2 fun filled days in Abu Dhabi

Wow, I absolutely loved my first overnight experience in Abu Dhabi last Wednesday. Unfortunately, the trip was scheduled on Jordon’s birthday of all days (eek) and he had to entertain himself back in Dubai by himself. But in my defense, it was completely work related.

The journey to Abu Dhabi (AUD) began with an Art & Design department-sponsored field-trip for 100 (!!) design students to our new sister campus in AUD. The purpose of the trip was to see the prolific artist Christo lecture about his lifelong work with Jean Claude creating large temporary earthworks around the world.

After a quick lunch we enjoyed a short film and introduction to Christo who lectured to a packed auditorium. My favorite quote from the film came from Jean Claude in a response to a reporter asking: When will you retire? Her response: “Artists Don’t Retire. They Die.”

Christo discussed his environmental artwork, the arduous installation process, and the battles encountered with governments/cities along the way. The major thread weaving throughout his narrative was a love story between himself and Jean Claude (swoons) and I was truly touched by their passionate (art-filled) relationship.

After the lecture, we headed over to the Manarat Al Saadiyat Center to see the 2011 Abu Dhabi Art Show featuring the Emirati Expressions exhibition. It was an engaging exhibition and I promise to post pictures from the exhibit ASAP.

We finished off the jam-packed day by heading back to ZU to begin a two-day workshop focused on finalizing the logistics of our new MA Program.

As the sun began to set, a few of us headed over to the restaurant Teatro for dinner (located in the Park Rotana).

For anyone who is sick of me complaining about how disappointed I have been in the sushi here in Dubai, you will be happy to know that I finally found some decent sushi at Teatro! >>jumps for joy<<

Not only did we get an early-bird special with 50% off the final bill (for some reason that always makes things taste better) but there was a lovely ambiance and the staff were incredibly helpful. The waitress even recommended an off-the-menu sushi roll – which turned out to be a little piece of heaven for my sushi deprived soul.

To top it all off, I was given a suite in the Park Rotana since we would be working the next day on the MA Program. The suite had a living room, dining room, TWO bathrooms, TWO flat-screen TVs, and amenities galore. The only thing that would have made the experience better was if Jordon could have shared it with me. Ho hum.

That morning, my lovely colleague and I grabbed a complimentary buffet breakfast at Ginger on the bottom floor of the Hotel and headed back to the AUD University campus.

Well rested with delicious food in our bellies – such a great way to start a day of work!