Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Merc E-class or BMW 1-series convertible?

Abu Dhabi and Dubai is a haven for cool cars ...

How about a little BMW 1-series convertible, the E88?

Or ... a new-shape comfy W212 E350 Mercedes saloon?

Here's what happens when you drive above 120km/h in the UAE!

Check out my speedo...

Look closely, the car goes "PING!" once, then the "120 km/h" beacon keeps flashing on the dashboard. Nah ... I don't feel TOO guilty, well not until I see a speed radar!

Their Highnesses ... Their Excellencies! Only in Abu Dhabi

Their Highnesses ...
Their Excellencies!

ps - This sign's at the ADNEC, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company/Centre.

Signboards of Abu Dhabi!

Air Asia is coming to town.....

Like I said ... driving in Abu Dhabi is rather easy, its really well signboarded! And NO TOLLS!
Hmmm ... Yas Island anyone?

Oooh ... that's the way to the Yas Marina Circuit, home of the 1st Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

Streets and beaches ... This is Abu Dhabi

Time to switch over to some shots I took with my Canon G9 ... these were mainly shot through the windscreen of my car!

Dare I say, I actually like driving here ... its real easy with the GRID system ala US of A!

Wow ... a free, public beach. Not far from Khalidiyah, on the far corner of the Corniche.

Looks like the Hilton on the Corniche is the host of the inaugural Etihad F1 Grand Prix!

Ah... this is why I love driving on a Friday morning, no cars!

I like this building, it has such an imposing stature ... this is the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

ps . One last shot as I was heading out of the city ... On the left, its a indoor football pitch, and in the distance, its Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque.

Aldar HQ Round Building - Al Raha Gardens, Abu Dhabi

My favourite building in Dubai and Abu Dhabi ... the Aldar headquarters, alongside Al Raha Mall / Al Raha Beach Resort.

Lets get closer :-)

Stunning :-)
Just before heading off..

ps . Here's the mall ... not very exciting, alongside such a cool building!
ps . Some notes ...
Al Raha Beach will be home to ALDAR Properties' new headquarters, currently under construction. ALDAR's new HQ will be the first round building in the Middle East, built to satisfy the most demanding international business elite. The futuristic aluminium and glass exterior, underground parking, turnstile security, marble floors and walls will ensure this is a commercial building fit for 21st century Arabia. It will be a Category A International office.

Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque - Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque

One of my favourite sights in Abu Dhabi, even Paul Sr of American Chopper has been here!

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world.
It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who is also buried there. The mosque was officially opened in the Islamic month of Ramadan in 2007.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority announced that tours of the mosques will be given to both Muslims and non-Muslims beginning in mid-March 2008 in order to promote cultural and religious understanding.

Lets take a closer look...

Hmmm ... I drove all around, had to get a better viewpoint!

Parting shot before I headed back on the highway... for more shots of Abu Dhabi!

Leaning tower of Abu Dhabi - Capital Gate, ADNEC

I shall never forget the first time I was driven past this building ... Disbelief! I chuckled ... I've grown fond of it! It looks especially "leany" when viewed from the side of the American Embassy, which was where I shot the below.

Its part of the ADNEC development, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company.

What does 8 billion ringgit / dirham buy you?
I reckon ... It doesn't look like 18 degrees when viewed from the front / along the highway.
Capital Gate, which is being built by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), will lean 18 degrees westward, 14 degrees more than the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The design of the central core of the building, which slants in the opposite direction to the lean of the building, straightening as it grows, has never been attempted before.

Lets get a closer look!

Simon Horgan, CEO of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, the Master Developer of Capital Gate, said: "This is a landmark occasion in the construction of Capital Gate. The unique nature of this building has meant that the teams responsible for delivering Capital Gate have experienced some immense challenges, which they have overcome through vision, ingenuity and cooperation.There is nothing standard about this tower.
Each room is different, each pane of glazing is different and every angle is different. It was designed to provide no symmetry to inspire both visitors and observers, yet the delivery team, comprised of ADNEC, Al Habtoor Construction, MACE and RMJM, is consistently hitting target dates for delivery".
Capital Gate is scheduled for completion in autumn 2009. When complete it will house the executive 5 star hotel "Hyatt at Capital Centre", Abu Dhabi's first Hyatt hotel.

Abu Dhabi - View from the Corniche

I woke up early one Friday morning, and went shooting around Abu Dhabi ...

Total time? 3 hours.
Distance driven? 200 km!
Camera? Nikon D80
Lens? Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 , Tamron SP90mm f/2.8

The Abu Dhabi waterfront is known as the Cornice.

Palm tree in the oasis that is Abu Dhabi!

This is Marina Mall ... Home of IKEA and Carrefour!

The site of the World's Tallest Flagpole!

The tallest Flag-pole in the wall :-)

The flag of the United Arab Ermirathes ... the UAE