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Friday 23 December 2016

UAE 2016 Day 01: Christmas in the Middle East!

It’s the eve of Christmas Eve and indeed, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is upon us and we can hardly contain our excitement as we get ready and prepare for the trip of a lifetime.

My sister Ginny and her husband Vincent (Sern for short) have invited us to spend Christmas with them in the United Arab Emirates. We could hardly believe our ears, and I could not stop pinching myself.

Our flight tickets with Etihad was booked (Kuala Lumpur to Abu Dhabi Flight 413) well over a month earlier, scheduled as follows:

  • KUL Departure 23 Dec 2016 02:35 (MY time)
  • AUH Arrival 23 Dec 2016 06:10 (AE time)

Since we’re four hours ahead of Abu Dhabi the flight will actually take us seven and a half hours. Oh my, the longest I’ve been on a plane is less than two hours and a feeling of trepidation crept in.

Brendan is not new to this, having been to Abu Dhabi on two separate occasions. Once on his own (when he was twelve years old, and was treated like royalty throughout his flight) and once with my sister Vivien and her husband David when they went vacationing to Dubai a few years back.

Extremely eager and excited, we actually reached the KL Sentral Railway station by 9:00pm and quickly checked in our luggage at the Etihad counter there. We boarded the Express Rail Link (ERL) headed to KLIA at about 9:30pm feeling tremendously enthusiastic.

we boarded the ERL

as the excitement builds

here's to a safe flight

In less than an hour we reached KLIA, and with practically four hours to burn we sat at a café anxiously awaiting our turn to board.

to calm the nerves

a couple of hours till we board

From this point onwards there were no photos taken, especially once we got to the gate to board. The flight was very relaxed and uneventful with little turbulence which calmed me down somewhat.

We touched down in Abu Dhabi International Airport a quarter to six in the morning, and by the time we collected our luggage (intact), cleared immigration and customs it was almost 7:00am.

I’ve never flown long distance before but due to the excitement I guess I wasn’t feeling the effects of jet-lag (just yet?). We saw Ginny and Sern’s beaming faces at the arrival hall and knew in our hearts that the adventure of our lifetime awaits!

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