This summer our choice was clear: Middle East. We had never been there before and the islamic culture, customs, traditions, among many more attributes have always caught our attention.
Our twenty-day UAE&Oman adventure started with a short-stay in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which we will be introducing to you in this article.
First of all, you may be wondering whether travelling to UAE in August is, or not, the proper season. It depends on what you are willing to undergo throughout your vacations. In July and August temperatures may rise even beyond 50ºC during the day and at night it does not get much lower, since high humidity levels increase temperature’s real feel to around 45ºC. Despite rough weather conditions, travelling requires a sense of adventure as well, and temperatures quickly became our toughest challenge.
We planned to stay in Abu Dhabi for two nights, which would give us approximately 48 hours of useful time to explore the city center and its surroundings, including the world-famous Yas Island, where you can find Ferrari World, Yas Marina Formula One Circuit, among other attractions.
Abu Dhabi became a pleasant surprise as we explored its major landmarks. These are the must-sees in UAE’s capital city.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Its beauty is undeniable. Abu Dhabi’s main mosque, which was built between 1996 and 2007, is named after Sheikh Zayed, UAE former President (1971-2004) and is the largest in the country.
The mosque is the city’s main attraction and if you wish to visit it, please remember to dress properly – women must cover their full body and wear a scarf covering the hair while men are allowed to visit the mosque if wearing trousers and a shirt (not sleeveless).
Admission to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is free.
For more information: http://www.szgmc.ae/en/
Abu Dhabi Corniche, Emirates Palace and Marina/Heritage Village
A long avenue along the shore, named Corniche, is the perfect place in UAE’s capital city to walk and visit a handful of Abu Dhabi’s landmarks.
The Etihad Towers, the Emirates Palace and the Heritage Village (nearby the Marina Mall)
offer an appealing contrast between past, present and future as the reconstructed village unfolds the pre-oil era in the United Arab Emirates right in front of the new city’s skyscraper landscape.
These three landmarks can be easily visited in an afternoon and you’ll be plenty of time for shopping and relaxing either in the Marina Mall and nearby shops or walking around the beach.
Closer to Abu Dhabi’s International Airport than to the city centre, Yas Island is an emerging site in the region. Quite a few attractions can be found here and entertainment is the key word all over the island.
Yas Marina Circuit, Yas WaterWorld, Ferrari World and Yas Mall are the island’s main milestones. Would you like to test your driving skills? Both Ferrari World and Yas Marina Formula One Circuit grant you the opportunity to speed up and boost the load of adrenaline, as the world’s fastest rollercoaster – Formula Rossa – leads the Ferrari’s theme park attractions. Sounds interesting?
Enormous and vast malls are constantly present anywhere you travel within UAE’s major cities. Therefore, Yas Island is no exception. Yas Mall offers the world’s most-lauded brands’ shops and, if you are staying in Yas Island’s hotels, it is a great option for on budget meals as well.
How are you supposed to hit these landmarks in just 48 hours?
Morning: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque;
Afternoon: City Centre – Etihad Towers, Emirates Palace, Marina and Heritage Village;
Full day: Yas Island – Ferrari World, Yas WaterWorld, Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Mall;
The itinerary of our Middle East adventure continues in future posts.
For more info about UAE click here.