Have you heard of The Yellow Boats? I came across them recently and I was surprised to hear they’d been hiding away in the Emirates Palace Marina of Abu Dhabi for six years already! Well, who knew?! I always think it’s great to be a tourist in your own city every now and then, so the other weekend I went along with a friend to take their Emirates Palace, Corniche and Lulu Island tour and see the city from a new perspective.
I chose the 10am tour as it seemed like a great way to start the day, and my friend commented that it was great to get out and do something early on a weekend (10am early?! …yeah, she doesn’t have kids 🙂 ). But jokes aside, it really was a lovely way to start the day.
So I had to leave Baby Arabian Notes at home in the more than capable hands of Mr. Arabian Notes since the tours take place on quite a fast boat that can offer quite a high-octane ride at times. You can take kids on board, but they need to be aged five and up. Yup, I think I literally ran out the door since I haven’t had too much opportunity in the last nine months to
escape do something for myself.
And off we set…
Here’s the little yellow boat in question – it may look pretty innocent, but it’s really a lot of fun!
And our trusty Skipper Danny, is a really friendly and knowledgeable guide. Danny gave us a great run down of the local sights and historical facts on various points on the tour. I bet that even if you’ve lived here a long time, you’ll learn something you didn’t know before from him! And his knowledge isn’t just limited to Abu Dhabi or Dubai… he’s originally from the Seychelles and was happy for me to pick his brain on the best things to see and do around the islands (always making notes for my next adventures!).
We left the marina at Emirates Palace and bobbed round to the Corniche. Abu Dhabi may not have the most iconic skyline in the world but personally, I think that’s part of its charm. And there’s no arguing that they’ve done a wonderful job in preserving the Corniche beach from the grips of developers and keeping it open for public access.
From there it’s on to the Dhow Harbour, for a close up look at another world – a reminder of the city’s traditional industries of days gone by, and of course a stark reminder that the streets aren’t paved with gold for everyone who lives and works here.
I was probably most curious to get a look at Lulu Island, the land mass that has remained unchanged for years, although constant rumours abound that it’ll become some such construction site soon enough.
How blue are those waters?! It’s just incredible, we are lucky to live in such a beautiful place (with Blue Flag status for water quality on many of Abu Dhabi’s beaches too) that many of us don’t give a second thought. I’ve heard so many people say recently that the UAE is not beautiful and disregard it as an urban jungle. Well, I’m not sure what country they’ve been looking at, but I think they need to look beyond the malls and get out more!
We thoroughly enjoyed our morning out with The Yellow Boats, and for those who have relatives arriving for the holidays, it’s a great idea if you’re bored with repeating the usual tourist trail again and again!
Check out their website for more information and details on all the trips they offer: TheYellowBoats.com