I lived in the UAE for just a few months, and my time there was almost exclusively dedicated to working on a science festival project. There was little time for sightseeing and exploring the city. However, I did get a few hours here and there to explore the city and take some photos.
WARNING: there are a lot of photos of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Masjid here and little else. Personally, I love visiting mosques – especially the architecture. But I won’t hold it against you if you skip to the next page…
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE. Although it’s not as well known as the flashier Emirate of Dubai, the locals are quick to point out that Dubai has almost zero natural resources, while Abu Dhabi has enormous oil and gas reserves. As a result, whenever the Dubai bubble bursts – which it does every 15-20 years – they end up getting bailed out of bankruptcy by their richer neighbour. That’s why the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, is in downtown Dubai but is named for the ruler of Abu Dhabi. I’m also told “Abu Dhabi” means “father of the gazelle”.
Corniche and Beach
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Masjid is the largest mosque in the country, about 30 acres in total size, and can accommodate more than 40,000 worshippers. It’s a true architectural marvel and as impressive as it looks in the photos, in person it’s even more stunning. If you could only visit one place in the UAE then this should be your one and only choice!