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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!


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.

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