Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here I am, Santa! Turn right!

Christmas is nearly here, and I'm a little concerned. How will Santa find my house?

You see, there are no street addresses in Abu Dhabi. Not for big businesses, not for individual homes.

The official address of my bank, for example, is "In the Omeir Bin Yousuf building, opposite the Etisalat building, Old Airport Road." Considering that Airport Road runs the length of the city, about 12 kilometers or more, unless you already know where the Etisalat building is, you're not going to find it.

Finding an individual home is even more difficult. My flat address is, basically, "Al Bateen, 12th Street, between 32nd and Bainunah streets." The villa itself has no number, the apartment within the villa has no number, and the street is only marked at one end. There must be more than a hundred 12th Streets all over the city; my only hope is that someone can find the one tucked in between 32nd and Bainunah, and I can go outside and flag them down.

This is especially frustrating when you try to call for a taxi, or have something delivered or installed. You end up standing in the street, cell phone to your ear, watching for a glimpse of the cab or delivery van at the far end of the street, so you can yell "Turn now!" at just the right moment.

Somehow, I don't see that working with Santa. I may be out of luck this year.


  1. Hey, don't forget you lived in a city with 30 or more Peachtree streets. Santa will find you. He always does ... you gotta believe!!!

  2. My guess is, you would've been out of luck in the first place -- I'm guessing there's no fireplace at Chez Mashburn l'Abu Dhabi. I mean, what for? If you're ever cold, you can open your front door and let in the 120-degree temps, right?

    Anyway, I've already informed Santa that your gifts can be delivered here, if need be. Stop by the next time you're around!