Mod­ern Abu Dhabi

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - All Eyes On Deck -

In Abu Dhabi, you re­al­ize you are in a very dif­fer­ent Ara­bia, this one with ev­ery­thing new and sparkling. We booked a tour that took us to a lat­est/great­est eco- city and to the top of a sky­scraper for af­ter­noon tea. Along the way we caught a glimpse of such cul­tural at­trac­tions as the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the re­cently opened Lou­vre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Is­land, a tourism- cul­tural project five min­utes away from down­town Abu Dhabi.

Those seek­ing less cere­bral pur­suits might visit Fer­rari World or the new Warner Bros. World. The city is pop­u­lated by some of the wealth­i­est peo­ple in the world and it shows. We would see more of such when we dis­em­barked amidst the gleam­ing sky­scrapers and ex­trav­a­gant shop­ping malls of Dubai. But first there was a day at the beach.

Abu Dhabi’s Sir Bani Yas Is­land has a beau­ti­ful beach cre­ated ex­clu­sively for cruise pas­sen­gers — the only such place in the Mid­dle East. We boarded ten­ders and landed on an oa­sis of white sand and clear sea, with a so­phis­ti­cated setup that in­cluded lounge chairs and a cov­ered din­ing area, toys such as kayaks and pad­dle­boards and even free WiFi. We feasted out­doors on grilled lob­ster and Mid­dle Eastern treats such as stuffed grape leaves.

There was a siren heard here, but only to call pas­sen­gers into the shal­low surf, where from a pon­toon smil­ing crew served caviar, in Se­abourn’s sig­na­ture Caviar in the Surf event.

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