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Friday, January 28, 2011

Carless In Abu Dhabi

I had to make a major lifestyle decision a few weeks ago to sell my car. This was not taken lightly as I am a certified automotive geek who has been known to perform major repairs under a shade tree and show up to fancy social functions with grease under my fingernails. I love automobiles, they represent engineering prowess and are the tool for the ultimate personal freedom for one to go anywhere at anytime. I have not been without a car since I was 15 years old and that was many moons ago.


I actually sold my Jeep yesterday. You may wonder "Ace, if you are such a car guy why sell your own vehicle and have no plans to replace it?" Well ladies and gentlemen, that is a good question and the answer is complicated and multifaceted.

After a lot of contemplation, I came to the conclusion I just didn't need it. After 2 1/2 years I have only put 10,500 KM's on the thing. I only used it as a "grocery getter" a couple of times a month shuttling back and forth to the liquor store and the few odd appointments downtown. I concluded it had became not much more than a $500/month paperweight.



You see, when I go anywhere from the relatively tiny country of the UAE, my vehicle of choice burns kerosene and travels at Mach .88 39,000 feet or so above the earth.  I relax with a fine wine while catching up with the latest movies. Although in large countries such as the US, a car is essential because of the distances involved. Not a factor here.





At times, I like to partake of adult beverages in the city with friends. The UAE, being a Muslim country has severe penalties for driving under the influence of drink so I always took a taxi for these events. My Jeep was not a transportation option for these occasions.

After a Night on the Town


When I first moved  to my current location, it was quite isolated and taxi services were sporadic at best. Just to get to somewhere for groceries or a meal was a logistical nightmare without a car. Now the complex where I live has grown up and sports a grocery store, medical center, pharmacy, spa, coffee shop, gym, dry cleaners, restaurants and much more. Most of my needs are available within a ten minute walk. I can even rent a car here when I need one. My workplace is literally across the street so I can walk there.

Khalifa City Moonbase, View out of my window...Really!


With the growth of the area, there are now many transport options. At least a dozen taxis are at my beck and call 24/7 and free shuttle buses are available to many venues.

I liked my Jeep and hated to let go of it but I just couldn't justify keeping it. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I will have to make adjustments in my life but the extra money I will realize and the freedom from tickets, insurance, fuel costs, car washes and the bad drivers here will more than make up for it.

Right now, being without a car feels to me like being naked, but that will pass as I adapt to the situation. I still have my beloved Mustang GT convertible back in Utah, USA to fall back on!





I  just had to throw this in, I am enchanted!










4 comments:

Neil Roberts said...

600 535353 .......

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

And I just bought a Jeep! Actually, an old one just for off-road use.

Chuck said...

I just bought a new car. I was really due for one though. I did make do without one when I first moved here but it's not a fun lifestyle in this town, let me tell you. Sounds like a much more livable option where you are. I suppose you can always lease something if you need to.

Cheap Flights to Abu Dhabi said...

Imagine that you are stuck on a long train ride and must choose one of two books to read in order to pass the time: the first is a novel whose main character is an office worker who is essentially working to pay his monthly cable bill; the second is about someone who decides to travel in South America (and of course encounters various setbacks in the process), but who pushes beyond the boundaries of conventional American life. Which... book would you pick up to read? Indeed, which of the two characters would you rather be?