Travel Box Adventures in Dubai!! (Part 3)
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Fun fact: We passed by Ferrari World, which features the world’s fastest roller coaster.
Less fun fact: We didn’t actually go inside Ferrari World.
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.
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.
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.