where the money is.
Buildings like these are everywhere.
Out on the end of the corniche, a
mind-bogglingly large new complex is
going up. The price-tag: $1 billion.
(By contrast, Dubai is where people make money.)

Here's the Abu Dhabi Mall, Beach Rotana Hotel,
Coop, and office tower. The hotels
here can break even at 20% occupancy.
That's what happens when you buy a
place in an all-cash deal.

The centers of some of the glitzy blocks
house stores and quarters for Southeast Asians.

The Emiratis often live in tasteful
modern houses surrounded by high walls.


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