TRAVELS / Abu Dhabi

During our summer holiday the last destination we visited was Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. We went there for one night during our week in Dubai and got there by car. This only takes about 1 and half hours and was just pure fun.

Let's start with the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is the eighth biggest mosque in the world with space for 40.000 worshipers and covers an area of more than 12 hectares. The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007 and is probably one the most beautiful building I have ever seen.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

All together you can find 7 chandeliers in the mosque including (so they say) the third biggest one in the world. These chandeliers were imported from Munich and hold millions of Swarovski crystals. 

The carpet in the main prayer hall here is considered to be the world's largest carpet witch measures 5,627m2 and is so amazingly beautiful that I couldn't stop staring.

Entrance hall

Entrance hall

Because we only stayed in Abu Dhabi for one night we decided to sleep in a very special hotel: The Emirates Palace. Every year in December the sheikhs and ruler of all the United Arab Emirates meet to discuss political matters. In 2004 this meeting was supposed to be happening in Abu Dhabi and therefore the sheikh family of Abu Dhabi decided to build something special, something like a palace. The Emirates Palace was built. Unfortunately, shortly before the meeting the hosting sheikh passed away and the meeting was held somewhere else. The family decided that the Palace should be a hotel which it is ever since. 

It is now a Kempinski hotel and known to be one of the most luxurious hotels in the world which I can absolutely agree with. I have never seen so much gold and open space in a hotel before. Just a little example: We didn't have to go to our room by ourselves. We were brought there by a beautiful girl in a breathtaking coat. The 'journey' took about 20 minutes and I have to say that we would have never ever found the room by ourselves because of all the space.

Although the east wing was closed and we slept in the west wing (when half of the hotel is closed you normally see a bit more people) there were still so few people just because of all the space. So don't forget anything in your room, it might take a while to get there. You see I was quite overwhelmed with all this space and I am still pretty sure we only saw about 20% of the hotel. Another little fun fact: There is a gold bar vending machine in the hotel. Where other people buy chewing gum you can buy gold bars in Abu Dhabi.

View from our balcony

View from our balcony

Pool area

Pool area

Our balcony

Our balcony

A little bit of the beach area

A little bit of the beach area

One wing of the hotel - view from the beach

One wing of the hotel - view from the beach

Of course we also had to visit the café where they sell golden food and drinks. Because a burger with gold seemed a little of the top (haha - not possible in Abu Dhabi) we decided on a golden cappuccino which was quite a fun experience.