Purna Bahadur Shrestha is a driver for Big Bus Tours in Abu Dhabi. Here, he talks about the most popular stops on a typical day in his job.
If I have a 6am shift I wake up at 4.30am. Other days [it is] 6am.
I report to the office and we reach the bus terminal at 6.30am.
We have a briefing with the HR manager and supervisor about the tour. It is hop on and hop off. We play a commentary [tape] in eight languages. There is English, Arabic, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Chinese. In Dubai there is Hindi also, but not here.
We start the tour from Marina Mall and the next stop is Emirates Palace, but it doesn't allow tourists to go in all the time. Next we go to Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Most people want to get off there. After that, we have Abu Dhabi Mall, stop number four. From there we have a free shuttle bus to Yas Island. The fifth stop is Saadiyat Island, Manarat Al Saadiyat, the museum; it's nice. I have been inside there. Our sixth stop is the Iranian Market, after that it's the Corniche. Stop number eight is the Central Souq, the new market. But that is a 10-minute walk from where we drop passengers off because … our big bus cannot pass there. Stop number nine is a park, followed by the public beach. The last stop is heritage village. The whole tour takes two hours and 15 minutes [if you stay on the bus].
I have a 15-minute break. I rest and then go to the washroom.
My second tour. We have different guests from different countries. They are mostly from Germany and Italy. Everybody says it's beautiful in Abu Dhabi. It's green. They say Dubai is very artificial. They also want to know about culture in my country [Nepal].
After the second tour, I have a 45-minute break. I have my lunch.
My last tour [on cruise days]. When we started in Abu Dhabi, the cruise ships weren't coming here. They came here in December 2009. From then on it has been busy. [On non-cruise days] we have 25 or 30 guests. There are cruises on Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays. There is another ship on Friday, but there are not as many people on it.
4pm or 4.30pm
I finish at around 4pm or 4.30pm on a cruise day. After I've finished, I sometimes go to the Corniche or to a park. Sometimes I go directly home, have a shower and prepare my uniform for the next day.
I am usually on Facebook.
I go to sleep.
* Gillian Duncan