I was in a taxi, one afternoon in Dubai. On my way to the Jumeirah Beach. I was busy taking in the overwhelming view by the Sheikh Zayed Road – one has to live in Dubai to get tired of looking at it. Those tall buildings line the road like a guard of honour. My attention was then stolen by a Ferrari and a Bugatti that whisked past us. I was the only one that seemed to care. Off course, this is normal in Dubai – Ferraris and Bugattis have ploughed this road since it was constructed.
‘I think they are going to Abu Dhabi’ the cabman interrupted…..yes it is Abu Dhabi’ the cabman nodded affirmatively.
‘What is going on there?’
‘Ermmm….they are having a car show something like that, he replied in his strong Pakistani accent ‘Abu Dhabi is very fine……very very beautiful’ he added.
Then it dawned on that me that, why don’t I visit Abu Dhabi before going back to the U.K. People would ask, ‘so you went to Dubai for a week and didn’t check out Abu Dhabi……c’mon man?!’
‘How far is it?’ I asked calmly, trying to hide my eagerness….
‘Arrr bah arrn hor’ he replied ‘we will go to the mosque, very beautiful mosque erm…..Ferrari place everything Ferrari very very beautiful’
Meanwhile I was thinking, ‘I should really go to Abu Dhabi you know?!’
So when I got back to my hotel, I looked through google to see if I could afford to sneak Abu Dhabi onto the itinerary. Good news, I could afford it, the cheapest trip obviously, because I was beginning to outdo myself.
So on my last day in the UAE. I was on a bus tour to Abu – Dhabi. Now I can brag that I went to Dubai and Abu Dhabi- nobody cares if it’s just for a day, I was there!
We got to Abu Dhabi within an hour as the cabman had stated. We were given a brief history about Abu Dhabi; its Royal family and the unification of the Emirates. The first stop was Ferrari world. There was no time to go on the rollercoaster rides but I was just happy to be there, I could hear the cars rave from inside – the rest of it is a mall. I bought a baseball cap that boldly reads ‘Abu Dhabi Ferrari World’ – and I have been wearing it everyday since – yes, seriously! – no, I’m just joking.
The next stop was the famous Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Now, this is that crystal mosque I saw on google. ‘Geeettt in there!’ I whispered to myself. We had to wear the Islamic traditional attire. Men and women, all covered up and respectful. Such impeccable architecture! It truly stands majestic amongst the desert sand.
Crystal clear in appearance as if to cool my eyes from the scorching heat that seemed to pinch every inch of my skin. I walked in and it was as cool as during spring in the UK. The Mosque was exfoliating the same kind of charm one would expect from a palace.
The tour guide told us, the carpet was made by carpet-makers from Iran; and it was handwoven inside the Mosque. It is the largest carpet in the world.The chandeliers were from Germany- just a few informations I can remember about thousands of craftsmen and artisans from around the world commissioned to build the mosque. It is a real beauty.
Then we drove past the presidential palace, no one is allowed to take pictures or stop. I wondered why, everyone is at peace with the UAE! They should allow us to take pictures. Then we travelled pass the palaces of the Royal Family. As you can tell, we couldn’t stop here either. To me, it was just a neighbourhood. As grand as Abu Dhabi is, I would humbly advise, they all just live in one big-a** palace, the size of that neighbourhood. I am sure someone is thinking of it.
Across the road, where shiny-glass buildings compete to touch the sky, we spot the skyscrapers used in the movie, Fast and Furious.
The tour ended with the group chilling by the beach. It was needed because it was a very hot, dusty day. And even with the heat and dust, the river that flowed through Abu Dhabi was still as clear as day.
We headed back to Dubai at about 5pm. I would say tho, unlike Dubai which is the holiday destination in the UAE, Abu Dhabi, the seat of government is somewhat more prestigious in my opinion.
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