Two posts in two days!!

Travel Box Adventures in Dubai!! (Part 3)

Juxtaposition!

Juxtaposition!

So far in my accounting of the trip my wife and I made to the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf I discussed our flight, our hotel, and the many trips we took to the mall.  But, we didn’t travel over 7000 miles just to shop.  Really, we didn’t.  Although Dubai has a Shopping Festival that encompasses the entire month of January, so if our sole intention was shopping, we’d have hit the jackpot.

Gucci in any language is still pricey.

Gucci in any language is still pricey.

This was the Armani store in the Dubai Mall.  There is an Armani hotel too.

This was the Armani store in the Dubai Mall. There is an Armani hotel too.

One of the great things about Dubai are the many places you can go! Various day trips are available: either to the desert where one can ride camels and even engage in dune bashing, or to historical landmarks throughout the city.  We decided to pass on the camels and quads this trip, and we chose to journey through the city independently.  However we did take a nice little trip to Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of the UAE and its largest city.  Abu Dhabi is the 2nd most popular destination in the UAE, since it houses the royal palace of the ruling Al Nahyan and provides most of the wealth of the country through oil and natural gas.

On the Road to Abu Dhabi, starring Rod & Meka!

On the Road to Abu Dhabi, starring Rod & Meka!

Boats, and almost a Space Needle!

Boats, and almost a Space Needle!

We took a van out to Abu Dhabi in the morning, and were amazed at the modern architecture, beautiful beaches, and pristine roads.  We weren’t able to get close enough for pictures of the Royal Palace, but we were able to go to the Emirates Palace Hotel. This hotel is one of very few seven star luxury hotels, which means that if you stay here you’re either balling or royalty.  Or headed to the poor house in style.  Either way, we were happy just to take some photos of our future life and move on.

Even Abu Dhabi has love for the X-Men

Even Abu Dhabi has love for the X-Men

What a futuristic looking building!

What a futuristic looking building!

Future site of Reed Richards  and Tony Stark's Negative Zone prison.

Future site of Reed Richards and Tony Stark’s Negative Zone prison.

Abu Dhabi is for lovers!

Abu Dhabi is for lovers!

Wide angle!

Wide angle!

And we didn't even get wet!

And we didn’t even get wet!

When I went up I heard the theme song from Rocky.  But in Arabic.

When I went up I heard the theme song from Rocky. But in Arabic.

Going back down.

Going back down.

This was as close as we could get to the palace without royal approval.

This was as close as we could get to the palace without royal approval.

After visiting the Emirates Palace Hotel and a quick glance at the Royal Palace, we headed to an outdoor market at the UAE Heritage Village.  Souvenirs were bought and photos were taken.  Meka wouldn’t let me buy the giant sword on display since “they wouldn’t let us on the plane with that.”

The UAE Heritage Village!

The UAE Heritage Village!

Seven in One Blow? No problem with this sword!

Seven in One Blow? No problem with this sword!

And he would have been more than happy to sell it to me!

And he would have been more than happy to sell it to me!

I'm getting my money's worth on these panoramic shots!

I’m getting my money’s worth on these panoramic shots!

Fun fact:  We passed by Ferrari World, which features the world’s fastest roller coaster.

There was also an Ikea...

There was also an Ikea…

Less fun fact:  We didn’t actually go inside Ferrari World.

The Grandest of Mosques.

The Grandest of Mosques.

We did head out to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is the largest mosque in the UAE and the eighth largest mosque in the world.  It’s about the size of five football fields, and the carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world’s largest carpet.  Inside, the largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque and the third largest in the world.  And the columns in the main prayer hall are clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl.  What I’m saying here is this place is off the chain beautiful.

Me in front of Mosque.

Me in front of the Grand Mosque.

A front view of the Grand Mosque.

A front view of the Grand Mosque.

Because this is the primary place of worship in the country, the rules of dress and behavior were very traditional. My beautiful wife Meka had to wear a hijab while we were there, and we almost got in trouble for holding hands while taking a photo.  Luckily, we only got a warning and we were allowed to head inside to view the intricate designs within the mosque.

My Muslimina wife!

My Muslimina wife!

"NO TOUCHING!!" in 3, 2, 1...

“NO TOUCHING!!” in 3, 2, 1…

Walking into the Grand Mosque

Walking into the Grand Mosque.

Right inside the Grand Mosque

Right inside the Grand Mosque

The detail on the ceiling, walls, and floor is remarkable!

The detail on the ceiling, walls, and floor is remarkable!

Even the windows of the Grand Mosque were amazing!

Even the windows of the Grand Mosque were amazing!

A close up of the star/flower design that adorns the Grand Mosque

A close up of the star/flower design that adorns the Grand Mosque

On our way back we were treated to a feast of Indian food, and some amazing non-alcoholic cocktails.  I couldn’t tell you the names of the foods we ate, but I thought it was pretty delicious.  We were pretty tired after all the amazing sights, so we ended our day early.

A little cartoon guy!

A little cartoon guy!

Fruit punch for the wife, Orange Beer for me!

Fruit punch for the wife, Orange Beer for me!

Ending the day with room service!

Ending the day with room service!

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