During my time visiting Dubai, I was certain that Abu Dhabi, one of the 7 Emirates and the capital of UAE, had to be on the itinerary. With only 1 million locals and 7 million expats, you still get a taste of this country’s culture and beliefs. Waking up at 7am on the second day, my cousin picked me up and started the journey from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi.
Our first stop was the Yas Waterworld. I absolutely love water-parks, but this one was on a completely different scale. It has 43 rides and experiences. We decided to first dip our feet in the cool waters of the artificial beach, which was by far the most relaxing attraction there. For some reason, my cousin thought it would be a good idea to start of with the most monstrous drops in the park, ‘Jebel Drop’ and ‘Hamlool’s humps’. Looking back, I am still surprised I let my cousin talk me into doing this. My back wasn’t even touching the slide!
After getting my heart rate back to my normal, we continued going on the rides. These were some of my favourites:
‘Falcons’s Falaj’ – the 6-person raft ride.
Liwa Loop – looping free fall slide – bottom escapes – you just drop straight into a looping waterslide.
Al Raha River – Lazy river. We stopped half way to watch a pearl diver looking for pearls in this enclosed pool. My cousin explained at how pearl diving has been happening more than 7000 years ago where it was the city’s only commodity. Well before the money from the oil boom, UAE was thriving off the money made from pearls.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
We then drove to Saadiyat Island, a man made island on the coast of UAE where the Louvre Abu Dhabi was located. I was so excited to visit the new Louvre since it opened on 11th November 2017. The dome itself is a work of art, with its randomly perforated woven design and Arabesque patterns. It was created by French architect Jean Novel.
All in all, it was a great experience with some fantastic art from Centre Pompidou, Musee Rodin, Chateau De Versailles and Musee d’Orsay. Just try not to compare it to the one in Paris where Da Vince’s Mona Lisa reigns. Each gallery will transport you through different periods in history, and each telling its own story. I appreciated how each gallery linked smoothly to the next one.
Below are some of my fave art pieces from the Louvre.
I definitely recommend it for those who love universal arts and culture. My cousin’s friend Vanine joined us half way through and as a photographer; she enjoyed taking photographs of the masterpieces.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Before heading back home, we quickly stopped off the breath-taking Sheikh Zayed Mosque. This is the largest mosque in the world and can accommodate at least 40,000 worshippers. It was completed fairly recently on December 20th, 2007 in which the proponent of this mosque is the founding father of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyun who was also buried in the site.
My favourite part of the mosque is the marble columns with paintings of flower. They are all hand-painted individually. Those leaf details on the crown of each column are made out of real gold – there are no words to describe how stunning and intricate they are.
The ceiling, domes and swarovski chandeliers are quite a sight to behold. My cousins friend told me how this is apparently the largest carpet in the world.