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United Arab Emirates

Start our 2nd Cruise

Instead of leaving the ship to go to the airport, we have an extra day and we are going to Abu Dhabi.

15 Nts. Suez Canal Cruise

15 Nts. Suez Canal Cruise

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Abu Dhabi, The Arabian Jewel

Today is really an extra day we wouldn't normally have to explore if we weren't continuing on with the ship on their next cruise. We would be getting off the ship early and going to an airport. If we were just coming in for the Suez Canal Cruise, we would not board until around noon. B2B cruises also saves on airfare. So today we are free to go to Abu Dhabi, departing at 7:30 am and returning at 4:30 pm. We have to attend at 5 pm.

The Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is the largest and wealthiest of the nation's seven emirates. Covering 80% of the land mass of the U.A.E., the emirate of Abu Dhabi is divided into three parts: the city of Abu Dhabi, the historic Al Ain region centered on a large oasis on an old camel caravan route, and Al Gharbia, part of the world's largest uninterrupted sand desert with towering dunes spreading across the Arabian peninsula.

Compared with Dubai, the nation's playground and largest city 90 minutes to the north, Abu Dhabi is more family oriented and, with a population consisting of a higher number of native Emiratis, more traditional in its values. The head of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi is also president of the U.A.E., and the city is the seat of the national government and financial center.

Abu Dhabi's extreme wealth stems from oil, discovered in 1958. The U.A.E. Was formed in 1971 when the head of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, persuaded his fellow emirs to form the union and became its first president. Transformation has been swift. Abu Dhabi puts its oil money into the development of a modern infrastructure, health care, education, arts and culture. Abu Dhabi grew into a modern, Westernized civilization in a little more than a generation, evolving from a society of fishing villages along the coast and Bodouins living a nomadic life in the desert. Still, you'll find it preserves its Arabian traditions and Bedouin hospitality. It is diversifying its stake in oil by developing other industries, including tourism, and is warm and welcome to visitors.

Abu Dhabi's culture is rooted in Islam, but all faiths are respected and protected by the constitution. The dress code is liberal, and Western wear is common, though native Emiratis often choose to wear their national dress.

We visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, and is considered one of the largest mosque in the world. The mosque is large enough to accommodate 40,000 worshippers and opened in 2007 and is named for the late president and founder of the U.A. E.. Only the doors were made in the U.A.E,; all other materials are from locations around the world, including the world's largest hand-woven carpet made in Iran of wool from New Zealand. Weighing 47 tons, it was devided into nine pieces and flown here in two separate planes. Chandeliers are made of Swarovski crystal and Murano glass, marble columns are inlaid with semiprecious stones and mother of pearl with gold tips. The mosque's four, 328-foot minarets look down on 57 white marble domes and a courtyard inlaid with a floral mosaic design The mosque is located between the three bridges connecting Abu Dhabi city to the mainland and is open to non-Muslims for free guided tours from 9:00 am to noon Saturday through Thursday. The dress code was the strictest of any place we have visited. Women must cover their entire body plus their head covered with a scarf, leaving only hands and face exposed. And, of course, no shoes allowed inside the prayer hall. No show of affection or touching, even while taking a picture together.

We had lunch at the very beautiful Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal Hotel, a luxury beach resort with beautifully landscaped gardens and best of all, from the entrance it faces the Grand Mosque!

Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken. most road signs are in both languages and, especially in the city, restaurant menus and shop signs will appear in English and Arabic.

Lavish, Modern Grand Mosque

Lavish, Modern Grand Mosque


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Very Strick Dress Code

Very Strick Dress Code


Lots of Rules

Lots of Rules


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Chandeliers from Munich, Germany

Chandeliers from Munich, Germany


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World Clock

World Clock


Carpet made in Iran

Carpet made in Iran


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Carpet Wool from New Zealand

Carpet Wool from New Zealand


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Heritage Village

Heritage Village


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Dubai

Nautical Miles 3874 = Singapore to Dubai

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