Day 3: Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace
Yesterday, we managed to get several hours behind in our plans, but eventually headed to Abu Dhabi in the afternoon, primarily to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque – which turned out to be absolutely breathtaking. Although we didn’t get there until around sunset, it ended up being the perfect time, and I’m glad we got there when we did.
The Skeikh Zayed Grand Mosque
As the sun set behind the mosque, it created this purple glow in the sky that was absolutely amazing.
The exterior, just as the sun was completely setting.
After entering the mosque itself, its beauty grew even more. This wall was very intricate — the Arabic symbol above the gold inset is the symbol for Allah (God), and all the other writing surrounded by the white floral lines describe Allah’s 99 qualities. Absolutely breathtaking.
One thing that I had to keep doing was to look up – each of the chandeliers were hand-made with real crystals, including ruby, sapphire, and more. At a certain point, I had to keep closing my mouth because my jaw was in such awe.
Emirates Palace (the hotel)
Emirates Palace is just that — a palace. Owned by Kempinski, the lowest-priced rooms will run you around $500 (advanced price), and around $8,000 for a 3-bedroom magnificent suite. Although I can’t seem to find any credit card partners with Kempinski, you can earn miles with their partners when you stay. Further, it appears you don’t earn points when you stay with Kempinski, but you do earn status — giving you upgrades to better rooms.
If I had one word to describe the hotel, it would be easy: gold.
Anywhere you see gold color, it’s actually gold.
And just in case you weren’t sure, there’s even an ATM which dispenses gold. Gold, gold, gold.
Back to Dubai
After a solid hour’s drive back to Dubai (I fell asleep…whoops), we stopped by the Radisson Blu Dubai for a little time at their rooftop bar.
Great way to end the day (photo credit Kinan).