Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is also the largest emirate. The city is the political, economic and cultural center of the country. Like in Dubai, Abu Dhabi is also in extremely rapid development and urbanization in recent years… but (at least at first glance) life in the capital is much friendlier than in Dubai – a large number of parks and, above all, greater cleanliness and orderliness of the city.
The main reason that we spent three hours driving from Ras Al Khaimah via Dubai to Abu Dhabi was to visit the beautiful Sheik Zayed Grand mosque. The tones of white marble, golden accessories, numerous minarets and carpets, united in a truly breath-taking building. Wow.
Despite the fact that the mosque is practically every day flooded with tourists (the entrance fee is free), the authorities are still extremely strict in respecting their religious rules. Women need to cover their hair when they enter the mosque, they are not allowed to wear tight clothes, and most definitely not allowed to show naked skin. Do not worry if you cannot find any clothing in your wardrobe which would satisfy their religious standards – you get a free abayo (long hooded dress) at the entrance. Men have to cover all the tattoos and also wearing long loose trousers is desirable. One more thing, you must take off your shoes before entering the mosque and any other Muslim religious building.
Abu Dhabi is hiding a lot → including the third most expensive hotel in the world, Emirates Palace. Despite all the glory and money invested, the hotel is open to the public and can also be visited by ordinary mortals. You can see a huge gold dome in the reception, or you can enjoy cappuccino with splash of camel’s milk and chocolate ice cream with quite few carat golds in the nearby cafe. The money for the construction of this luxury hotel really did not represent any obstacle.
Have you already visited Louvre in Paris? Well, even in Abu Dhabi they have it. A futuristic building, right by the sea, which attracts many tourists with its exterior. As for the interior, unfortunately we cannot say anything, since we rather spend our time exploring the city instead walking and admiring the paintings and statues. The main mission of the museum is to create bridges between the eastern and western branches of art – and this is exactly why you will find artwork here from Europe, Asia and most certainly also from the Arabian Peninsula.
Abu Dhabi is also great destination for all the fan of the fastest racing sport on the planet, Formula 1. In the immediate vicinity of the city, on the island of Yas, there is a modern race track called Yas Circuit Marina, where the last race of the season has been running for many years. Formula 1 without Ferrari? Impossible! Abd this brand of luxury cars has its own amusement park right beside the racetrack. It is called Ferrari World and they can boast with the fastest roller coaster in the world, Ferrari Rossa. The adrenaline experience can be rounded off with a tour of the museum and the purchase of original souvenirs.
If you plan to travel to the United Arab Emirates, you must not forget to visit Abu Dhabi. In addition to the beautiful mosque, the world-renowned museum and racecourse, the city certainly hides many other attractions that await you to discover them.
S & B