Abu Dhabi is just around 2 hour-ish drive from Dubai. We took a half a day sight-seeing tour around the city. Along the way we pass by quite a lot of buildings, one of them being Alder Headquarters.
One of UAE’s many award-winning building.
My photo probably did not do the building any justice, since it did not capture what is so impressive about this building: it is round-shaped!
‘Grand’ is an understatement.
One of the first stop we had is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Conceived by the late emir of Abu Dhabi and president of UAE, Sheikh Zayed, this is truly one structure to behold. It is colossal and very well maintained for its size.
There is a strict rule for clothing upon entry, especially for ladies, but they do supply the visitors with burqa, so no fret even if you are wearing skimpy clothing (though in general you shouldn’t be if you are the UAE).
Beautiful interior of the mosque.
The chandeliers are HUGE. And look expensive. I did not take a guided tour, as we are given a very short period to explore (45 minutes, which was hardly enough given the size of the mosque), hence I had very limited knowledge of the building.
Tonnes of pillars in the mosque.
My traveling companion was intrigued by the shapes as well as the number of pillars. I am too!
Guess what animal is in the emblem of UAE?
After the mosque we go to see some Sheikh’s palace (but no photography is allowed, boo hoo), then to some ‘atas’ souvenir shop (yawnfest). Saving grace is that it had a badass falcon statue outside.
I see sea shells by the sea shore!
The Corniche was the #2 attraction in Abu Dhabi according to Tripadvisor. It’s bloody hot, so I can’t appreciate it much. It is basically a waterfront.
How did the locals get water back then?
After some more random places (including passing by presidential palace where there is gunman on top of the car), we headed to our last stop, a “Heritage Village” (a.k.a. more souvenir shops, but more of cheap trinkets form this time). They also had a space where they show how the way of live before urbanisation and globalisation.
Did I find my drive? Doubtful.
We capped our tour off with a visit to Ferrari World!
I love it when they are creative with the toilet symbols.
Entry is AED235 (Around S$80). I am not sure if it was worth it – Universal Studios Singapore is slightly cheaper and more of the money worth, but that’s just my personal opinion.
A quick rundown of the attraction that I tried:
You ride a vintage miniature Ferrari car around miniature Italy. The queue is surprisingly long for such a monotonic ride. Great if you just want to chill after riding too many roller coasters.
Driving with Champions
Something equivalent to “Shrek” in Universal Studio Singapore. Moving chair, special effect, first person view projection.
Fiorano GT Challenge
A set of two roller coaster – one yellow and one black. I did not notice much difference between the two. It was an average roller coaster – the speed was not too high and the track was not steep.
Was not much of red in the light play.
Not sure what to say about this. It was a theatrical, circus-y performance. I felt that it could have been more ‘wow’.
Speed of Magic
A “4-D” (I hate this term) ride. It has a great concept, but there is something wrong about the whole thing. It was a very nauseating ride. I suspect it is because the 3D animation has funny physics or the projected animation did not sync well with the ride.
It’s the main attraction of the park: “the fastest roller coaster” in the world (peaking at 240km/h). So fast that it is over before you know it. If you like speed, this may be for you. If you want thrill, you won’t get much from this ride as it is consistently fast throughout the whole ride – no anticipation in uphill and downhill tracks.
This fellow does funny things around the theme park.
There is a mime wandering in the park! He may catch you offguard and do funny things. Hilarious!
Overall, Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World was all right. We went back quite late at night (park closes at 8pm). Ferrari World was surprisingly not too crowded so lines for the attraction was not too bad. A Ferrari fan may be able to appreciate it more than I did.