A section of an underground tunnel in Abu Dhabi’s corniche.
This is my entry for this week’s photo challenge, a collage of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The place has changed so much over the years that I hardly recognize it, where there used to be water they have built man made land!
Going back to my trip to Abu Dhabi from last year, here is another image from my one only attempt to go on a morning walk. These are the stairs and ramps that take you to the corniche from the underground tunnels that connect you the city. I had previously posted about the underground tunnel and I must admit its one of my favorite images that I took. In case you can’t tell, I had symmetry on mind that day 🙂
This Bentley was parked in the same spot for 10 days in a row, it was just left out in the open to collect dust! During my visit to Abu Dhabi, I saw it everyday on my way out and even at one point I took a picture of the car with garbage around it. I thought this picture would do the car more justice so I’m sharing it instead.
This is from that infamous day in Abu Dhabi, where I thought I can handle the heat of the Middle East; after all I grew up there. While I had about an hour to kill early in the morning I strolled for a walk to the corniche and decided to take some pics. The terrain has changed so much since I grew up there; now you have to take an underground tunnel to get to the other side of the road! This is the tunnel looking back into the city, one of the workers was biking towards me and I just caught him while he was dab smack in the middle 🙂
This is an image that I took of Abu Dhabi back when I was there in May of this year. I grew up in Abu Dhabi, I spent 10 years of my life there before we immigrated to Canada in 1990 and haven’t “really” been back since then; I’ve been to Dubai a few times but thats not the same for a person that grew up there :). I can hardly recognize the place anymore, there are hints of what used to be there but the whole city has gone through a major facelift. This made me think of all the revolutions that are going on in the Arab world, they’ve all stemmed from the fact that the public are fed up with the government and they are demanding changes. I don’t think you’ll ever see such an uprising in the UAE for one simple reason: the rulers of that country used the “oil” money to build their country and not their army! They still have their own human rights issues but I believe they are at least in the right direction.
Its been a few hot & humid days in San Diego which is not the norm, specially the humidity! All of this heat made me think of my time in the UAE, even though I was there before their “hot season” started it was definitely hot & muggy. This shot was taken at the Yas Marina which is the island that they hold the Formula 1 race at; we stepped out of the building for no more than 5 minutes so I (the tourist :)) can see more of the track. I snapped this image and a few more that I shared in a previous post. (more…)
Here is another one from the archives, actually I think there is going to be a heavy reliance on my archives for the next couple of days/weeks. I really want to get back to posting often but that thing that is called real life is taking a toll on me; all is good, just super busy with my real job. This one is back from Abu Dhabi and it was across the very famous Sheikh Zayed mosque (I believe its currently the largest mosque in the world). A few minutes earlier when I was trying to photograph the mosque I was talked to by security, they didn’t want me to take pictures of that housing complex across the water but he was OK with me taking pictures of the mosque; I actually had to show him on my camera! The more I think about it its probably because that part of the world really likes to go all out when it comes to architecture, each housing complex has its own unique design and trademarks. Unlike North America where there are about 4-5 main builders with their own style that we just see over & over, so perhaps they didn’t want someone to copy the design?!?! (more…)
Yesterday was the beginning of Ramadan and I thought I’d post something related to it. This is also from my recent trip to Abu Dhabi, the funny thing is that I remember mosques to be HUGE while growing up there; now that I’ve gone back after so many years they seem so much smaller, I remember them being larger than anything! There are still some really large mosques in the city, matter of fact I think they have the largest one in the world but the local mosques are primarily small. They are also everywhere now and I would assume to meet the highly dense population, each one of these mosques would probably hold 50-75 people and this row of towers was stretched over a few kilometers. Now that I do the math it makes sense why they had 4 or 5 of similar size mosques in this row of buildings. Anyway enough of my urban planning analysis :), Ramadan Mubarak to those who celebrate the month…
Today I go back to my recent trip to Abu Dhabi, this Maserati was parked at this spot almost everyday I walked by it (at least 7 out of the 10 days I was there). I’ve been wanting to take a picture of it since the first time I saw it, I got a thing for doing cars in HDR 🙂 If my memory serves me correctly this was my last day and when I finally had the guts to snap some quick brackets of this beauty, I only did 3 and they were all handheld. A few days earlier I was talked to by security for taking pictures of Abu Dhabi Marina??? (not sure of the exact name of the place), so I was already skeptical about taking picture of someone’s car in a more “restricted” country. It was my last day and I wasn’t in the mood to get hassled, wanted to do a quick hit and run! (more…)
Today I go back to my childhood city, Abu Dhabi, spent 10 years of my life there and to this day I still consider it home to a certain extent. Toronto is my real home but Abu Dhabi has some kind of special status. I’m very fond of the city, not so much for what it is today but for it was in yesteryear! Then again, all I did was play and spend my parents money, of course I loved it 🙂 I have nothing but good memories of the place, I’ve changed a lot in 21 years and so have the city. I can barely recognize the place, there are some monuments that remind of the past but you often hear things like: “You see this street?! Well this all used to be water until they built this new land”. No matter how you view their government you have to tip your hat off to them for spending money on their country, on their people, what a concept? Government spending money on their people 🙂
Formula 1 is something that I share with my siblings, we used to be real fanatics but I’ve kind of fizzled out of the sport since I moved out to the West coast, following it is almost impossible over here! The little one turns 27 today so I thought I’d share something that us, the brothers, had in common. This is truly an oasis in the middle of the desert, we drove for about 30-45 minutes to whats called Yas Island (another man made island brought to you by the UAE government), its in the middle of the desert and surrounded by nothing but that! Somehow they managed to build a gorgeous resort out of it and I think they will only inject more into the area. The pictures are what I would assume a VIP ticket package for the grand prix weekend, its quite a viewpoint from here but trust me your ears will feel it (I’m a 7 year veteran of the Montreal Grand Prix). What I really wanted to do was run on the track and take a picture of the tunnel, its some amazing architecture, they are laid back over there about rules but I don’t think that laid back that I can run on the track 🙂
I have a few more from the track and then some others of the city, didn’t spend as much time with my camera as I would’ve like to. When you go back to your childhood place expect a lot of social commitments, it was so nice to rekindle all those childhood memories though, can’t lie about that ….
I took this shot at one of the many resturants/bars in Yas Hotel during my recent trip to Abu Dhabi. This particular restaurant was closed, yet we were still allowed to walk in, look around and take pictures. Gotta love how relaxed things are over in the UAE 🙂
The windows overlook the Formula 1 track at the Yas Marina Circuit.