Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Abu Dhabi

I visited Abu Dhabi and stayed at the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi *****(**) – read about it here: https://snobhotel.com/2017/10/11/emirates-palace-abu-dhabi/

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai), and also capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE’s seven emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper had a population of 1.5 million in 2014.

Abu Dhabi houses federal government offices, is the seat of the United Arab Emirates Government, home to the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the President of the UAE, who is from this family. Abu Dhabi’s rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed the city into a large and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country’s centre of political and industrial activities, and a major cultural and commercial centre, due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi accounts for about two-thirds of the roughly $400-billion United Arab Emirates economy.

Sightseeing? We only went to see Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque:

One of the most important architectural landmarks is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. This is arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society—and one of the most opulent in the world. It was initiated by the late president of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, fondly thought of as the father of the UAE.

ts design and construction reportedly ‘unites the world’, using artisans and materials from many countries including Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Iran, China, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and of course the United Arab Emirates. More than 3,000 workers and 38 renowned contracting companies took part in the construction of the mosque. Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics. Construction began on 5 November 1996. The maximum capacity is approximately 41,000 people and the overall structure is 22,412 square metres (241,240 square feet), the internal prayer halls were initially opened in December 2007.

In the mosque, you cannot be in a reveling outfit, I was wearing a long dress, where everything was covered, I still had to put a robe on, which was provided there for free. When we wanted to go inside, we had to take our shoes off, so prepare for that. Otherwise, it was pretty amazing there.

So, I did like Abu Dhabi, it was pretty modern and nice, but some things you might want to know?

Alcohol – I do have to say that alcohol was pretty expensive in the restaurants. We finally discovered that there are shops in Abu Dhabi that actually sell alcohol, but it was only allowed for tourists. The prices were quite OK there.

How did I find the shop? Good old Google, and also taxi driver knew as well. If you are curious? Well, I got some champagne from Spinney´s, taxi from the hotel (Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi *****(**)) to the shop was ca 15 dirham, which is about 3,46 euros.

I was also so scared how to dress in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I didn´t want to be too revealing, so I had long skirts etc. but I did saw that people were wearing not that strict clothes, so I would not be too worried about that, when going there.

We also went to see Dubai, we took a bus, which was 25 dirham one way, about 5,77 euros. I would not take the bus again, it wasn´t that nice, I would take a transfer the next time, it would take us exactly the correct place and I don´t think it would be that much more expensive.

Dubai

Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country’s Federal Supreme Council. The city of Dubai is located on the emirate’s northern coastline and heads the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. Dubai will host World Expo 2020.

Dubai emerged as a global city and business hub of the Middle East. It is also a major transport hub for passengers and cargo. By the 1960s, Dubai’s economy was based on revenues from trade and, to a smaller extent, oil exploration concessions, but oil was not discovered until 1966. Oil revenue first started to flow in 1969. Dubai’s oil revenue helped accelerate the early development of the city, but its reserves are limited and production levels are low: today, less than 5% of the emirate’s revenue comes from oil.

The Emirate’s Western-style model of business drives its economy with the main revenues now coming from tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial services. Dubai was recently named the best destination for Muslim travellers by Salam Standard. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. The city has become iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Dubai has been criticised for human rights violations concerning the city’s largely South Asian and Filipino workforce. Dubai’s property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008–09 following the financial crisis of 2007–08, but the emirate’s economy has made a return to growth, with a projected 2015 budget surplus.

As of 2012, Dubai was the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive city in the Middle East. In 2014, Dubai’s hotel rooms were rated as the second most expensive in the world, after Geneva. Dubai was rated as one of the best places to live in the Middle East by U.S. global consulting firm Mercer.

What did we see in Dubai?

Of course we visited The Burj Khalifa (http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/index.aspx), with a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft) and a roof height (excluding antenna) of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world since topping out in late 2008.

We went straight to top there, it was pretty expensive, it was 500 dirham, which is 115,14 euros, but it was worth it. The service again was the top, we were placed in a special room, where we could enjoy tea and snack, before we were privately taken to the top. On the top there were other snack and juices, teas waiting for us, with an amazing view, it was very beautiful.

 

Of course we wanted to see the 7-star hotel in Dubai as well, when we were there – the Burj Al Arab (https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/?currency=USD&gclid=CjwKCAjw3_HOBRBaEiwAvLBbotG29NnHkrnOiVvKVtsdsSaLJ4nXA9GAxYchyvPFg85IRiLOilRUWhoC_AgQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CJvA7dyJ5tYCFcSaGAodBB8GQg), which is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the third tallest hotel in the world. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to mimic the sail of a ship. It has a helipad near the roof at a height of 210 m (689 ft) above ground.

We definitely wanted to have dinner there. But keep in mind, you have to have a reservation before, otherwise they will not let you in. Unfortunately we did not have a reservation there, but we managed to get the reservation to the cafe/lounge, which was not on the top, but was on the second floor.

In addition, keep in mind, that when you want to visit the cafe/lounge on the second floor, then they charge you minimal 250 dirham (57,71 euros) per person and when you want to go to the top restaurant, then the minimal charge per person is 650 dirham (150,05 euros). From the top you can see the artificial palm island, which would be cool to see.

Taxis in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? Well, it was pretty okay, but keep in mind that don´t let the restaurants/hotels order you to most expensive ones, take the regular ones, then you can see, that the charges are as in Europe.

Let me know if you have any questions! 🙂

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