After exploring Dubai for a few days, I made a road trip back to Abu Dhabi. The journey to Abu Dhabi seemed longer this time but I enjoyed every bit of it. It was extremely hot but super sunny and perfect for some drive by photography. My driver and tour guide was hilarious and he kept the good music coming, so I couldn’t complain.
Exploring the City Of Abu Dhabi
I spotted a sign that said ‘Welcome to Yas Leisure Drive’ and I knew we had arrived at Abu Dhabi. The tour around the city began immediately we arrived. I got a glimpse of Ferrari world and its wild ride while we toured Yas Island. My first thought was “how crazy can this ride be anyway.” I really had no idea what was coming!
The journey continued to other parts of the city, where I took in views of some wonderfully constructed buildings. One of which was Aldar’s disc shaped head quarters, the first of its kind in the UAE.
As we went further into the city, I could see beautiful bridges, the Khalifa Park, and the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from a distance – it was grand indeed!
My next stop was the U.A.E Heritage Village, which is a short distance from the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht club, and also the Marina mall. Historical archives were preserved at the Heritage Village; there was a small market where tourists could buy traditional outfits and locally made souvenirs. Just behind it was a beach with breathtaking views. Large wooden boats were mounted on the sandy shores and skyscrapers stood tall in a distance.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
One of Abu Dhabi’s most visited tourist attractions has to be Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Known to be the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, this ornate place of worship can conveniently accommodate over 40,000 worshippers.
Just by looking at the building, you can tell a huge amount of work went into its construction. More so, its unique design and gold embossed top make it a work of art.
As much as it’s one of Abu Dhabi’s iconic landmarks, it is also a place of worship; female visitors/tourists without an Abaya or a full-length (covered up) outfit were denied from taking photos in front of the building. I and a few other female visitors who were in outfits that were not allowed (jeans and a tee) had to go inside the mosque to get an Abaya. The most beautiful time to photograph Sheikh Zayed mosque would have to be at night when the lights are turned on. I remember seeing this from a distance – it was stunning!
Another one of Abu Dhabi’s iconic landmarks, everything about this building is luxurious. When I walked into the lobby area, all I could see was gold – Rolex clocks hung on the wall, gold furniture, and a large patterned dome with gold finishing. I and several other tourists walked around the lobby snapping photos and taking in the beauty of this amazing 7-star hotel.
You can’t go to Abu Dhabi without visiting the world’s largest indoor theme park!
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then Ferrari World is the perfect place for you. Undoubtedly one of my favourite places in Abu Dhabi, this place would leave you with amazing experiences.
I spent almost an entire day in Ferrari world doing multiple activities. First on my list was Tyre Twisting, where you sit in huge tyre-like chairs and watch yourself spin out of control. As the tyres spun, I yelled with my hands in the air – I couldn’t hide how much I was enjoying being tossed around.
Next up was carting! A few minutes into the ride, my car bumped into a barricade and was unable to reverse; as you would imagine this set me back greatly and left me at the worst driver of the hour position and in my usual fashion, I blamed it on the car. Lol!
After carting, it was time to experience the reason most people come to Ferrari world – Formula Rossa (the world’s fastest roller coaster).
I could feel my heart beating fast the moment I got into the ride. The feeling was a nervous excitement, a rather strange feeling.
Seat belts strapped, goggles worn and safety precautions announced – it was time to go. The ride started off faster and got even faster in seconds; all I could hear was people screaming at the top of their lungs (myself included). At some point, it felt like we were in the sky or riding on a rocket into space – it was that fast!
I could feel the heat of the sun on my skin and the wind violently pulling my hair.
After minutes of intense screaming, the ride finally came to a halt. Those who wanted to go on the ride a second time were asked to hang around; I was too busy recovering from the first round, so I quickly declined and headed out to explore other parts of Ferrari world.
The Viaggio in Italia experience was so amazing! It’s a flight simulator that takes you around Italy allowing you to experience rain showers and snow as you fly over everywhere from the countryside to iconic structures like the Coliseum. It was such a relaxing experience and it helped me recoup after the insane Formula Rossa ride.
I got to drive a virtual Ferrari with a champion and experience yet another roller coaster ride – this time it was the Fiorano Challenge racing coaster. My time at Ferrari world ended with me enjoying some comedy at the Ferrari Tyre Change Show. It was such an all-round amazing experience, couldn’t help feeling like a kid again. Yes to theme parks!