First 24 hours in Abu Dhabi: ton of impressions

First 2 days in Abu Dhabi. We got first cultural experience on the plane here where we were offered Arabic mezze as a meal, consisting of hummus, pita bread, samoosa, fattoush, warak inab and samoosa… A few things which I had tried before, but learned the names only checking afterwards, e.g. warak inab is rice wrapped in grape leaves. Pretty tasty. (Disclaimer: I am quite new to the Middle East cousine)

We flew 5 hours and 40 minutes from Zurich, which felt pretty fast, as we took a nap of the plane also – the last night in Copenhagen was quite sleepless. I had a dream I missed the flight, which woke me up at 3am 🙂

Arriving just after 7pm to Abu Dhabi, we got a VIP service waiting to take us through security and to the car which took us to Etihad towers, the hotel where we will stay until we find our permanent residence. The apartment is huge and with great views. We started to feel spoiled from day one 😛 The first dinner in the room – a seafood plate – had the largest shrimp I ever tried. Didn’t fit into the picture, sorry.

Our temporary residence



Already during the first hours of looking around it appeared that what I had read in books is not quite true – e.g. I saw women wearing sleeveless tops, shorts and mini skirts in public places. This was the observation I also made the next day walking around in the mall and even a restaurant. So, more liberal than expected so far.  But clearly, clearly more posh. So I am happy to have taken 2 huge pieces of luggage with me, with summer clothes I hardly ever used in Denmark.

As typical A people, we started the next – Sunday – morning in Abu Dhabi by trying to enter the hotel beach at 8am. We were the only ones. And we were kindly guided by a lifeguard to the – not much worse – 60m swimming poll, where I did 13 laps of 120m. Training season open again 🙂 The sea is still to be tried (the beach, turns out, opens at 9am. Too late for morning people.)

Guess who


After Sunday brunch we hit the Marina shopping mall, and got 2 pairs of shoes for my husband as a first buy (for once). Tried to negotiate price – so far, no luck. In the convenience store, Carrefour, we found soooo much stuff that we spent nearly 2 hours just looking around; and while the initial plan was to buy just 3 things, we ended up carrying home 7 full bags, as many local things are way cheaper than we are used to. I mean, I couldn’t even choose a mango from around 10 types from different countries.

Pick one


We found and bought some Lithuanian stuff too – the cottage cheese! 450g costs AED 15 (EUR 3.8), but it is totally worth it. At last as long as we feel homesick 🙂 We will gladly consume it with the homemade jam my parents squeezed in for us in the luggage.

Home sweet home


Speaking of luggage and good stuff, we got some Danish things with us too, last minute shopping in the airport. We opened the first Bylow lakrids box already in the plane (I did). And we already use Royal Copenhagen cups we bought in the airport, for the gift card from my Nordea colleagues. (Which I overspent, obviously :P)

Taking the best of Denmark


First day at work tomorrow, and I am off to make some pictures. 12 passport pics cost around AED 60 which is just over DKK 100 (EUR 15) – decent. Service costs very little here, and I think we will enjoy this for a while, especially coming from (sorry, but) obscenely priced Denmark.

I was not meant to be too descriptive, this blog, but I guess first impressions are always good to document 🙂

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