Maarten Schäfer

We touch down at Abu Dhabi Airport in the late afternoon. Our personal driver Ahmed is waiting for us at arrivals, dressed in an impeccable uniform and holding a sign with our names on it. “Welcome to Abu Dhabi,” he says. “Your car is waiting.” Two porters take our suitcases; all we have to do is follow Ahmed outside where a white Rolls Royce is waiting for us. This is a perfect start.

We drive to the Emirates Palace where we have a meeting with CEO Reto Wittwer and Ulrich Eckhardt, president for the Kempinski Hotels throughout the Middle East and Africa Region. We pass the newly built Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which looks like it is floating in the air in the light of the setting sun.

The reason we are here is CoolTravel, a project we launched several years ago with the aim of writing about cool travel destinations…

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