We decided to go camping on one of the islands of Abu Dhabi which is a 2 hours' drive from Dubai and a 45 min drive by boat. We were actually on a traditional arabic dhow as they call it.
Honestly, I feel ashamed of myself: I actually have been living here for almost 5 years and I have never seen these islands and I don't know anything about Abu Dhabi. So I decided to educate myself and give you a small idea about it:
Abu Dhabi which means"Father of gazelle"is the largest of the seven emirates that compose the United Arab Emirates and was also the largest of the former Trucial States. Abu Dhabi is also a city of the same name within the Emirate that is the capital of the country, in north central UAE. The city lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. An estimated 1,000,000 people lived there in 2000, with about an 80% expatriate population.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi is located in the oil-rich and strategic Persian Gulf region. It adjoins the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman . The emirate borders the emirate of Dubai to its north.
Abu Dhabi city is on an island located less than a quarter-kilometer from the mainland and is joined to the mainland by the Maqta and Musaffah Bridges.
The city of Abu Dhabi, and the majority of UAE, has a large number of stray cats. The cartoon cat Garfield would often put the kitten Nermal in a box and ship him to Abu Dhabi. The phrase "Abu Dhabi is where all the cute kittens go" is sometimes used in the comic.
(source of information: www.wikipedia.com
This is the Emirates palace which is on the list of the 10 most expensive hotels in the world.
The dhow at dawn.
I almost forgot to tell you about our adventure on the way back! At the start, you can hear women screaming on the boat while we were packing. Guess what!? A MOUSE!!! Poor little fellow, I bet he was more freaking out than the rest of the screaming bunch, so he jumped in the ocean and swam to the shore.
The story does not end there. A very big plastic bag got wraped around the propeller so we had to stop and Michael went diving under the boat to release it.
Later on, the dhow actually broke down!! haha... There was a pipe missing which cools the engine, black smoke started to rise. It is quite ironic, breaking down on an arabic dhow surrounded by marine engineers all working and repairing ships. So two of the guys swam to shore for help while being dragged by extremely strong currents. Finally, after a while we found the missing pipe on the beach. I think that was very lucky and off we went.