While on a business trip in Dubai, I decided to take a day trip to Abu Dhabi with a girlfriend of mine who is a flight attendant in Qatar. We took a taxi from Dubai to Abu Dhabi which cost 270 AED one way (approx. 73 USD) which is amazingly affordable considering that’s almost how much it costs me to get from my flat in Gangnam to Incheon Airport.
A visit to the Grand Mosque was the purpose of the visit. The space was enormous, beautiful lines and design and I am a bit of a freak when it comes to symmetry so this was definitely the place to be. The marble floors stay cool no matter how hot the sun is beating down and the carpet inside the Mosque is supposedly the largest in the world. I was berated by the guards a few times because my hair was peeking out of my abaya (traditional dress that women in the region wear that covers up your bare arms and hair) and was reminded of how Rihanna was kicked out a few years ago for posing provocatively in a place of worship. This also means no jumping photos, no posing and you must remain solemn at all times.
Being in the region, I realised I do not know much about the Middle East save for the sensationalised stories on CNN when something drastic happens but I suppose Abu Dhabi or Dubai, which are comparatively modern, are places that you would be seeing much of in the news anyway.
We decided to take lunch at one of the beach front restaurants alongside Corniche Beach which offered a stunning view of the Abu Dhabi waterfront and was favoured with some great weather for the early spring and people watched for the rest of the afternoon.
Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!
The Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
T: +971 2 441 6444