Abu Dhabi

Published: March 4th 2022
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I decided to spend my last full day in UAE visiting Abu Dhabi. It is about a 1.5 hour drive from Dubai. The roads were great and the traffic was pretty light. Abu Dhabi is the political capital and makes up 87% of the land area of UAE. Their population is 2.2 million. No surprise that oil is over 50% of their GDP followed by construction.

Our first stop was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.The mosque is large enough to accommodate over 40,100 worshippers at one time. The carpet in the hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet. It took 1200 carpet knotters 2 years to complete it and it weights 35 tons.

All of the white marble and the inlaid jewels for the flowers definitely reminded me of the Taj Mahal. Though it was nice to have much smaller crowds here.

We then drove through the Abu Dhabi Corniche. This is a boardwalk/bridge area with sweeping views of the capital surrounded by beautiful blue waters.

The next stop was Qaṣr Al-Waṭan which is the presidential palace. The palace only recently became available for the public to see. The palace houses the Qasr Al Watan Library and House of Knowledge which has a large collection of books, manuscripts and other resources about the UAE. They recently added a Celebration of Acceptance theme, a theme throughout the palace. This is supposed to demonstrate the UAE's desire to bridge communication between the different cultures and religions of the UAE.

We stopped for an Arabic lunch featuring camel meat. Of course I had to give it a try. It is served over rice and is a bit tough. It actually reminded me of the goat in Uganda, but I can now add it to the the list of weird meats I have eaten.

We finished the tour with going to the top of Etihad Towers so we could see the city of above. The water surrounding the city with such a beautiful blue color that sets off the white architecture so beautifully.

I have enjoyed exploring this city, but I did struggle with the culture (mostly the male culture) more than I did in Ugandan which was a bit of a surprise to me. I only saw women either headed to work if I was out early in the morning or with their husband/children at night time. Interacting with men I felt more respect/equality in Uganda than I did in Dubai even though it is a such a modern city here. So while the city might look cutting edge including their new Museum of the Future, they still have a long when to go when it comes to equality.

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