The journey continues with Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the largest of the emirates. This emirate has been inhabited since the third millennium BC, but Abu Dhabi as we know it today was born in the mid-18th century, founded by the Bani Yas tribe in 1761.
The beginning of the twentieth century finds an emirate focused on pearl fishing and raising camel herds but also on the cultivation of dates and vegetables in oases, then the emirate suddenly advanced economically due to the discovery of oil in 1958 and its exportation in 1962. Abu Dhabi is located on a T-shaped island, opening to the Gulf of Arabia (Persian). As for the name of the emirate, it is said that it derived from the legend according to which a gazelle hunter followed one to the site of the current city, where he discovered a freshwater well and founded a settlement: Abu Dhabi (“father of the gazelle” in Arabic). The flag of the United Arab Emirates reigns everywhere and symbolizes as follows: red – courage, green – prosperity, white – purity, black – oil which is black gold.
Today, Abu Dhabi is a luxurious metropolis, a mixture of impressive structures but also cultural or traditional monuments.
We can find here from spectacular mosques, to impressive shopping malls, theme parks, museums or the desert that seems endless. Much quieter and somewhat more conservative than Dubai, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi also offers a variety of tourist attractions.
What not to miss in Abu Dhabi?
The emirate’s landmark building and the most popular tourist attraction is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
When Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan began its construction, he wished that the mosque would be a symbol of peace, love and tolerance.
It has thus become a symbol of diversity and cultural unity in the Islamic world.
What differentiates it from other mosques?
- Cel mai mare covor din lume se află în interiorul camerei principale de rugaciune. Imensul covor a fost lucrat manual din lână originară din Noua Zeelandă și Iran de 1200 de femei care au lucrat 2 ani la finalizarea acestuia.
- Moscheea are 82 de domuri, peste 1200 de coloane, iar curtea interioara (“sahan”) este acoperita cu 165 000 metri patrati de marmura alba din Macedonia
- Al treilea cel mai mare candelabru din lume este unul dintre cele 7 candelabre ce înfrumusețeaza moscheea. Candelabrele sunt suflate in aur de 24 de karate si decorate cu mii de pietre Swarovski de mai multe culori
Sistemul de iluminare al moscheii este astfel creat încât reflectă fazele lunii, iar în serile cu lună plină moscheea apare mai strălucitoare ca niciodată
Corniche, 8 km of promenade along the fine sandy beaches and skyscraper buildings.
Heritage Village, open-air museum designed by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to commemorate the past of the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The Emirates Palace, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world located on an area of one million square meters with an underground parking that can accommodate 2500 cars, heliport and yacht port.
Yas Island is one of the top luxury destinations in Abu Dhabi, a perfect location for a beach party but also a place housing Formula 1 races in Abu Dhabi.
The Louvre Museum of Abu Dhabi was inaugurated in 2017 and is the largest museum in the Arabian Peninsula. Abu Dhabi authorities signed an agreement with France, to which they will pay $ 525 million for the use of the name “Louvre” for a period of 30 years. Architect Jean Nouvel designed the museum after being inspired by the concept of the medina, considered the old district of many Arab cities. Nouvel built a 7,850-star silver metal dome with a complex geometric pattern. When sunlight falls through it, the design creates a “rain of light” moving under the dome, a sign of the natural elements of the United Arab Emirates. The works of art and artifacts in this Louvre museum cover the entire human existence, and the museum will have a gallery dedicated to universal religions.
Have you been to Abu Dhabi? What did you like most? Our journey continues in the next post with a stop in Doha, the capital of Qatar.