As per usual I have fallen behind with my blogging. I still can’t believe it has been 6 months now since I visited Abu Dhabi.
All I can say is – you need to go. I really didn’t know what to expect from my trip, everyone seems to go to Dubai when visiting the UAE and maybe day trips to Abu Dhabi, but I hadn’t heard of many people actively choosing to stay in Abu Dhabi over Dubai.
My main reason for visiting was to watch the incredible Abu dhabi Formula 1 grand prix (and it really was awesome), but I couldn’t help but want to explore a little whilst I was there.
So here are my top 4 ‘must sees’ :
1) Sheikh zayed grand mosque – By far my favourite place of the entire trip.
Utterly incredible architecture and colours, this place is truly mesmerising. To me it is the modern day taj mahal, which actually made me appreciate the taj even more, how amazing that something that incredible could be constructed all those years ago?
Do not miss the FREE guided tours!
– Sunday – Thursday at 10am, 11am and 5pm
– Friday at 5pm and 7pm
– Saturday at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm
They give you a great opportunity to get inside the prayer hall and marvel and the beauty of the chandeliers and carpets, access that you can’t get if you just wander around by yourself. You also get a headset so if you are in a big group and not near the front you can still hear everything that is being said, which was pretty cool.
The place really will take your breath away.
Find up to date tour times and more details on their website: https://www.szgmc.gov.ae/en/mosque-opening-hours
2) The Arabian Desert – A beautiful never ending expanse of dunes, you feel like you have entered another world within moments of arriving, and it suddenly dawns on you how incredible the development of Abu Dhabi is, considering the whole place used to look like this!
We took a private morning tour, as it suited our plans best, which included a jeep safari (not one for those with a weak stomach!), dune surfing, and meet and greet with the camels. As we went on a friday it wasn’t possible to do many other activities in the desert as most things had shut by midday for prayer, but our guide informed us if you went on an evening tour you had the opportunity to experience traditional food and dancing and immerse yourself in local culture a bit more. I think I would try it if I went back, but I really enjoyed experiencing the desert by day, the bright blue skies against the rolling dunes really were stunning.
3) Yas marina and circuit – I am bias, being a massive F1 fan, but for any racing lover this circuit is awesome. And if you are not a racing fan just keep walking round to Yas marina, this world famous marina is buzzing with activity, great bars and restaurants and some very impressive yachts to stare at if you are into that!
4) Corniche beach – I didn’t think I would appreciate a man made beach, being a complete nature lover and feeling like I left my heart somewhere on Whitehaven Beach, however I really did like this place. Don’t get me wrong its different, its a bit like going to Manhattan and getting in your bikini next to the hudson with the city behind you? But the city back drop aside, the beach is clean, there are security guards on the family section of the beach (you have to pay for entry here), or you can go to the public beach for free. There are strict rules about what you can and can’t wear which must be abided but these are clearly visible and easy to follow. I really enjoyed sitting at the cafe overlooking the public beach, having a really good breakfast and taking in the morning sun before heading off to Yas island for F1 action. Its a pretty relaxing place!
Let me know your tips on Abu Dhabi and anywhere else you think should be on my list, I would love to hear from you – I will definitely be going back!