Three days after David departed to Morocco - a destination he adores and has frequented periodically, although I am clueless about why or what is that he lost there,
I took off, with my dear friend Edna, to the Emirates - a confederation of 7 Islamic states
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is an elective monarchy, located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a population, similar to that of Israel, of about 10 million, but of which around 20% are Emirati citizens (recognized by their white dress) and the rest 80% are expatriates, has welcomed Israeli tourism.following the Abraham Accords, signed in 2020
Since 1971 the Emirates are a federation of 7 monarchies with Abu Dhabi being the largest territory.
AT BG Airport
The disorder/ balagan at the Etihad Airways check-in counter in Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion airport, was at its peak, when we , joined the shape-less long line, for the flight to Abu Dabi. Etihad Air, , which its head office is in Khalifa City, near Abu Dhabi City's airport, is the 2nd flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates.
The one week seminar within the group-tour format we joined, and which was organized by Kishraei Tarbut Tevel and led by the Middle East scholar expert -
Irritated, back-logged passengers, cut -in line, and mobbed the service counters, demanding all VIP service, from the overwhelmed ground crew, who helplessly
gave up on keeping the law and order.
The check-in/security halls at main Terminal 3 have been going for some time through some refurbishing . Thus, prior to being bused to the departure gates, at Terminal 3 , all check-ins have been conducted, from, the old Terminal 1.
To the travelers delight, recent revised Corona related regulations, of the Abu-Dabi Gov, had eliminated both, the PCR testing, and entry declaration form. prior to the TLV out going flight, Furthermore, the PCR testing upon entry to and departing Abu Dabi. was aborted. But that may be changed Only Ministry of Health official proof of vaccination (in English) was required.
The very full flight, which was due to depart at 2:00pm, took off, only, at near to 3:00pm.
It seems, that the dispute, between Israel and the Emirates, on the size of the Israeli security force, permitted to be present on Emirates' grounds, at any given time, was resolved. Thus many Israelis sized the touristic opportunity of the resumed flights, which were interrupted during the dispute, and hopped on the planes directed to the Arabian desert, by the Hebrew, we heard loud and clear, all throughout the Emirates..
The forecast predicted for the day of flight was an unusual very warm gusty winds Hamssin weather, accompanied by a sand storm. Thus the visibly from above the ground was thick pinky opaque sky, blaring all on ground below.
2.5 hours later when we landed at Abu-Dhabi airport, the authorities released us fast and efficiently, to our destiny. and there we encountered, for the first time, the 28 members of the organized group, all belonging to the geriatric "gold age", but most enthused to explore the newly opened lands.
A huge signed welcomed the landing passengers, upon arrival.
Visiting the 2020 Expo , was also on our agenda
The 2 hours difference between Israeli and Emirates' time, compelled the organizers to first feed us dinner, at a reasonable evening time, near-by the Abu-Dhabi airport, before busing the group, for another 2 hours, directly to Dubai City
The unusual hybrid "Bird" , which hatched, since 1970 after the British withdrawal from its treaty obligations (British protectorate Trucial States) has miraculously ascended, in only 50 years, high into the sky, from the nothingness of Arabian desert's shifting sand-dunes, and is an unknown phenomenon, in history.
The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the founding father of the UAE and served as the President of the UAE since the formation of the Federation in 1971.
Also the former ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and UAE’s founding father, left behind a legacy of noble values like Charity, Unity, Generosity and Tolerance, rebranding
that corner of the Arab Islamic world.
His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan left a list of famous quotes on the topics of : women, innovation, religion, industry and tolerance
Here is one of his eye opening quotation, and I recommend to read the rest of the list
“No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind the progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities.”
The cosmopolitan, spread-out, clean safe Dubai city, where our first night was spent, is the jewel in the crown of the Emirates' crossroads and financial centers, while Abu Dhabi serves more as a traditional, administrative, and cultural hub.
The brand new modern city is made of Still, Glass and Neon lights. and contains 26 shopping malls, extensive connecting roads, modern railway and hundreds of architecturally amazing sky scarper tall towers, of which many bear the name EMAAR -
The local Indian Guide - Ben Alfonso who has been residing in Dubai for the past 35 years, yet would never be awarded a citizenship, nor a pension, only a free medical and state schooling, accompanied the group on the long ride to Dubai.
He is part of the 40% Indian/ Pakistani, non-citizens workforce in the country, which
also its ethnic familiar food, is served every where..
Ben our guide is part of the Dubai operation tour called : Incentive Connections
Its Project manger is Melwyn Carvalho - firstname.lastname@example.org
971- 4 3869914 Cell: 971- 555792783
Nur- the Pakistani bus driver made sure to stick to the 80 km per hour speed limit, enforced in Abu Dabi, while accelerating to 100km per an hour - Dubai's higher speed limit. once entering the state, via the one long straight north -east desert Hwy, starting in Qatar and runs through all the Emirates
There are signs/ warnings, in both Arabic and English and cameras everywhere in public spaces throughout the Emirates, for the alleged safety and welfare, of all people.
Safe-keeping low crime rates, and high probability to be thrown into jail, or out of the country, if law and regulations are broken, assure state /community orderliness, on the expense of compromised individual rights.
On the way, it was drummed into the group, the notion of the Emirates' Highness'
wisdom, benevolence, and vision of Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Mactoum .
He succeeded his late brother Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum as a ruler in 2006.
Al Maktoum, a billionaire who has generated most of his income from real estate, is described as "one of the world's most prominent real estate developers",
He facilitated the fast-forward transformation of Dubai into the Global City
He also initiated the launch of a number of government-owned enterprises including Emirates Airline, DP World, and the Jumeirah Group, as well the development of projects as creation of a technology park, a free economic zone, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, the Dubai International Finance Centre, the Palm Islands and the Burj Al Arab hotel. and finalizing the construction of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
The government is autocratic, as there are no democratic institutions, and internal dissent is prohibited.
To make sure we phantom the real concept of the EMIRATES miraculous success
the abbreviation of the word- Emirates - and what it really stands for,: was deciphered -,
English Management, Indian Run, Arab Take Excellent Salary
Hotel we stayed at:
Hilton Dubai al Habtoor City - Dubai Off Sheik Zayed Road and next door to La Perle by Franco Dragone.
971 4 437 333
Convenient central location
A bright future to look for
The fountains off the Hwy in front of the hotel
The views from the hotel's window off our room on 10th floor (out of 25 )
Burj Khalifa at night from our room's window
# More fantastic Photos taken by Yuval Zaliouk can be found here
To be Continued....