Monday, March 04, 2013

Abu Dhabi International Triathlon - Travel Tips

Airline: Use Qatar Airways. Its cheaper than the official airline (Etihad), no problems with the bicycle etc.
Race web-site is not always fully updated. Register for the race before the deadline.
Race contact: e-mail them. They don't always reply promptly though.
Recommended Internet Hotel booking site: I have used them a few times and its OK. You don't loose your money and the Hotel accepts your booking. Rates are good and you can cancel 24 hours in advance with no penalties.
Recommended Hotel: Now this is very important. Its Oryx Hotel. This hotel is within comfortable walking distance (5 to 10 minutes) to the race site. You and your loved ones can easily walk back and forth to the race site.
The official hotel is not a comfortable walking distance to the race site. Taxis though are in abundance and it costs only about AED 9 between the official hotel (where race registration takes place) and the race site. Plus you can't take your bicycle into your room if you stay at the official hotel.
Oryx is half the price of the official hotel. The staff are all friendly. You can pack your bicycle in your room or even in the hotel lobby. A large supermarket that closes late at night is nearby. The down side of Oryx is no free internet and no fridge in standard rooms.
Eating: Buffet lunch at the Oryx was AED 110 per pax I think. Buffet breakfast was AED 70 per pax. Many small restaurants nearby. We had some of our meals at the beach restaurants at the race site.
The Pasta Party (Thursday), Race Briefing (Friday) and Awards Ceremony (Saturday) is at the Hiltonia Beach Club which is located in between the official hotel and the race site.
Taxis are in abundance at Abu Dhabi Airport and in the City. The standard taxis are new and use meters.'No tips required.  I think the fare from the airport to the hotel was AED 60. The large taxis charges between AED 100 to AED 120. You can easily hail a cab whilst walking to the race registration.
Abu Dhabi Airport was a pleasant experience. From disembarking the plane to boarding your taxi, it was very fast. Malaysian passports needs no visa. Thailand passport holders need to pay AED 105 visa fees on arrival. The airport has free and fast wifi.
Bike bags. The soft bike bags can fit into the boots of the standard taxis at Doha and Abu Dhabi. Practice packing your bicycle before the trip.

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