Abu Dhabi is an easy day trip from Dubai if you cannot spend a night or two in the emirate. There are fabulous hotels and plenty to do if time permits. We opted not to change hotels and avoid packing, unpacking, repacking…so left Dubai at 9:30 a.m. and arrived at the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in a little over an hour.
The mosque is spectacular with its 82 domes and intricate designs. We were particularly taken with the amazing floral and decorative reliefs made from marble and semi precious stones.
N.B. Head scarves are mandatory for entrance to the mosque and abayas are available for rental for those who arrive under-covered. Click here and then on the sidebar “Mosque Manners” for a great graphic on what is and isn’t appropriate attire.
We retraced our path on the E10 highway and another opportunity to appreciate the beautiful murals en route (slideshow above) on our way to Al Raha Beach and lunch at Meylas.
Meylas means “masjid” or gathering place and it was the perfect place to enjoy Emirati cuisine. We enjoyed grilled fresh fish, vegetable stew and the “staff of life.”
Regag (bread had at Meylas), chbaab and mahalla are delicious breads served with fresh cheese, honey and date syrup. My mouth is watering just writing this!
Then to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital , a remarkable institution that treats over 11,000 falcons a year. In addition, the facility rehabilitates falcons for release into the wild. The tour takes about two hours and should be reserved in advance.
Word to the Wise: Abu Dhabi Falcon Center is a little hard to find (took our driver three times and 45 minutes). There are signs on the highway as you approach, but if you actually take the exit (find number) – you have missed the entrance.
Back to Dubai in time for dinner!