It is so easy to be caught up in the contemporary exuberance of Dubai (see my last post). When visiting the city, why not take a visit to the its beautiful neighbour and capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi.
Here is my top Blublazerguy recommendations for 24 hours in this stunning capital:
The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its magnificent doors in 2017 and is a must see when visiting the city. I would not expect the same palatial historic vibes of the Louvre in Paris as this arts and civilisation museum is built to impress in its own unique ways.
The first thing that captures your attention is the awe inspiring architecture which was cleverly designed by international architect, Jean Nouvel. Its simple base of 55 white cubic buildings is adorned with a spectacular silvery dome constructed with a geometric shapes often used within Arabic design.
Inside the building the dome continues to impress as the sunlight slithers through its design casting beautiful shafts of light that playfully move during the course of the day. This dome not only protects the building itself but also shields visitors from the harsh sun.
I loved wandering through the many interconnected galleries filled with international historical artefacts, showcasing the many civilisations of our world.
The simple architecture and expanse of white provided a perfect backdrop which really allowed the items in the museum to shine. The museum has a relaxed pace with a carefully curated flow that I really enjoyed, hence allowing me to fully absorb and enjoy the experience.
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is a hotel like no other and as soon as I saw it, I had to stay! Set in five dramatically sculpted towers the hotel sits like a crown that soars above the Abu Dhabi skyline.
This prestigious hotel is designed to meet your every need. From the moment you step into its very large and impressive reception area you are treated with the best service possible.
This splendour continues when you check in to one of the luxurious rooms which are very spacious and include a great selection of amenities. The main highlight (if you are in an upper floor room) is the awe inspiring panoramic view of the city.
I loved waking in the morning, opening the electronic blinds from the comfort of my bed and watching the expanse of city below me. If you are a resident in the hotel then you can enjoy the benefits of their Observation Deck at 300, located on the 74th Floor of the hotel. This area provides you with an uninterrupted 360-degree view of Abu Dhabi, where you can sit and nibble on a selection of food as you watch the sun glimmer on the Arabian Gulf.
The hotel not only has three swimming pools to lounge around but also boasts its own private beach, where you can lay back and enjoy the sun or enjoy a dip in the calm and warm waters.
Explore the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most dramatic and stunning mosques I have visited. It is one of the largest mosques in the country and is open to locals and visitors alike.
I managed to arrive at the perfect time; just before the sun was setting and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I have had during my stay in the UAE. The architecture of the building is simply breathtaking, combining inspiration from different Muslim civilisations.
Every corner you turn you are greeted with an array of beautiful Islamic design, from the golden calligraphy on the domes, the symmetry of the prayer halls, the floral designed courtyard tiles to the glimmering pools of water in the courtyard.
What’s most surprising though is the sheer size of the mosque, which can hold an impressive 40,000 worshippers and visitors. As the sun slowly set and cast its orange and pink hues across the majestic white domes and the call to prayer echoed in the evening air, I felt a true sense of magic that i will never forget.
Palace by name and Palace by nature, this award winning hotel is simply astounding. If you are looking for an extra special dining experience then this is the place to go. Located only minutes from the Jumeirah Etihad Towers, experience the true opulence of this Arabian treasure. As you walk up its grand entrance lined with dancing fountains and palm trees you know you are heading towards something spectacular.
As soon as you enter the hotel you are greeted with the most impressive foyer adorned with gold arches and a large domed roof with Islamic design.
There are many mouthwatering restaurants to try, however if you want something informal then head to ‘Le Café’ where you can experience a range of food with a slight difference.
Here I tried its renowned 24 Karat Gold Camel Burger, yes you read that correctly. This delicious burger infused with local spices is enhanced with a delicious truffle mayonnaise on a gold-dusted bun.
I really didn’t know what to expect but I can confirm that it was absolutely delicious. It seemed to be an evening of Camel as I also tasted their famous Camelcinno; a delightful coffee combined with the finest camel milk, again taking me completely by surprise. It didn’t stop there though as I couldn’t leave without trying their camel ice cream adorned with wait for it…more gold!
There are many ways in which you can travel from Dubai to the mesmerising city of Abu Dhabi. You can catch a bus from Ibn Battuta Station, opt to drive, take a taxi, or in true Emirati style you can even take a helicopter.
As soon as you arrive to Abu Dhabi you can’t help but notice the difference to Dubai and somehow in just a day it completely managed to capture my heart and imagination. In no way can I fully judge a place in 24 hours but from what I experienced, the hospitality was second to none, the people were lovely, the sights were extraordinary and the food was delicious.