Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meeting at Qasr al Sarab

Today I had a meeting with the developer of many resorts and tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi. The guy I was seeing was on site at one of the resorts, Qasar al Sarab (which roughly means Mirage Palace), so I met him there. Considering it is due to be opened on Oct 25th, it still looks like they have a bit of work to do if they going to make it look like the marketing images! However, I understand that they will be sending in 1000 people next week to clean up the whole place to make it look spick and span.

The location for this resort is about 2 hours into the desert in what they call "The Empty Quarter" - for good reason, there is nothing there! Just sand! So the resort is an engineering feat in itself. The road leading to the resort is still unmade and I was a bit worried at times whether my VW Passat was going to make it - it's in situations like this that I miss my 4x4.

The dunes are pretty spectacular and the silence when the labourers stopped work for lunch was deafening. I reckon at night under a full moon, it would look great.

They are going to offer traditional Arab hunting on camel back with Saluki dogs and Falcons - hunting gazelle etc placed in a reserve for this purpose. This will of course cost an arm and a leg, but there will be plenty of Arabs (and others probably) who will be queuing up for this I'm sure.

I had a classic conversation trying to buy a drink at a small grocery store in Al Hameem, the nearest town to the resort. It went like this...

{Looking in the fridge being watched by the Indian shopkeeper, and seeing only a vitimin C drink and Red Bull}

Me: Do you have any other cold drinks?

Shopkeeper: You want chocolate?

Me: {grabbing 2 Red Bulls} Never mind I'll just take these.

Shopkeeper: You want diet?

Me: {happy becuase I usually drink diet Red Bull} Ah - do you have diet?

Shopkeeper: No.

Me: I guess I'll just take these then.

Photos from Qasr al Sarab below.....

Meeting at Qasr al Sarab

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