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The Ultimate Guide to Explore Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates capital city (Abu Dhabi) holds an expanding history and astonishing architecture that attracts tourists from decades. The ultimate Abu Dhabi travel guide for everyone who would like to experience this wonderful city to the fullest is finally here:
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
To start exploring the city of Abu Dhabi, and experiencing this foreign culture, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a marvellous and the largest mosque in the whole country is the best place. This beautiful white building looks almost like a mansion from a fairy tale. The minarets of this mosque is over 100 meters tall and it has 82 domes of white marble, which makes it too hard not to fall in love with this architectural masterpiece.
For fun lovers and theme park lovers, there’s no better place to start an Abu Dhabi adventure than a theme park filled with adrenaline and excitement. The name Ferrari says it all. Just like the car, this theme park offers rides that are fast and exciting and is definitely a place both tourists and locals adore.
The famous, glorious and uber-luxuriousEmirates Palace is located on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. This 5-star hotel offers pure luxury in 302 superior rooms and is one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city and probably the whole country. It is a must to experience site, even from the distance.
Besides wonderful modern, luxurious architecture, the city of Abu Dhabi has more to offer, and that more means something that represents the long history of the country – a Qasr al-Hosn fort. The oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi, and a home of Emirates ruling Al Nahyan family, this building is a must on any places to visit list.
Shopping lovers also have great gifts and surprises in store. Marina Mall is a shopping mall and is definitely worthy of precious time. Besides diversity of shops, it has restaurants, fun and enjoyment only top-rated malls in the world offer.
United Arab Emirates capital prides itself with the most lopsided building in the world, Capital Gate. This modern structure is inclined at whole 18 degrees and is a modern jewel of the city worth every experience.
Al Mina Port District – Fish Market, Vegetable Market, Carpet Market
The fish market, vegetable market, and carpet market are all within a 5-minute taxi drive from each other.
- Fish Market –Best place if you are looking for fresh fishes of various kinds. It has a wide variety of exotic fishes such as prawns, blue shell crabs, pink Sultan Ibrahim’s, and red snapper. You can watch the vendors unloading different kinds of fishes during the early morning. Pick out your favorite then have it cleaned and cooked on sight. Talk about fresh!
- Vegetable Market – This wholesale, colorful market carries fruits and vegetables from around the world. Do not miss “Date Alley”. You can see and taste as well different types of dates. Till now there are approximately 45 special kinds of dates which one can get from the Middle East. The vendors are friendly but are ready to haggle on prices. Tourists are typically charged higher.
- Carpet Market – Famous for carpets! Do not miss this carpet market as here you can see exquisite carpets which are both hand and machine made. You can fine not only carpets but also kilims (tapestries), cushions, and rugs.
Emirates Palace & Etihad Towers
Placed on 1.3 km of private beach, the palace is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. From the beach, you can also see the Presidential Palace, the residence of the current president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa.
Across the street from the Emirates Palace are the Etihad Towers. It is a five-tower complex that offers residential apartments along with a five-star hotel, and luxury shopping ambience. On the 74th floor of Tower 2, the Observation Deck at 300 offers panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf.
Walk the Corniche
The Corniche is an 8km waterfront walkway by the Corniche Road that is dotted with manicured gardens, bike paths, beaches and children’s play areas. There are four different rental stations from where bikes can be hired.
Tour the Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The most beautiful and mesmerizing beauty of Abu Dhabi is the opulent Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It’s truly breathtaking. Constructed from 1996 to 2007 it’s the largest mosque in the country, covering more than 30 acres. With 1200-1300 carpet knotters used to knot the carpet, the carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world’s largest prayer carpet, measuring at 60,570 sq ft. Moreover, the mosque has seven imported chandeliers in their possession, one of which is the second largest known chandelier to be inside a mosque.
Appropriate clothing is required to visit. Women must cover their hair and ankles. Abayas are provided free of charge to cover-up. The mosque opens 9am-10pm Saturday-Thursday and 4:30pm-10pm on Fridays. It is free to visit the mosque, and complimentary “walk-in” tours are given daily. Tours times are Sunday-Thursday at 10am, 11am, and 5pm, Fridays 5:00pm-7:00pm, and Saturdays 10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, and 7pm. Visiting hours and tour times vary only during the holy month of Ramadan, so better to be sure to check and know before visiting.
Abu Dhabi International Airport
Unlike many airports which are cold, unwelcoming, and boring, the Abu Dhabi International airport is filled with entertainment while you wait for your flight. Finish your shopping, eat a traditional Middle Eastern meal, relax at a spa, or even get some shut-eye in a sleeping lounge. Passport control is in the Skypark Plaza. Before that, there is a great food area with five or six different types of restaurants. The Tossa Spa also has a branch of their outlet in the Skypark Plaza as well as in Terminal 1. Here you can get a massage or a manicure/pedicure before starting the next leg of your journey!