Abu Dhabi - artistic inspiration in the Middle East

An instant masterpiece

Michelle and I have been friends for a long time. We were high school friends, art college roommates and even business partners in Hong Kong before she moved to Abu Dhabi. Despite what many think about the Middle East, Abu Dhabi is quite open to self-expression and she was there to make an impact as a street artist. When she asked me to visit her and see how she was doing, I didn't think twice.

I used the Asia Miles™ I earned with my American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card to redeem my flight. Since I use my Card for all of my every day spending, accumulating miles was easy and redeeming them was even easier! Best of all, my Card lets me save wherever I can so that I can spend on things I want. On my first night in Abu Dhabi, I treated Michelle to dinner – it was expensive but the hummus was the best I have ever tasted and I received 2 Asia Miles for every HK$8 on the overseas spend.

Street art is creating waves in Abu Dhabi and Michelle is one of the best recognised up-and-comers. During my trip, she and her friends were finishing a graffiti wall that was featured outside one of the city's many shopping malls. Because I was her guest of honour, she saved me a little space to let me express myself creatively; of course my 'art' wasn't up to par with the others, but it was fun.

When I'm travelling abroad to somewhere I've never been, I live for the moment. I don't want to worry about what may happen or how to deal with it when anything does happen. Thankfully my Card gives me 24/7 access to the Global Assist hotline's medical and legal referrals, giving me greater peace of mind. That way I can focus on the tasks at hand… in this case, immersing myself in the Abu Dhabi art scene!

After becoming friends with so many artists and art lovers in Abu Dhabi, I cannot wait to go back. In fact, I think the upcoming opening of the Guggenheim will be the perfect reason for my return and I've already started using my Card to earn Asia Miles towards my next trip to Abu Dhabi.

Travel Tips:

Cathay Pacific Airways operates non-stop flights 4 times a week from Hong Kong to Abu Dhabi International Airport. The flight time is around 8 hours.

From street art to boutique galleries, Abu Dhabi has it all. - Maloney

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