• Day22

    Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace Hotel

    May 30, 2015 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 40 °C

    Yesterday Maz took us all for a drive to Abu Dhabi, the temperature was 46°c, so thank god for air conditioning in the car, which btw is a Porche Caynne, so we travelled in style.
    We passed through a town called Jebel Ali, which is 35km southwest of Dubai city.
    As well as being the 9th busiest port in the world, is a tax free industrial zone.
    In 1985, the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) was established.
    Jafza, an industrial area surrounding the port, allows the international companies who relocate there to enjoy the special privileges of the free zone.
    These include exemption from corporate tax for fifteen years, no personal income tax, no import or export duties, no restriction on currency, and easy labour recruitment.
    This came as a big surprise to me, as I thought that Dubai had no real industry and was just a tourist destination.
    Anyway the drive to Abu Dhabi took just over an hour as the road is a 4 lane highway and virtually straight as a die.
    On the way we passed the strangest office block I've ever seen, it is completely circular and looks like a giant Frisbee stood on end. It's about as thick as a Frisbee too, very strange.
    We headed to the world famous 7 star hotel The Emirates Palace, and it is just about the most beautiful hotel I've seen. We headed straight to the "Gold to Go" vending machine where you can literally buy small gold ingots from a vending machine!
    I checked out the afternoon tea menu, and a cup of tea and a piece of cake would set you back £52 each. The cake does have a small piece of real gold leaf on top, but we gave that one a swerver and went to Starbucks in the local mall instead, lol.
    But it is interesting to see how the other half live.
    The dining area where you have afternoon tea is really beautiful and sumptuous and a violinist and pianist entertain the diners, so all joking aside apart from the price it would be a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake.
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