Postcards from Abu Dhabi
In a very strange way, Abu Dhabi has stolen my heart. To be honest, I can’t tell you why, but after my 3rd trip to the Emirate state, I am more sure than ever and in my mind, I am already planning round 4. To me, Abu Dhabi is extremely interesting. The whole concept of a royal family, the Sheikh as the ruler (chosen by blood rather than the people) and the culture is so intriguing. I sometimes find myself googeling things like the reason behind the license plate auctions – the lower the number, the more expensive the plate – or if the abaya found it’s origin in religion, to keep the eyes off of the women, or in the geographic setting, to protect the locals from sand storms. I love the Emirati food (hello hummus) and the Great Mosque never seizes to amaze me. The endless sand dunes in the desert are calming, while the skyline is constantly changing at a fast pace. It is not for everyone, but I love traveling to Abu Dhabi!
The most recent trip to the largest of the 7 Emirate states was short but sweet. Together with FlyNiki and Madonna, Kathi and I left Vienna on Monday morning for 2 days of fund in the sun. At first, I was unsure about the super short length of the trip, but with the easy breezy direct flight from Vienna (thank goodness for wifi on the plane!), only a slight time change of 3hrs and good planning, we had an amazing time – even if it was barely 48 hours.
In February, Mike and I stayed at the Shangri-La directly across the canal from the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, which is where we stayed this time. A huge hotel with over 500 rooms, but absolutely stunning!
During my past visits, I never made it to the famous Emirates Palace – this time we got a private tour. It is definitely one of the most impressive hotels I have ever been in and it stretches about 1km along the beach, but personally, I prefer smaller hotels. It does, however, also have perks like the 14 restaurants. We tried the local Emirati cuisine at Mezlai and I can highly recommend it – a place I would for sure plan to visit again in the future!
Of course, traveling to Abu Dhabi would not be complete without a visit to the desert. No matter if you book a safari or take a tour with quads – you’ll have fun!
They say 3 times is a charm, but I could easily go for a 4th when it comes to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It will leave you speechless and feeling humble with it’s giant white structure against the clear blue sky. It is most popular for it’s Friday gatherings and during Eid prayers it can reach up to 40.000 visitors – all of which can fit inside … Every time I visit the mosque, I learn something new. For example, the chandelier below was created by Faustig in Munich and incorporates millions of Swarovski crystals.
Last, but definitely not least, we stopped by the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island for lunch at the Beach House. Two words: Hotel goals! Even though we only had a look around the hotel and ate lunch, I am so in love with the place, that it is definitely where I want to stay during my next trip to Abu Dhabi. The white sandy beach and perfectly turquoise water doesn’t hurt either … ♥ Plus, the Saadiyat Beach Club is right down the beach!
Want to know more about Abu Dhabi?
Be sure to check out my post with “10 things to do in Abu Dhabi“!