Friday, September 28, 2007

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a really rich city. Some of those 2 million barrels of oil a day have been used to build what must be the world's most expensive hotel - the Dhs 14 billion (about 2 billion pounds) Emirates Palace.

But it's hard to feel at home here. Outside the heat and humidity chokes all life from the soulless streets, while indoors the bone cold air conditioning no doubt encouraged the bug that has lain me low all week.

It's not a place that practices low emission living - energy and water are consumed as if global warming were just a dream. Which is a shame as it could lead the world by planting its deserts with solar power stations to become the first CO2 neutral country.

The bit I liked best was the old Dhow harbour (above). Here a whole fleet of old wooden boats were moored and their crews did chores like mending nets (below). Apparently they go as far as Bangladesh in what must be epic journeys.

Though they have a sail they are mostly motor powered - and you might have seen Michael Palin in one when he went around the world in 80 days.

No comments: