The Abu Dhabi vertical side is stressed by the presence of stairs, stairways, escalators and elevators that can be remarkable and, often, of a certain architectural interest.
Astonishing staircase can be seen in the lobbies and ballrooms of many Abu Dhabi five-star hotels: the most popular are those of Emirates Palace that boast also a sumptuous external staircase.
And amazing staircases can be admired also at the Saint Regis Corniche, the 5 stars hotel housing a suspended suite at 220 meters high, between two buildings, at the Saint Regis Saadiyat, where the harmonious staircase connects perfectly to the private beach, or the superb marble-shining Grand Staircase at the Ritz Carlton.
Then, there are also escalators that can not go unnoticed, like those of many shopping malls, and those recently built in the Grand Mosque, stairs unpretentious but interesting, such as the weird carpeted stairs or the “floating stairs” where the steps seem suspended, definitely not recommended for those suffering from vertigo.
Finally, there are the everyday stairs, a great discovery of this canned life period. Everyday stairs are the ones that hide behind a humble door and that most of us avoid taking, even if we live at the second floor, because “why on earth? There is the elevator!”
Actually, there is always an elevator in Abu Dhabi and if it is easy to imagine a beautiful elegant staircase, if you do not see the elevators in Abu Dhabi you cannot realize how much the creativity of design can do.
Elevators in Abu Dhabi are really, of all types: traditional, modern, with limited access to the inhabitants of the building only, spectacular with windows and panoramic views, spectacular with the built-in aquarium, with music, with video, with the option to exclude music and video, with voice guide in Arabic and English.
It’s easy to understand why, if you think about the number of skyscrapers and buildings of considerable height featuring Abu Dhabi urban planning, about the average number of floors “crossed” and if you consider the architecture of the different buildings where the elevators are located.
In a normal everyday life in Abu Dhabi, after a while, the big elevator routines arise spontaneously.
In the life before the virus, when you had to take the elevator to go up, let’s say to the thirty-fifth floor, after a while you got used to clogged ears or to the typical hiss of a take-off, just like on the plane. And it was normal to socialize with neighbours from thirty-four downwards, sharing whole life stories during the trip, normal the small groups of elevator-commuters with an impromptu entertainer during the journey, the muttering about delays during peak hours: in short, a bit like as on a train you usually take with other commuters.
Try to figure out how all of that has changed after the virus. Even if the elevators are big, the stops on each floor and the inappropriate kindness of those who insist on keeping open, to invite you to enter, in times of social distancing, sound like a threat.
This is probably why our attention begins to focus on the shy “stairs” door.
I’ll tell you right away: forget the five-star hotels grand staircases. In many cases, (90%) behind that door you will find claustrophobic stairs with very high steps, especially in ancient buildings. And going down, after the first floor, when you are going to exult “ almost there!” a mocking “M floor” will pop out, reminding that you forgot to consider the Mezzanine Floor.
Anyhow, never give up. In these days of new rules, social distance and new routines to be create quickly, I don’t know why but “Climb to Abu Dhabi” came to my mind: it is a vertical marathon competition that was held in 2017 up the stairs of Etihad Towers, one of the tallest skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi: 82 floors with 1617 steps.
It is not that we want to compete, especially with shopping bags and 35 Celsius degrees in the shade.
But wisely considering our limits and avoiding peak times, all in all the opportunity to do some vertical fitness can be evaluated.
Flash update! We have just found a recent event of vertical fitness. Virtual event, ok, but real fitness seems guarantee with this ADNOC Steps Challenge. And we would like to take the opportunity to invite you to get inspired to stay healthy and fit with these virtual events (all for free) promoted by Abu Dhabi Sport Council.