TRADITIONAL ABU DHABI
If you would like fun as well as a traditional visit to the UAE, this is the place to visit.
The first thing people think of when one speaks about Abu Dhabi is Ferrari World! Yes – it is one of the most popular attractions but there is so much more to offer. It is very traditional and one should be respectful of this when there and dress appropriately. Ladies make sure you are well covered.
The architecture is very modern and I found it quite mesmerising as I couldn’t believe the designs I was seeing.
Everything is very well thought out and all very modern. I couldn’t stop looking at all the different buildings. Getting around is easy as the government taxis are relatively cheap and always around. There are many shopping centres with famous brand shops from around the world. If you love shopping you will love Abu Dhabi!
Abu Dhabi has 200 natural islands. Yas Island is one of them and has lots of fun activities for visitors; Ferrari World, Yas Water World, Yas Links (the only golf course in the UAE), Yas Marina and Yas Mall. There is a shuttle which goes around the island so it is easy to get around.
Ferrari World is a must do. I don’t have any interest in cars whatsoever so I was not really interested in going, there but thought I should seeing as everyone talks about it. Boy, am I glad I went. It really is a fun and interactive theme park which revolves around the story of the Ferrari. Of course there are lots of different kinds of Ferrari’s to look at. I loved the interactive activities like the 4D experience, Karting Academy, Racing simulator and roller coasters. Formula Rossa is the fastest roller coaster in the world. It goes from zero to 240kph in under 5 seconds. It is not for the feint hearted!
Yas Water World is nearby. I suggest buying the combo ticket for Ferrari World and Yas Water World and doing them both in one day if your time is limited. You can jump on the shuttle from Ferrari World and go to the waterpark. It has 44 slides and 5 of them are in no other water park in the world.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most beautiful buildings that I have ever seen. It is made of white marble, 24 carat gold gilded pillars, Swarovski Crystal chandeliers and has the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. Reflective pools surround the mosque which just amplifies its beauty. It is something to behold. It holds a total of 40,000 worshipers. Very important to remember when going to visit the mosque - ladies must wear long shirts or pants as well as a long sleeved shirt and a scarf on their heads. Men must wear long pants. No shorts or sleeveless t-shirts are allowed.
The main road through the city along the beachfront is Corniche Street. It is a paved walkway for joggers and walkers etc. The beaches are lovely but have no waves so if you like to wallow in the sea, you will love it. The beaches are pay beaches and they have an adult’s only beach, a family’s only beach and a women’s only beach. It cost us AED10 per person to get onto the beach and then AED25 for one lounger and one umbrella.
There is a fresh fish market. It is nothing like I expected. It was clean and well laid out and it didn’t smell as bad as I thought it would. The fishermen go out each morning in their dhows, and they bring back their catch to sell in the market and this is also where the hotels and restaurants buy from these fishmongers.
There is a Date market where there are so many varieties of dates to choose from. They also have dates stuffed with almonds etc. My favourite is the dates stuffed with almonds and covered with chocolate.
Abu Dhabi is a lovely city to stop in for a few nights before or after your final holiday destination.
If you would like to find out more then please get in touch. Here is a list of things to see and do:
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Visit the magnificent Louvre Abu Dhabi, an architectural masterpiece & universal museum for the 21st century. A cultural milestone that heralds a new chapter for art today. A museum for the world and of the world. Dedicated to show aesthetic expressions from across civilizations.
High tea at the Emirates Palace Hotel
Treat yourself to a sumptuous high tea at the most expensive hotel ever built. Le Café and its caviar bar, located in the stunning hotel lobby, are renowned for their European fine pastry and artisan chocolate selections. Choose between traditional High Tea which includes a wide selection of tea, cakes and scones, or the Arabic High Tea which is served with mezze and Arabic sweets.
The Empty Quarter
A two hour drive through the ever changing landscape delivers you to the palatial gates of Qasr Al Sarab, set in Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter in the Rub'tl Khali sand desert. Enjoy ice cold date milk before being entertained by an informative chat about the age old Arabian tradition of Falconry.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed is listed as one of the world’s most beautiful mosques and one of the largest. The Mosque features 82 domes all decorated with white marble and 1,000 marble columns each inlaid with semi-precious stones. The prayer halls are bedecked with Italian white marble inlaid with floral designs and the Mosque’s interior walls have decorative gold-glass mosaics.
Hold on tight as you reach 240 km/h on the world’s fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rosa. Also home to the world’s highest looped roller coaster.
Fix your hair and catch your breath. Then off to take a splash at Yas Waterworld! Boasting 43 water rides of which 5 have never been seen before, you’re sure to find a favorite.
Best-in-branded entertainment from three of the largest and most successful motion picture studios in Hollywood – DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate – complete your visit to a world of innovation and creative storytelling by visiting motiongate theme park.
Visited September 2015