Day Trip to Abu Dhabi-Sheikh Zayed Mosque

We took a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to tour the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. We hired a driver through the hotel and it took us about 1 1/2 hours to get to the Mosque.

Since we were in Dubai during Ramadan, this meant we would be touring the Mosque during Ramadan.

The Mosque was closed to tourists on Fridays and had limited hours during Ramadan. Also, since Muslims fast during daylight hours, the cafe was closed.

However, we were glad that tourists and non-Muslims were allowed into this amazingly grand space!

We were prepared and respectful of the very strict dress code.

You can look at their website for details but in a nutshell, if you are a woman, you must be covered from the top of your head to your feet-including hair, wrists and ankles. (Abayas are provided).

Men, of course, were seen in shorts and t-shirts, which hardly seems fair on a sweltering hot 110 degree day but who am I to judge?

Speaking of judging, a group of men will decide, upon entry, if a woman is dressed appropriately. Men and women will also use separate entrances.

If this is not to your liking, suck it up or don’t visit the Mosque.

Oh-and you will remove your shoes but the cool tile will feel good.

Tip-take your shoes off in the shade and not in the hot sun like a fool!

The Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, which is the capital city of the UAE. It has beautiful reflective pools, 82 domes, the worlds largest hand knotted carpet and if can hold about 40,000 people. Impressive huh?!

…and did I mention the 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers?

The entire place is peaceful and beautiful and well worth a visit!

We also drive by Emirates Palace, a super swanky Hotel, as well as the gate to the presidential palace for the president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa.

We were in the neighborhood so why not!

Next up…the Amalfi Coast

Dubai-Desert Safari without Dune Bashing

This post is easy to write because it’s basically a glowing recommendation for Platinum Heritage Desert Safari Tours.

We wanted a desert safari experience without the environmentally damaging and potentially whiplash inducing dune bashing.

After extensive research, I decided on this tour and we were not disappointed-in fact, we were thrilled!

This was the Dubai experience that I had dreamed about.

Riding through the desert in vintage Land Rovers around the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve was an experience of a lifetime!

On our way to our “Bedouin style camp”, we saw Arabian Oryx, gazelles and thankfully a dead horned viper and we marveled at the beauty of the desert.

And did I mention how much fun we had?! Our guide, Hosam was awesome and he made our experience even more special.

Once we arrived at the camp, we had an awesome falconry demonstration, listened to an interesting talk about Ramadan (were in Dubai during Ramadan), had henna tattoos, saw a traditional men’s dance with gun replicas, (called a Yowla), rode camels (they are very tall!) laid down and looked up at the full moon and bright stars and enjoyed a delicious meal-called an Iftar.

An Iftar is the meal that you eat during Ramadan. It is the meal that breaks the fast that Muslims have been doing all day. The meal usually begins with eating a date and then turns into full, multi course meal. Mmm!

The entire afternoon and evening were truly amazing. I feel so lucky that we were able to have this experience and it was really special that our trip coincided with Ramadan. Great learning opportunity!

If you have any opportunity to do this, you should not hesitate. It was the highlight of our trip to Dubai. Very magical!

Next up…Abu Dhabi-a day trip to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque