Daytrip to Abu Dhabi
Sunday was the only morning we had a schedule as we had booked a rental car. We had breakfast at the hotel, which was a really good breakfast with great variety and a chef that made eggs to order. The car rental office was a five-minute walk from our hotel and once we got the car we headed to Abu Dhabi.
Our first stop in Abu Dhabi was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque is the UAE’s largest and most ornate place of worship. Construction work started in 1996 and took 12 years to complete at the reported cost of around $545 million. It is now the third-largest mosque in the world at 22,412 square meters covering an area equivalent to nearly four football fields. It holds more than 40,000 worshipers and has three Guinness World Records, for largest handwoven carpet and the biggest chandelier, as well as the largest dome of its kind in the world. The mosque consists of 82 white marble domes, 1,096 exterior columns, 96 semi-precious jewel-encrusted internal columns and seven 24-carat gold plated Swarovski crystal chandeliers. The mosque is free to visit but you have to queue to register for entrance and then to the security control. You should wear modest clothing when visiting, women should cover their legs, arms and heads and men are required to wear long trousers. The mosque provides free traditional abayas (robes) prior to entry in case your attire is not modest enough. The mosque was a truly impressive sight and extremely beautiful. I would recommend anyone traveling to UAE taking the time to visit this mosque.
Once we were finished admiring the mosque we drove to Ferrari World. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a mostly indoors amusement park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It is the first Ferrari-branded theme park and has the record for the largest space frame structure ever built. Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, is also located here. The park officially opened to the public on 4 November 2010. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi covers an area of 86,000 square meters. The park features roller coasters and other rides, as well as exhibitions. You can also book a Ferrari ride around Yas Island or take a spin on a karting track. We focused on the roller coasters, which was great fun. The world’s fastest roller coaster was amazing and left me rather confused (“what just happened” feeling). Even though Formula Rossa (speed of 0 to 240 km/h in 4.9 seconds. Feel the surge of 4.8Gs in the pit of your stomach as you scale heart-racing heights of 52m) was amazing, the best ride in our opinion was the Flying Aces ride (scale 63m at a spectacular 51-degree incline, hit 120km/h, and fly through the world’s highest rollercoaster loop).
On the way back to Dubai we stopped to check out Riverland. Riverland Dubai is the gateway to Dubai Parks and Resorts consisting of Motiongate, Bollywood, Legoland, and Legoland water park. We did not buy entrance to any of these amusement parks but only strolled around Riverland to which entrance was free. It was a very absurd experience with e.g. a French village depicting a medieval French town displaying historic architecture of Europe in the late 1600s. From Riverland we drove a couple of kilometers to Dubai Outlet Village. We roamed around the mall but did not buy anything. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Mall of the Emirates for dinner. We were a bit boring and had dinner at Chili’s. The interesting thing about eating at a chain restaurant was that the food was far better than I’ve had at Chili’s in the US. I think it is because the ingredients are of better quality, which makes the food tastier.
One more Dubai post to come.