As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is an Emirate rich with beauty, innovation and culture. A place where tradition and modernisation has been tastefully brought together is now, through Insta-fame, being broadcast to the world and quickly becoming a must-see amongst the traveling elite, and we couldn’t agree more.
Booking a two night stay at the luxurious Shangri – La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, you know your weekend escape is good hands. Wake up early to catch the sunrise and make the most of your weekend escape. Relish in the indulgent breakfast spread made all the better by a ‘titanic -style’ sweeping staircase and dining hall that directs your gaze across to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Commanding your attention from across the water, the view of this breathtaking white wonder is just another beneﬁt of residing at the Shangri-La.
Friday is Holy day therefore the Mosque isn’t open to the public until 4.30pm giving you plenty of time to enjoy the newest museum opening in Abu Dhabi, The Louvre. Even if you’re not one for museums, this museum is architectural brilliance at its best. The design is so captivating you are coaxed inside to see how this ﬂoating museum unfolds.
Huge windows round every corner bring the outside in as almost a piece of art in themselves. Wide, expansive, white walls and relaxing water pools give a modern, recreational feel as you wander. The ﬁnal destination is the terrace, a concrete passageway that allows you to appreciate the roof’s intricate construction and the circular pools of light that beam down in an almost space age feel. We’re not really museum goers either but this is a must.
From here it’s only short drive to The Grand Mosque. You must enter wearing appropriate clothing out of respect. Women are given an Abaya and Men a Kandora if not appropriately covered.
The Mosque itself is simply spectacular. Just to stand and marvel at the magnitude of such a place is humbling. Huge arched walkways lead to a colossal central dome complete with ornamental chandelier and walls covered in hand painted vine leaves, off which separate Men’s and Women’s prayer rooms can be found. You have to muster your way through the hoards of people who ﬂock to see this impressive sanctuary, but when you ﬁnd a quite spot the sheer scale and respect the building demands becomes ever present. If you are able to, stay to watch the sun set between the domes, witnessing the pure white palace turn to blue is quite something.
Simply go and experience the Mosque and magical Abu Dhabi for yourselves.
River and Corinne are travel journalists who are snapping and writing their way through the world. They run a travel website called NorthSouth Travels where you can follow their adventures and gawk at stunning photos that will sure leave you in a state of wanderlust.