Archive for January, 2014

January 26th, 2014

Abu Dhabi + golf

I spent the previous week in Abu Dhabi together with a team from a golf related startup that I’ve been helping quite a lot through my company.

The aim of the visit was to see the system in real use, and to figure out potential improvements and iron out hiccups. The trip was a great success in that respect, it was really thrilling to see own code in action among some of the best pro golfers, such as Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, and the wealthy clients of the main sponsor of the event. Everything went flawlessly.

But this blog is not about my work, but my travels. So, let’s focus on that part of trip — albeit most of the time was spent either at the golf course or in the hotel.

Our flight landed on Dubai on Monday, and we took a taxi to Abu Dhabi. The trip was more than 120 kilometers, but the cost was only around 40€. Absurdly cheap!

The hotel was on a man-made island some dozens of kilometers away from the center of Abu Dhabi. Our neighbours included a very prestigious golf course and the F1 circuit, so we in a very good company. This also caused that I couldn’t stroll around in Abu Dhabi. We did got to a couple of malls, other very down to earth and other quite glitzy, but I’ve recently found that I don’t have that many needs anymore. So I ended up buying three cans of Pepsi Max and one Twix bar.

After the official program, we had a celebratory dinner at the most expensive hotel in the world, The Emirates Palace — impeccable service and excellent food on the Chinese restaurant. The hotel was vast, full of ornaments, and gold. There was also an ATM that gave gold instead of notes. Didn’t try it.

The funny thing on the Emirates is that there are huge construction projects and then as huge stretches of wasteland between them. Maybe they are reserved for even bigger projects, or there are disputes related to the use of land. But it sure felt odd and make the whole place feel temporary.

That said, I found the place worth visiting again. Maybe a family trip to Dubai would be just what the doctor ordered.