Spending A Day In Abu Dhabi.
According to Kanye West, Calabasas is the new Abu Dhabi. Well I used to work in Calabasas, California so I’m still not sure what he meant by that. While visiting Dubai, I decided to take a short drive down to Abu Dhabi one morning, which took me about a hour to get there. I wouldn’t advise that time frame to anyone being that there are speed cameras set up along the way. Found out they were legit when I received two speeding tickets a month later charged to my credit card. SMH. So yeah, take your time getting there. Once I reached Abu Dhabi, I went on a scenic tour around downtown and just like Dubai, everything looked futuristic. Not as fast paced and glamorous as Dubai, but looks and feels just as amazing.
Abu Dhabi appeared to be laid back which felt like a good offset coming from Dubai. I wanted to see what their beach setting looked like in comparison since Abu Dhabi is basically set up the same– buildings in a desert with a beach. So I drove over to the resort area which has public parking in the front and parked my rental car. I saw a lot of people in the background enjoying the beach playing volleyball and such, so I started to head that way. To my surprise it was a private beach for the resort and the only way you could get to it was through the lobbies of the resorts. At that point, I walked around the block to at least get a good water view of the city with all the skyscrapers lined up. This street is called 18th street and leads to the Marina Mall by the way. It’s a popular tourist location to take selfies and pictures of the city, also right across from the Emirates Palace.
If you take 18th Street going towards the Marina Mall and make that first right hand turn at the stoplight, you’ll be able to drive down to the Abu Dhabi Theater. The theater sits at the very end of a peninsula where you’ll find great photo opportunities and also access to get in the water. I did both, and the water felt great. Since I was there in October the water temperature was perfect, reminded me of Clearwater Beach, Florida. I ended up leaving with a tan from my Abu Dhabi adventure because even in October, it was 90 degrees with no clouds.
After I left exploring that area, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and began heading towards the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This was really why I drove down to Abu Dhabi in the first place. Even if you’re not Muslim, this mosque is a must visit! The architecture is phenomenal! When you arrive at the Grand Mosque, parking is free and so is entry inside. You have to go through security and I’m not sure how their selection process works, but some people are ordered to put on additional attire. I was one of those people. I actually didn’t mind because I was looking forward to the total experience of it anyway plus I have respect for the culture. I bought a head wrap earlier in Dubai, so now I was all set. Once inside I began taking pictures and selfies as everyone is doing and then this security guard comes up to me and says, “no signs”. He then summons me to show him my pictures and demands that I delete whatever pics I had taken holding up “peace signs”. Apparently there were strict photo regulations that I had no clue about. But likewise, apparently that security guard had no clue about iphones having a “Deleted” folders album. Needless to say I still have my “peace sign” selfies. Before you can walk into the mist of everything you will have to remove your shoes, so don’t wear those socks that have that one hole in the heel. I did have to throw on some slippers inside that they give you when you need to use the restrooms. Afterwards, on my way out I stopped by this small restaurant/shop they have and ordered a breakfast bagel and a coffee. I needed some energy for my drive back to Dubai, jet lag overseas is no joke.
Great day in Abu Dhabi. Next time I go back, I will have to schedule more than a 1 day trip. I give this city a thumbs up and recommend visiting it if you have extra time in Dubai.