On the evening of Wednesday, November 5th, my brother Scott arrived in Abu Dhabi on the trusty EY140 from Toronto. Back at home, we had a snack and a couple drinks before heading to bed.
Rebecca had to work the next day so Scott and I took a dinghy out from the Hilton and did a tour of the Corniche by water. That night, Scott and I, along with our friends, Jenn and Spence, took a taxi up to Yas Island for an event called Taste of Abu Dhabi. Rebecca met us there and we tried many great samplers from some of the top restaurants in town. There was also some musical entertainment from Broadway’s Jersey Boys.
Rebecca and I had been invited to attend a friend’s birthday party at the Westin’s Friday Bubbalicious Brunch so we thought we’d show Scott what Abu Dhabi brunches are all about. There were a few outdoor tables booked for us and the food was amazing. There was a magician who left us a little stumped with some of the tricks he pulled off at our table. After brunch, we continued down onto the lawn overlooking the Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s driving range where a DJ was set up. It was a great afternoon.
We were all a little tired on Saturday so we decided to head out to the Saadiyat Beach Club. We lounged by the pool, ate lunch, and had a swim in the Gulf. That night, we chilled at home and watched a movie.
Rebecca was back at work on Sunday, so Scott and I popped over to Jones the Grocer for breakfast. Afterwards, we drove up to the Shangri-La Hotel and did a little shopping in the Souk Qaryat al Beri. We had lunch at Le Boulanger on the Corniche and opted for some classic Arabic snacks. That afternoon, we relaxed by the pool. It was Rebecca’s birthday, so we had made plans to meet some friends at the Beach House restaurant at the Park Hyatt on Saadiyat Island. The restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine with a sharing plate concept. We dined al fresco and could definitely feel the cooler night time air coming off the water.
On Monday, Scott and I headed to Yas Waterworld, which opened 2 years ago and I’ve been patiently waiting to go ever since. It was quite quiet in the park so we were able to hit almost every ride with no wait. We also spent a fair bit of time on Bubble’s Barrel, the world’s largest surf-able sheet wave. It’s a 3m-high wave and its 1,250-horsepower pumps push 7,000 litres of water per second, although I think they turned it down a little for the two of us. Nonetheless, we each took a few spills that reminded us that we’re not as young as we once were. With Scott likely beginning to believe that Rebecca and I never eat at home, we stopped at Spinney’s to pick up a salmon fillet and some local veggies.
On Tuesday, Scott and I got dressed up and headed over to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre for the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference. We spent a few hours touring the exhibition and both met up with a few contacts. Afterwards, we went to the Sofitel for an Italian lunch and had a nice massage to work out those knots which may or may not have been a result of the previous day’s antics at Yas Waterworld.
The next day, Scott and I caught the 10:00 am guided tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. From there, we went to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. We had lunch, warmed up on the range, and got in nine holes. That night, we met a couple friends at Pool Bar before heading to Tori No Su for a sushi dinner.
Scott and I gave Becca a ride to work on Thursday and then continued up the E11 to Dubai. We had a quick bite at Dubai Mall before heading up to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa. I soon found out that Scott is not so comfortable with heights as it took him a little while to walk over to the railing to take a look below. After doing a little shopping we drove to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and had lunch under the Burj al Arab. Before heading home, we took a drive out on the Palm Jumeirah past the Atlantis Hotel.
On Friday, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a morning bike ride down the Corniche to the dhow harbor and back. We then spent a little time at a new mall, The Galleria on Maryah Island where we did a little shopping and enjoyed some coffee and cake. We got in one last dip in the pool before having a nice Italian meal at home.
Scott was set to fly home on Saturday so we made a quick stop at the Emirates Palace Hotel before heading to the airport. It meant a lot to us for my brother to take time away from his busy schedule at home, travel over, and spend some time with us.