The last time we went to Abu Dhabi was almost an year ago and that was one of those hurried half day trips. But this Saturday was an exciting day long funs cape.
The drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is an absolute pleasure. We directly got on to Sheikh Zayed Road in 70 minutes! As soon as we entered the new emirate, we could sense the difference in roads & infrastructure. Love the green blankets across the city – they add a beautiful and cozy feeling to a city. Watch out for some freeks on the Highway looking for trouble. Watch a small video here.
Heritage Village is located on Marina Village/ Marina Island and is quite easy to reach using Google Maps. There is no entry fee here, surprisingly. The place itself did not have too much to offer but the small shops were quite interesting. They have replicated desert village style hut settlements, they have 1 Camel & 1 Horse on ‘display’ (not sure why) and have a small but interesting museum that showcases the historical journey of the Emirates. Quite insightful for visitors.
One Fantastic experience for someone who is slightly scared of heights! Marina Eye is situated on Marina Island/ Al Marina and is difficult to miss – you see it from quite a distance. One ride of 3 rounds costs AED 50 per person, which is a bit too high I feel. The view is quite lovely – beautiful skyline of Abu Dhabi is easily viewable on all sides. The cabins were quite blocky and had too many solid strips that was hampering easy viewing, we had to dance around to look out. Also, the AC in our cabin was not working. Though this was November and the weather was quite pleasant, it got extremely stuffy and uncomfortable inside the cabin. Not the best Ferris wheel but something different to experience when in Abu Dhabi.
We had a quick lunch at the food court of Marina Mall. I found the mall quite empty for a weekend, especially compared to the malls in Dubai ! I’m sure the shopping experience would be quite pleasant in such a place.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Abu Dhabi’s magnum opus, The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Not even 8 years old but this has become one of the most loved structures in UAE. With 4 Minarets & 82 domes, the mosque represents different Islamic styles and embodies the core religious values. The mosque accommodated over 40,000 worshipers and it would be overwhelming for followers to be part of any congregation here.
- Best time to visit
It is no doubt that the best time to visit the mosque would be around 5 PM in winter. Walk around while you still have sun light, enjoy the sunset and also stay on till the lights glorify the structure.
- Audio guides
Free Audio guides are now available at the mosque. As you enter inside, you will find the office not too far away or should be able to ask around and find it easily. All you need is to deposit an ID( Emirates ID in our case)
Since it is well established that women need to be modestly dressed, we wore Indian clothes so that we needed to waste no time. However, even 3/4th sleeves Kurta & leggings are not permissible. I still had to go get an Abaya. My recommendation is to wear loose fitted clothing that cover full legs & full arms. Do not forget to carry a thick scarf that can cover your entire head properly. No transparent clothes are permitted – so even the scarf should be solid. Respect & love this wonderful religion.
Yas Marina Circuit
The cars. The races. Since I have grown up with parents who love driving, I’ve always enjoyed the ‘need for speed’ with them. I’ve always loved cars since childhood, thanks to the Father! Yas Marina circuit is quite a killer place to be if you are lucky enough to witness a practice race happening; or if you are passionate enough to attend the Grand Prix. I have witnessed the practice races during last years visit and oh boy, one does feel that adrenaline rush this game promises.
Like every other place, I wish I could have stayed just a couple of hours longer. But hey, hugsband says we can always go back <3