Middle East, United Arab Emirates

A Weekend Inbetween Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Middle East United Arab Emirates

If someday you’ll have to spend a few days in Dubai, these are the most spectacular things to see and do in one of the most extraordinary cities in the world. It’s a tiny city in the middle of the desert, surrounded by sand and the Indian Ocean, full of people from all around the world. It’s a city full of contrasts, where the most modern buildings are located in the middle of nowhere and the temperatures are so high that you have to use AC all day and all night long.

Abra on Dubai’s Creek

On my bucket list, one of the things that I had to see was Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, which currently stands at 828 m high. It’s view is stunning; you can see Dubai’s buildings from one side and to the other you see the magnificent Indian Ocean, just breathtaking!

This building is located in the “heart of Dubai” in the area of Downtown Dubai, next to one of the largest malls in the world based on the total area. The Dubai Mall: this shopping center has over 1,200 shops, including the world’s largest candy store, a skating rink, a SEGA games center, a 5-star luxury hotel, 22 movie screens, 120 restaurants and cafes and also contains one of the largest aquariums in the world; you can shop right next to a shark!

Abra, the taxi on the water

Right next to these two places, there’s Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest of its kind. It’s jets can reach 150 meters high, move in a rhythm of music and are illuminated by coloured laser projections and thousands of headlights. This show is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in my life, even though my favorite one will always be the Trevi’s fountain in Rome.

After this incredible day, I suggest you to move to the beach. Jumeirah beach is the perfect place to relax yourself and enjoy the view of one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the Burj al-Arab. After, go to the Gold Souq in Deira, where you can see the world’s largest gold market selling jewellery and precious stones from Dubai, India and many other countries. Visit the old Bur Dubai trade exchange, on the opposite side of Dubai Creek from Deira, and you will discover numerous colourful fabrics inside the souk. This market boasts endless selection of natural silk, cotton and embroidered fabrics. To reach this place, you should take the traditional abra, a taxi on the water that crosses the Creek to reach souk; it costs only 1 dirham (about 0.25 euros) and will allow you to see the historic quarters from the water, that are just magnificent!

Dubai’s Dubai Fountain

Right after these two crazy days. I just had 18 hours to spend in this city before catching my plane and my friend suggested to me “You can go to the mall while you’re waiting for your flight or you can go to Abu Dhabi” so I thought “Why not?” I spent the last day on my trip visiting Abu Dhabi and seeing the famous “White Mosque” or Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I took the metro and stopped at the last stop. After that, I took a taxi to reach the magical Abu Dhabi (which cost 250 AED each way). It took 1 hour and a half in the middle of nowhere, only sand, cars, sand and a few gas stations on the way.

Inside Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
But there it was, white, huge and spectacular, the marvelous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was right in front of me, the most beautiful mosque I’ve seen in my life! It is a masterpiece of modern Islamic architecture and design. Over 100,000 tons of pure white Greek and Macedonian marble were used. You will notice delicate floral designs inlaid with semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli, red agate and amethyst.

Tourists, who are not muslims are most welcome in this place. All women will be asked to wear a traditional robe (abaya) and headscarf (shayla) before entering the mosque. If however you do not have the correct attire, there is clothing available. You may need some ID to enable you to borrow it. You will need to remove your shoes prior to entry to the mosque and there is storage available for your belongings and luggage.

Me and Sheikh Zayed grand mosque

There are no entry fees for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and it is open from 9 am – 10 pm daily. I’ve visited this place during the morning, but I’ve seen a few pictures taken during the sunset and they’re impressive. There are not enough words to describe the beauty and the magnificence, you should see with your own eyes!

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi inside
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi side
Contributed by Thairin Nunez