Thursday

Getting some wheels.

As mentioned in the traffic post ... the traffic here is, at first, terrifying.



While I like the adventure of "taxi destination translation" or using the seriously excellent bus system, sometimes you just want to get in your own car and go.

All the major rental car companies are here, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar... at least that's what any google search for "Abu Dhabi car rentals" that we did came up with. I'd like to tell you where to find them too, but.. I don't know where they are. It's not that they AREN'T here - it's just that I haven't seen them - but we used another company, so I guess I haven't actually been looking that hard since.

I did try one of the local companies prior to settling on the one we did. It was a nice looking place with a suitably large sign out the front. It had a distinct lack of ill-fitting curtains. It had a reception desk AND and office - things were looking hopeful.

I walked into the office, told them what I needed (a small car), they said they didn't have any, but here was a number could I call it in an hour. Now this place was right across the street from the hotel, I had my usual "I'm confident but we both know that I am a gumby, but my money is as good as any" look on my face, and I hadn't balked or bartered at his quote. I was so ripe and good a prospect I was literally about to fall off the vine under the weight of my own ... err.. ripeness.

I called back in the specified time, plus 10 minutes to account for Abu Dhabi lag..
"Yes, we have no car, call back in the morning" *click*

 I did.

"No cars, give me your number, I will call by midday"

I did.

He didn't.

So if you are reading this AND you are the Abu Dhabi car rental dude who dealt with a large bald sweating man in January 2009 and didn't call him back... not only did we rent a car on a 6 month contract from place that WAS interested in me , we bought a car from them them as well... HAH! (I know I know, but petty is all I have)

ooops, a digression... back to the topic...

The company we went with was Eurostar Car Rentals - mentioned in the fabulous "Abu Dhabi Residents guide"  - apart from the fact they were mentioned in that most useful book, they were also a short stroll from where we were staying. That, was as good a reason as any.

They could not have been more helpful, etc. etc. etc.

These guys deal in European stuff generally, but they have a smaller fleet of cheaper Japanese small cars too if that's your thing; we hired a little Toyota Corolla initially - it was clean and suitable.
They deal in really nice beasties too, Audis, Porches and VWs of all levels, from cars to 4wds and most things in between.

It was also the same place that we hired the Toyota van from the Ikea adventure post.


Check the website - don't be misled by the whole booking online thing, it was broken when we tried it, and results here work far better by phone anyway. So give them a call.

The map on the website is rudimentary at best... so here's the directions:

1: Get in a cab and ask them to take you to Abu Dhabi mall, if there is any confusion just say Beach Rotana - it's the hotel that is attached to the mall.
2: Go in the main entrance to Abu Dhabi mall (it's where the taxi rank is) - and straight up the escalators in front of you.
3: Turn left at the top of the escalators and double back on yourself, go to the coffee shop "Mug and bean" get yourself a coffee and a muffin (blueberry is my choice, Mrs AD-ist prefers chocolate).
4: Discuss how steps 2 an 3 in this direction list are optional.
5: Go back down the escalators.
6: As you leave through the front doors you'll see a pedestrian overpass, use it.. it takes a certain "skill" to negotiate the traffic without it.
7: You will see a road that runs in the same direction as the overpass, but begins just to the right of where you will get off the stairs.
8: Walk up that road past another overpass (no need to use it stay on this side of the road)
9: Walk toward the horror that is the Salam St. roadworks, and turn left at  First Gulf Bank.. walk past a broad alleyway gap and you are there!

The reason I say go to AD mall as a start, is that most taxi drivers won't know how to get there - it is in the middle of some pretty serious roadworks, and there is limited space to get around OR turnaround if you make a wrong turn - that might leave you have to try the U-turn extravaganza just to get you back the district.

www.eurostarrental.com

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Andrew Webber is a writer, living in Abu Dhabi with his wife, two cats and two dogs.

His first book "Erasure" was published in June 2012 and was followed in 2013 by the Prequel to Erasure, "Broken".

In 2016 Erasure was a prize winner in the Montegrappa Writing Prize - part of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

For more information click the "Erasure" book cover on the left side of this site, or simply go to www.athwebber.com

Thanks for visiting.