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Wednesday 22 January 2020

UAE2020 Day 02: Al Reef Villas

Good morning UAE!

It is a Wednesday, our 2nd day in the UAE. Ginny and Sern were off to work bright and early in the morning. The UAE (and most of the Middle East for that matter) observes a Friday-Saturday weekend. Ginny and Sern had both applied to take leave from work the following Sunday and Monday, with Sern getting an additional day off on Tuesday as well.

So for the next 2 days at least we were left to our own devices. It was a good thing since we could take our time to acclimatise with the change in weather and different time zones, as well as recover from the tumultuous flight on Air Arabia a day before.

After a simple breakfast of toasted bread, jam and coffee we started a load of laundry. 

the right amount of detergent

a 2-hour wash

and a 2-hour dryer

meant ample time to go about exploring Al Reef

We tried to endear ourselves with the guardian of the house, Reef the cat but to no avail. She doesn't take too kindly to strangers, and it will take considerable time and effort on our part before we are welcomed into her fold.

Queen of her domain

While waiting for laundry to be done we took a ten minute walk to Al Reef Downtown, a mixed-use area at the heart of the Al Reef community that features social, retail and commercial facilities. 

the sun rising over Al Reef

with the token palm tree in the foreground

a bus stop right outside

Al Reef Downtown

comes alive in the evenings, we've been told

we're headed to Select Market for some groceries

while exploring the other retailers here

a one-stop centre for almost everything you need

We did some grocery shopping at the Select Market and checked out the shops and restaurants there. We headed back to tend to our laundry, past the rows of apartment buildings that reminded us of Singapore's HDB flats, although in this case is much more exquisite in design and spacious in layout.

simple and unassuming apartments

with direct access to amenities

despite its unassuming exterior

belies its spacious and lavish interior

minimum rental is AED5,000 (RM5,900) a month!

We came across a very dusty red car on our way back, and wondered if it was abandoned. What a shame if it were since Abu Dhabi Municipality (ADM) takes stern action on such vehicles. If ADM were to come across a neglected car, they would issue a three-day warning letter. If the abandoned vehicle is not cleaned or moved thereafter, a ticket will be issued and the vehicle will be towed away to the impounding area.

Residents warned against unattended, dusty cars

on our way back

hope you don't get in trouble, buddy

we quite enjoyed the walk

we'll be back out soon

Never ones to let food go to waste we finished off the generous portions of Iranian Briyani rice from the night before and considered our lunch settled. We took what turned out a very long afternoon nap, and then took another trip to Al Reef Downtown to check out an Emirati owned coffee shop with locally brewed coffee just facing the entrance of the Select Market that Sern had recommended.

Sern's personal recommendation

hits the spot

an evening treat

and with a heart-warming story behind it

We have a very pleasant story to tell about Meraki Roastery and Cafe☕️. I ordered the usual latte and sat myself down at one of the tables outside. The table was uneven and coupled with my clumsiness I tipped the cup over causing half of the contents to spill over. The waitress saw what happened and immediately took my cup away promising to give me a freshly brewed cup, although it was through no fault of hers, nor the cafe.

We were touched by the kindness of Meraki and give our collective two thumbs up to this marvelous cafe. We highly recommend this cafe to everyone living in the Al Reef area.

We got home just in time to meet up with Ginny and Sern who just got off from work, and we spent the evening in their backward watching Reef having a lark running around the yard.

having a right lark!

Perhaps still a little jet-lagged we hit the hay pretty early, for tomorrow we will be up bright and early to do a little traipsing on our own and give UAE's public transportation system a go.

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