Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Abu Dhabi


My last day in UAE was scheduled for visiting its capital and the largest among the seven emirates, Abu Dhabi.  Okay, I decided to work on the last day first because it was easier to document.  Haha!  The distance from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is approximately around 150 km and would take about one and a half hour travel by car spent with my friends mentioned here. :)

We did stop by some interesting places in Dubai (that were missed in my itinerary, haha!) prior to the roadtrip proper but our official first stopover in Abu Dhabi was the Ferrari World.  Well we didn't really get inside the theme park so it would be really good to come back and try their world-fastest roller coaster.  Btw, conservative clothing are still required in this theme park. :P

After some pictorial by the entrance (lol!), it was time for me to be deposited to my uncle's care.  It was actually my main purpose for coming to Abu Dhabi - to meet my uncle's family there.  We had lunch at Marina Mall and I was just simply won over by this view of the metropolis.  Aaaaah....beautiful.  You can just easily tell how expensive this city is which was once a record holder as the richest in the world.  It would've been lovely to get a glimpse of this view too at night but unfortunately I didn't have the luxury of time.

Anyway, lunch was spent at my relative's favorite place - Fuddruckers. Never heard of it from any other countries I've visited but their bottomless salad is FTW! :))  Wow, I was surprised how big my nieces have grown (the ones on my left and right).  You can just see how little Lois is (the one on my left) here.  And that was the last time I saw them, in my cousin's wedding 2 years ago.  She wasn't here too because she's already settled in Australia.  Time was too short to spend catching up with them.  Before I knew it, it was already time for me to meet again my awesome friends to visit another one of my agenda in Abu Dhabi. :)

If Rihanna did a lot of pictorial (and raised controversy) in this place during her Diamonds World Tour then definitely this is a must visit.  I'm talking about the Sheikh Zayed Mosque!  It was a Friday, a considered weekend for the employees because it's their Eid prayer day so it was only opened around 4 PM.  Just a few moments left because I catch my flight later at 11PM that day, haha!  

The Grand Mosque according to Wiki is the 8th largest mosque in the world (with a size five times of a football field and can accomodate 40,000 people!).  And I can't just help but be in awe at the sight as soon as we arrived.  We were dropped off somewhere near the entrance so pardon the shot below.  If the exterior already wowed you, it was nothing like being inside!

I have a prepared outfit (I even found a scarf on sale in H&M for it!)  I already took notice of what Rihanna wore, lol!  I mean you hardly see her all covered up, haha!  Btw, it was indicated in Wikipedia that she was really asked to leave because of the provocative poses.  Yikes!  It was something that wasn't confirmed to me from Kervin's stories while we were thre on the way to the structure.  But because of panic and lack of time, I wasn't able to change anymore and alas resorted to wearing those abayas that you rent somewhere at the basement.

Furthermore, according to Wiki

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's design and construction 'unites the world', using artisans and materials from many countries including Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and United Arab Emirates.

Some of the key architectural features that aren't too very hard to notice and would easily become your favorite:

- My favorite part would have to be the pool and how it gloriously reflects the mosque's spectacular columns at night.  Taken using my Iphone5.

- The massive chandeliers which were imported from Germany and which incorporates Swarovski crystals!

- The world's largest carpet made by an Iran's carpet company.  Footwear must be removed upon entrance.

- Interiors of the main prayer hall.  The columns are clad in marble and inlaid with mother of pearl.

- The courtyard and its floral design.  

Oh, the opulence!!! So luxe!!! Something so apt for this country!!!  We all left in a hurry with Kervin whisking me to the airport, haha!  Will I ever see this place again? Hmmm....

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