Two Things You Must Do In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is wealthy; it’s really wealthy. They have oil reserves for generations to come. The capital and largest of the United Arab Emirates is diversifying with incredible tourist facilities and attractions. Abu Dhabi is often assumed to be like Dubai but in fact it’s quite different in the way it’s going after tourism dollars. Abu Dhabi has a lot of offer from luxurious hotels, world-class sporting events, museums, palaces and modern architecture with much still to come including a Louvre and Guggenheim Museum. However, for me there are two things you must do in Abu Dhabi.
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First, you need to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This is a no brainer, no questions asked, mandatory, excursion. The Grand Mosque is technically the 8th largest Mosque by size in the world. However, it is the nicest Mosque on Earth and I don’t even think this is an arguable point. It is simply breathtaking.
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When you first see the Grand Mosque from the motorway you will be taken aback by all the domes, shapes, minarets and the sheer white color. As you approach and get closer you still think it’s fake. It’s not until you really get right up to and in it that you realize how amazing it truly is.
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Hopefully my photos can do it some justice but the truth is you need to see and experience it in real life. The entire Mosque is made of white marble. Every detail is intricate and first class. No expense was spared in creating the dream of Sheikh Zayed that was opened in 2007. I was there for my first time in 2008 and then again in 2010. This time, I just took it all in.
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You can go to the Grand Mosque at any time of day and the natural sunlight will make it appear slightly different at different parts of the day. You can also go at night, which is also special.
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You must dress conservatively, which means being completely covered up for women, including the hair and long pants and shoulders covered for men. It’s their Mosque and their customs so you must adhere or they won’t let you in. Be respectful.
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When you go inside take note of the worlds largest carpet and chandelier. Abu Dhabi, much like Dubai, has to be the worlds biggest, longest, highest, largest, etc. Accept it and move on! It’s truly beautiful.
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Not to gush but you cannot take your eyes off the décor. Everything is impeccable and immaculate-even the walls (below). I have such respect for the detail and the entire Grand Mosque for me is certainly one of the 30 best man made sites in the world. In fact, it may well be in the top 10!
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The other thing you must do in Abu Dhabi is to take a desert 4×4 safari adventure. A fleet of Land Cruisers picked us up at the port where the Azamara Journey was docked. We then drive in unison about 45 minutes into the desert. Then the fun started!
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The drivers are excellent and they bash the massive sand dunes populating the desert around Abu Dhabi. You feel like you’re on a roller coaster at times and it’s even more fun because of where you are.
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Aside from the driver, you’ll have 4 passengers maximum in the 4×4. I recommend sitting in the front for the best view but anywhere you sit it’ll be a blast.
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The best thing is you’ll pass camels along the way just hanging out. Plus you can see forever over the dunes. If you’ve ever been in the desert, you know how beautiful that can be.
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The tour includes stops at a camel camp for photos. They also offer sand boarding down the dunes. It’s a lot more complicated than it looks! Plus you can dress up in Arabian garb and get some great photos…or selfies in my case!
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In my opinion, these are the two things you must do in Abu Dhabi and they should not be missed. You can be any age for the 4×4 safari because you are strapped in pretty good and it’s not that fast. Just hold and be ready for some fun!
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Disclaimer: I have a business relationship with Azamara Club Cruises and receive financial compensation. Everything was written and experienced by me and has not been influenced in any way.

Comments

  1. I just think of Sex and the City 2 when I hear of Abu Dhabi LOL

  2. Jamie Johnson says:

    The Grand Mosque is the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t stop staring! I saw your snaps, even the bathrooms are fantastic!

  3. I went to the Emirates Palace for tea and though that was pretty incredible. I felt like I was in Sex and the City even though I know it wasn’t actually filmed there!

  4. I am dying the go dune bashing! Your snaps of that were amazing, made me feel like I was n the car with you guys. So cool and I hope to go once I have enough points to fly business on Etihad!

    • Awesome, they have those 3 room apartments or residences or whatever they call them…not sure if you can book those with points/miles though. I have a buddy who did that recently right when it debuted.

  5. Great, these places are looking so beautiful and so good information you shared about these places. You captured awesome photos of beautiful abudhabi.

  6. I also want to encounter Safari Adventure maybe some other time when I visit Abu Dhabi. Thanks for this

  7. Hey Lee
    Safari experience is best advanture in abu dhabi i believe. My girlfriend and i will be there next month and we really wanna try this Safari. is there any option except 4*4 safari ?

  8. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is stunning! It’s unbelievable how clean it looks.

  9. Awesome place and so good buildings you shared about that place. So stunning photos you captured of that place.

  10. So beautiful buildings, so good things you shared about that place and so stunning photos you shared.

  11. Hi Lee,

    Brilliant! Gotta love that mosque. Breathtaking! We just saw the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, one of the more impressive looking and freaking biggest mosques on earth. Awe-inspiring to think what it took to build the thing so long ago. Camels looking awesome, just chilling in the desert LOL. Thanks for the inspired share, and blog!

    Ryan

  12. So beautiful palce and buildings are best attraction of that place. these are looking so beautiful and so stunning photos you shared.

  13. what an amazing experience! your photos are stunning

  14. So stunning photos you shared of that place.

  15. wow! these are so beautiful buildings and have so many good things to enjoy. Design and architecture both are so good and stunning photos you shared.

  16. So beautiful buildings and amazing experience you shared of your safari trip and awesome photos you captured of that palce.

  17. Hello Lee!
    Nice article. I have never visited Abbu Dhabi, but all of my friends say its really an incredible place. I guess shopping also a thing that can be enjoyed in Dubai.

  18. I’m glad you promote more than just Dubai when it comes to the United Arab Emirates. It kind of irks me that people think Dubai is a country instead of a city, but I guess that is a good sign when your city does a great job promoting tourism.

  19. Dubai is specially famous for its higher buildings and it is one of the best attraction of that palce. Good post you shared to visit that palce and stunning photos you shared.

  20. Great, that is an awesome place and it have so many good things to enjoy. i really like beauty of that place. Buildings are the best attraction and so good experience you shared of your trip.

  21. wow! so beautiful place and have so many good things to enjoy. buildings of that place are best attraction and so stunning photos you shared.

  22. Your photos of the Grand Mosque are breathtaking! I can only imagine what it looks like in person! I definitely want to visit there someday, and can’t forget to do the safari adventure. 🙂

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