Some brief introductory thoughts...
Yesterday evening, after a day in the office, I boarded an Etihad Airways flight from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, a connection point on my way to a ten day coaster holiday in Asia. It was a rare privilege for me to be flying on a business class ticket, bought because of what has to have been a pricing error by the airline; the supplement over economy class for the four-segment journey came to just three hundred euro, at least a third of which I'd normally have spent on taxis to get to and from the airport.
It's worth noting that I've flown Etihad in economy on several occasions, and their service there is probably the best I've experienced from any airline. Business class takes this to an even higher level, bordering on the surreal at times; chauffeur service, lounge access, superb a la carte dining at any time during the flight, staff who address you by name, a completely flat bed, noise cancelling headphones, a huge on-demand television screen, an amenity kit, and the list goes on. If the experience has taught me anything, it is to check for similar pricing errors on future trips; travelling as the rich and famous do is a truly enjoyable experience.
Everything was going entirely to plan until an hour after landing, when it became apparent that my connecting flight to Bangkok had been delayed by four hours. Though the lounge I was sitting in was comfortable, seven hours is a very long time to spend in a seat that isn't hurtling through the skies at upwards of five hundred miles per hour. It was time to find something else to do.
Sparkys Family Fun Center Mushrif1st June 2012
The Mushrif Mall in downtown Abu Dhabi is home to the newest branch of the Sparky's Family Fun Center chain, which opened its doors a few months after my last visit to the UAE. As with the other branches the entrance has large posters proclaiming Families Only but this rule is not enforced; one presumes that it is only used in the event of unruly behaviour. Today the facility was largely deserted, except for a group of children enjoying the mini-Tagada ride.
Crazy Twister (#1745) is located over on the far right hand side of the center, and it's not a bad ride for its size, with some surprisingly forceful spinning. Two laps in rapid succession left me feeling more than a little dizzy; I'm not sure I could have managed a third.