After a short transit Oceana docked in Abu Dhabi. We went with fellow passengers to look for dhows but instead found a replica Titanic and Noah’s Ark before we visited the fish market.
The next day Oceana sailed through the Arabian Gulf to our next port of call of Muscat.
Our cruise through the Suez Canal started in Dubai and took us to Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Salalah, then the transit of the Suez Canal, Valletta, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Venice, Split and finally back to Valletta.
Day 6 Saturday 23 March Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
I looked out from our balcony and the view was obscured as it looked misty as we approached the dock. Then I realised that it was raining and that I could now hear thunder and see the lightning way away onshore.
While I was looking out as Oceana docked I went to pick up my glasses – disaster they were not there! Where they were lost remained a mystery for the rest of the three week cruise. Luckily I had another pair of glasses as a spare.
The ship passed close to a warehouse that was in the process of being built. The noise from the cherry picker was loud enough to motivate me to get up and make a cup of tea. Our final quay was next to this warehouse.
Looking back out to sea we were followed in by another cruise ship.
Our breakfast was in the Ligurian on a table shared with two other couples. Both of the other couples were on the ship three weeks like we were. One of the ladies visited Crowthorne often to see her daughter and grandchildren – what a small world!
As we chatted over breakfast I offered to help one of the ladies as her camera had stopped working as her USB lead had broken.
Abu Dhabi Mall
Back at our cabin I searched through my bag of leads and this was the one USB lead that wasn’t there. We had arranged to meet at 10 am to catch the shuttle bus to the mall. Our plan was to then go on to the dhow shipyards described in the P&O guide nearby at Al Bateen.
I had to apologise to the couple that we had no local currency and promised to settle up when we were back on board the ship. The shuttle bus dropped us off outside the mall. The pavements were being repaired and we had to wind our way through various barriers until we reached the entrance to the mall.
We were there well before any crowds and it was rather eerie making our way from the top of the escalator through the mall. We enquired about the whereabouts of a camera shop or electrical shop. I stopped at a number of the pop-up stalls selling phone accessories but none had any of the USB cables.
The electrical shop had a small camera section to the left of all the white goods and other furniture. The shop was empty and we were soon in discussion about USB cables with a shop assistant. The shop had a rack of cables but none with the micro USB connector. We were offered a USB powered battery charger that could be configured for different size batteries. It was a good price too.
We followed the signs to the taxi rank below the mall. There we asked the taxi driver to take us to Al Bateen as we wanted to see the shipyards. He told is that he didn’t know of any shipyards there but he would drive us to the district and then we could search once we were there.
We past the Emirates Palace as we drove along the Corniche. Once in Al Bateen that is when the fun started as we drove in and out of industrial areas, in and out of marinas and even into hotel car park. We did stop and ask various passers-by if they could direct us to the shipyards – but no-one knew what we were talking about!
our driver joined in by searching both Google and Google Maps for the boatyards. We drove down another road off the Corniche. After passing warehouses and office blocks we came to a large open area. We drove past a row of shops and a cafe before reaching a dead end. There we could see lots of docked boats and yachts. Behind as we could see a large shed over a dock and inside what looked like Noah’s Ark.