Abu Dhabi is one of the 7 United Arab Emirates and about an hour and a half’s drive up the multi-lane racetrack of a motorway from Dubai.
If you fly Etihad this is where you’ll stopover. I spent 3 days here and here’s a glimpse of what we did…
You get the feeling in Abu Dhabi that buildings are embellished with so many extras just because there’s too much money left over!
One of the best things to do is book a desert safari with some crazy 4WD dune bashing, a visit to see some baby camels then, stopping on the sand dunes for sunset then dinner in a replica bedouin camp complete with henna tattoos and belly dancing.
Letting the air out to get ready for the craziest driving I’ve ever experienced!
After roaring over razor-edged sand dunes and driving sideways through the sand the engines need a breather!
We came upon this camel farm where all the big girls were gathered around a trough of straw and their babies were trying to figure out who was mum
Probably not the safest place to sit
The bedouin camp where you sit on cushions at low tables around the dance floor and eat barbecued lamb, chicken and beef kebabs with heaps of salads, bread and hummus. Delicious!
My henna tattoo (which is still on 10 days later!) done by the belly dancer
A visit to the Historic Village gives and insight into Abu Dhabi’s brief history and a chance for these great views back to the city
And the chance to buy cloth and fetching souvenirs from the local women.
The view from my room at the Sofitel over the endless construction of this booming city in the desert
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the 8th largest in the world and the largest in the UAE. Built in 2004 it cost US$500 million and can hold 40,000 for prayers.
The dresscode is posted at the entrance and full abiyas are available at no cost for women
Before prayers on Fridays this is the women’s ablution block
The exterior wall detail is incredible
This carpet was made in Iran by 1200 women, measures over 60,000 sq feet and weighs 35 ton. It’s made from New Zealand wool and has 2,268,000,000 knots taking about 2 years to complete
The marble floor detail is another amazing detail
One of the 7 chandeliers imported from Germany with millions of Swarovski crystals
Take a taxi (they’re cheap here – probably because fuel is about 60c a litre!) to the Grand Mosque because it really is worth visiting.
For more details about the Arabian Desert Safari, click here to Expedia’s booking page.