The desert road out to the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence is a quiet, desolate one. But that is just how the Dons will like it.
Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dubai, Aberdeen are tucked away in the plush Jebel Ali Resort, 25km outside of the city centre, in a hotel complex five minutes drive away from world-class training facilities.
The players arrived shortly before 11.30am yesterday for what was a lighter session, given they had arrived in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Spirits were high among the group, in particular Shay Logan and Mikey Devlin who are looking to overcome recent injuries to continue their key roles in the Dons season.
No new faces in the squad was not necessarily a surprise, given the number of players returning from injury, although manager Derek McInnes will have scope to recruit this month if he wishes.
Money in the budget has been created by the departure of Greg Tansey, who cut short a frustrating 18 months at Pittodrie on Tuesday to join St Mirren until the summer of 2020.
You cannot help but feel for Tansey, who has had horrendous luck with injuries since he joined the Dons. He played through hernia problems to remain part of the first-team fold and subsequently required three operations, which kept him out of football for the best part of a year.
An ill-fated loan spell at Ross County did not help a player nowhere near the peak of his powers and, despite turning out for Aberdeen’s reserve team this season on his way back to fitness, he clearly felt the time was right to move on.
If Greg can rediscover the form he showed at Caley Thistle, there is no doubt he can be a pivotal figure for the Buddies. They are a team crying out for players experienced in Scottish football and Tansey is certainly that, having won the Scottish Cup with Inverness and played in Europe.
Hopefully, if he gets a run of positive fortune over the next 18 months we can see that side of Tansey again.