Abu Dhabi is known as the capital of the emirate of the same name and the entire territory of the United Arab Emirates, the location of the residence of the main government and the National Petroleum Council of the country. Abu Dhabi impresses with its variety of architectural styles, many exciting museums, trendy hotels, and crystal white sand beaches. A giant shopping mall promises shelter from the scorching sun, and amusement parks provide an adrenaline rush. Here are some examples of how Abu Dhabi will always find a way to surprise you!
A room in a huge chandelier
The Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace, decorated with 10 tons of gold, makes a lasting impression. Along with the fact that the palace serves for official state events, it is open to the public. At the entrance to it, the visitor remains at a loss, not knowing what delights more - its grandeur or luxury. Mosaics, arches, mirrors, ornaments and gold structures - it seems that this palace seems to have come straight out of a fairy tale. Speaking of books: in one of the halls there is a library with a collection of 50,000 books. Locals can even pick them up for temporary use, while visitors are offered just to admire. One of the most impressive places in the palace is the meeting room, in which a 13-ton chandelier hangs majestically. Inside this masterpiece of lighting is a special room for the cleaner!
By the way, the complete cleaning of the chandelier from dust takes two full days.
The grandest carpet on the planet
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an essential symbol of Abu Dhabi. Even if a tourist has never visited this emirate, he must have seen photos of this breathtakingly beautiful building. However, no image is able to convey its amazing magnificence: 80 white marble domes, 1100 columns inlaid with amethysts and jasper, a courtyard decorated with delicate mosaics, and a giant chandelier sparkling with Swarovski crystals - the mosque will surely impress even the most persistent skeptics.
Inside the building, the guest will discover the largest handmade carpet in the world, which is officially listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Representatives of any faith can enter the mosque, but be sure to take into account the strict dress code: women must have their ankles and wrists closed, wear a headscarf on their heads. Men are not allowed to wear sleeveless T-shirts and shorts. Entrance to the mosque is free, but it is required to pre-reserve a place to visit through the official website. The best time to visit would be in the afternoon, when a tourist can enjoy the view of the mosque in natural light and then see it in the evening light.
The history of the city began with a gazelle
Abu Dhabi, whose Arabic translation means "father of the gazelle", got its name from an ancient legend. It is said that hunters from the Liwa oasis chased the gazelle through the desert for a long time until it led them to the shores of the Persian Gulf. There, the gazelle swam to a magnificent island, followed by hunters, and led them to a source of fresh water. As a token of gratitude, the beast was released, and the village next to the reservoir began to be called "Father of the Gazelle", or Abu Dhabi.
Hunting falcon for $100,000
Hunting using falcons is one of the historical and prestigious pastimes for men in the Arab world. It's an exciting sport full of surprises. In the UAE, prices for falcons can reach significant amounts, reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars. Owners treat their feathered pets with great respect and care: there is a specialized hospital for falcons in Abu Dhabi, where birds receive maintenance and medical examination.
Before visiting the hospital, the birds carefully protect their eyes with special masks, and so they wait for their turn on perches. Experienced ornithologists conduct a general health check, adjust the length of the claws if necessary, and restore the feathers in case of damage. The hospital also has a hotel for birds, where you can temporarily leave your pet. Visitors are told about the traditions of hunting with falcons, allow them to observe the process of medical examination. A two-hour guided tour is available at a price of AED 170 and can be booked and paid for on the hospital's official website.
Flying in the World's Largest Enclosed Wind Tunnel
Abu Dhabi offers another exciting attraction for travelers – flying in the world's largest enclosed wind tunnel. In the heart of CLYMB, located just a few steps from Ferrari World, is this unique facility. Here, any visitor will be able to fulfill his childhood dream of flying, feeling a powerful stream of air that lifts a person up (if there is an experienced instructor). It should be noted that mastering the control of your body in flight will require practice, but even the first flight will bring an unforgettable experience. Prices for this unforgettable wind tunnel start from 230 dirhams, all information about fares and ticket purchases is available on the official website.
Abu Dhabi is always looking to set records, and this is evident in its new attractions as well. Recently, the National Aquarium was opened in this emirate, which is the largest in the Persian Gulf region. Here, visitors can enjoy watching fast sharks, friendly stingrays, unique fish species, and giant tortoises. The design of some aquariums is very creative: for example, one of them is located right inside the car.
On the territory of the aquarium there is a special clinic where specialists provide assistance to marine life in distress. Close attention is paid to the protection of turtles, which often lose their flippers to motorboats or suffer from plastic pollution in the ocean.
Ticket prices to the underwater kingdom start from 150 dirhams and are sold on the official website. The aquarium is located in a stylish walking area, where the traveler will find a lot of entertainment: souvenir shops, restaurants, cinemas, photo zones and play areas.