Duden Waterfall, Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Welcome to United Arab Emirates (UAE)... country #71 for us!

Last you heard from us, we were waiting at Male Airport for our flight to Abu Dhabi. 

Things didn't really go according to plan for us in Male. We took the public ferry at 6:30am from the island of Dhiffushi, and the two and a half hour trip went by quickly. So we arrived at the Male ferry terminal at about 9:00am. Problem is, our flight wasn't until 7:00pm, so we had more than a few hours to waste.

Our thinking was that we would find somewhere to store our bags and just wander around the city. There's not really much to see or do there, and it's a very congested city, but we just figured it would be something to do.

But we couldn't find anywhere that would store our bags for a few hours. I had left Ruth at the ferry terminal to watch over them while I asked at four or five different nearby hotels and couldn't get any of them to agree to watch them, even if I paid. 

We had no choice but to take the airport ferry. They have a bag hold area at the airport, but it's something like $7 USD per bag, so not really feasible. 

So, what to do at the airport for eight hours?

These are the resort boats that take people to the private islands.

We were going to need some lunch, and some internet access. And of course being at the airport, we knew lunch was not going to be cheap. And unfortunately the airport WiFi was overwhelmed by the number of people in the terminal. And even if it was working well, you are limited to a maximum two hours usage per device.

Burger King prices at Male airport.
In $USD.

We found an air conditioned Indian restaurant that had made themselves a sort of a "lounge" area where the seating was a bit more comfortable, and you could stay and use the internet for as long as you wanted for a cost of $10 USD per person. Then we also ordered some food for $15 a person. So, $50 USD, ($68 CAD) to waste some time and have a mediocre lunch.

Oh well. You win some, and you lose some! We win much more often than we lose, so sometimes it's just the cost of travel.

Looking out to sea from Male airport.

And, looking across to the city from the airport ferry terminal.

But, the time passed as it always does, and next thing you know, we're boarding our Wizz Air flight from Male to Abu Dhabi.

Looking out the plane window at dusk.

Wizz Air is a discount airline. We paid $189 USD ($256 CAD) per person for the five hour flight including one checked bag. No seat back entertainment, but at least the leg room was reasonable. Certainly more comfortable than Air Asia for me. 

Arriving Abu Dhabi just before midnight.

Huge new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Fancy arrivals area.

Through customs and immigration fairly quickly. Then outside where I tried to order an Uber, but I couldn't get connected. Good thing too, because it turned out that Abu Dhabi taxis have a good reputation, and the rate was actually cheaper than Uber. And cheaper than I though it would be. Considering Abu Dhabi is a fairly expensive city, the 21 km (13 mile) drive cost 62 dirham ($17 USD, $23 CAD) which was not bad.

We lucked out on the hotel room. I had booked it about a month ago, and because it was during Ramadan, prices were fairly cheap by Abu Dhabi standards. The Premier Inn Capital Center gets great reviews for a three star hotel, with many saying it should be rated higher. I booked it for 168 dirham ($46 USD, $62 CAD) per night. For perspective, I notice that the current price now is double that.

Very comfy bed and pillows!

Home for the next four nights.

The facilities.

And we were exhausted. Got to bed at 1:00am!

I will finish off by telling my favorite Abu Dhabi joke...

The people in Dubai don't like the Flintstones. But the people in Abu Dhabi do!


And in Canada...


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