Well here we are, the final day of our holiday and my birthday and awake bright and early to make the most of the day 🙂
Abu Dhabi has been a great place to stop over on our way home. We spent the first 2 nights at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, an amazing resort in the Liwa Desert about 2 hours from the city. There’s lots to do there but we chose not to and spent our time relaxing by the pool, eating nice food and drinking a cocktail or 2 🙂 this is a really beautiful hotel, service, facilities – everything was spot on and we enjoyed it all immensely. The most energetic we got was to climb to the top of a huge sand dune near the hotel to take photos at sunset, well worth the effort, so beautiful and peaceful and the views were just breathtaking.
The hotel limo took us from the resort back to the city yesterday and along the way we passed by a car museum. The driver explained that this was a private collection owned by a sheik and that he didn’t mind stopping for us to go inside to see. We didn’t actually have enough local currency with us to pay and he lent this to us, so nice!
I copied the article below from Time Out Dubai as it gives a great overview of what the ‘museum’ is like:
……..The title ‘museum’ is something of a misnomer here: there is no information. No plaques. No audio guides. No brochures. There are no set exhibits because everything must be free to move at a moment’s notice lest the owner – Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, colloquially known as the Rainbow Sheikh (he acquired this nickname from the insignia emblazoned across many of his motors) – wishes to drive one of his collection. It is no coincidence that the path around the displays is marked like a road. Only the occasional bench signals that company is welcome. This is less a museum and more a shrine to one man’s passion.You may need to find an attendant to open the museum, but once inside, the hangar-like size of the place will become apparent. Rows of vehicles fan out to either side. Directly ahead, in a cage of its own, sits the first mass-produced automobile; a glistening black 1908 Model T Ford. Down one row is a Rolls Royce used by Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, another reveals a rare Lamborghini 4×4, a third, a bizarre moon buggy designed for a future where disco is decidedly not dead. Here, the extraordinary (an 1875 steam-powered carriage) mixes with the mundane (a rather grim set of Range Rovers).
Possibly the most impressive sight, however, is the 5m-high replica of a 50s Dodge Power Wagon, custom built in Abu Dhabi to a scale of 64:1. Its wheels came from an oil rig transporter, its wipers from an ocean liner. Inside is a full apartment with bedrooms, bathrooms, a meeting area and a kitchen. Incredibly it can actually drive – it had to in order to enter the Guinness Book Of World Records. Take a step back and between its front wheels sits an ordinary-sized Dodge, and in front of that, a knee-high radio controlled model. Anywhere else this might be considered unusual – here, it makes an odd kind of sense.
So then onto Abu Dhabi and checked in at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers our luxurious home for the last days of our holiday 🙂 I do think we’re pretty good at spoiling ourselves! Our room here is on the 59th floor with amazing views of the city and coastline. We didn’t do a great deal in the afternoon, a late lunch and then went to the adjoining tower to the 74th floor to check out the 360 degree views from there. A nice quiet night last night and now looking forward to our last day 🙂
The day started with a magnificent breakfast, again…then we jumped in a cab to visit the ‘Grand Mosque the mosque is one of the worlds largest which can accommodate 41,000 worshippers!!! There are 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns and gold covered chandeliers and the worlds largest hand woven carpet…ok get the feeling it is impressive?? The mosque is open for all religions to visit as long as you wear appropriate clothing….(cover ups are available for the ladies).
From there we went to the ‘Gold Souks‘ to see what we could find for Fi. The market was on the lower level of a shopping centre and was a little difficult to find…but worth the search as there were lots of shops all vying for your money and willing to barter to seal the deal. Fi settled on a very nice bracelet and we headed back to the hotel. We had drinks in the bar, and an awesome dinner on the terrace overlooking the pool to finish of our last night on what has been an absolutely fabulous six weeks away from home. Can’t close without mentioning the truly outstanding staff at the hotel, every single person was keen to have a chat, ask if we were ok, needed any help, they genuinely wanted to see that we were having a good time.