Abu Dhabi has its own international airport, designed to jangle the nerves. (Dubai has one too, a sign of its own independence and wealth, though it's only about 90 minutes away.) The passengers are all clustered in one echoing tile blue chamber under a vaulted ceiling, with constant ringing of loud bells and bone-clanking announcements: "Flight number 225 to Karachi. Passengers are kindly asked to proceed to the aircraft..." And to Islamabad. And Cairo. And Bahrain. "Your attention please, final call for Flight 222 to Muscat." Muscat? Masdar? Never heard of any of these places. By the sounds of the voice, my guess is these are automated announcements, and they are a constant, unpleasant litany. Of course, we passengers are all sheep, so no one protests.
By the way, I've been meaning to share the fact that this blog is blocked in the United Arab Emirates, apparently like most blogs. On to Doha.