Our 2019 kicked off with New Year’s Day at the beach and Dan trying out his new pasta maker before committing to our yearly January diet plan. We spent the first weekend in Dubai partaking in the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, running a 5km race in Cigna Park, and visiting Green Planet, an indoor rainforest attraction. We met up with some friends at Pier 7 before heading back to Abu Dhabi and watching the classic movie Dial M for Murder playing at Manarat Al Saadiyat. The following weekend Dan went out to the Liwa Desert for an overnight camping and desert driving trip.
The rest of the month was business as usual – working, apartment cleansing, dieting, and kicking up the workouts with a few runs and yoga classes. We did manage to check out the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and enjoyed a BBQ in Khalifa Park with our friends grilling up some steaks and veggie burgers. We also joined an interesting walking tour of the city called Remote AD followed by dinner at the newly opened Al Hudayriat Island food trucks. Our friends Mark and Debbi were also visiting from London and we had a nice dinner with them at one of our favorite outdoor restaurants, the Belgian Beer Café. We finally managed to get over to Abu Dhabi Pottery to try our skills at pottery making.
During the last week of the month, our friends Rene and Nadia spent the week at our place before transitioning back to Canada. We enjoyed having them stay with us and celebrated with a going away dinner at one of their favorite Italian restaurants, Villa Toscana, on February 1st with a few close friends. Rene and Nadia were actually the first people we met here (through a family connection) and we have many happy memories of our time with them.