Something a bit different here – I had 3 days off so Mamdouh and I decided to go on a little ‘staycation’ in Abu Dhabi between flights! I’ve visited Abu Dhabi years ago with family, but a lot has changed since then so we decided to rent a car and stay 2 nights.
We left Dubai around 12pm and started the drive to Abu Dhabi. It is about 1 hour 30 minutes from our apartment in Dubai so we stopped off on route at Dubai Marina for a late breakfast. We went to Eggspectation cafe in JBR and had a big meal to set us up for the day!
We then carried on with the journey to Abu Dhabi and checked into our hotel once we arrived. We didn’t hang around long as we wanted to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We was there on a Friday so it was extremely busy and took around an hour just to queue and get inside!
The dress code for the mosque is very conservative so they provide abayas for women to rent, so I borrowed one of these to cover up with. We then made our way into the main entrance and walked around the mosque. It is absolutely huge – the largest mosque in the UAE!
The mosque was beautiful, both inside and out. There was so much detail in the design and it was fascinating walking around and admiring the architecture. The photos don’t really do it justice, it was much more beautiful in real life!
You also can’t see just how busy it was from the photos! But it really was packed and everything took so much longer as there were so many people. I definitely wouldn’t come back again on a Friday!
We were there just as the sun was setting so we managed to catch the Maghrib prayer calling which is just after sunset. I love the sound of the calling to prayer so it was really magical listening to it in the Grand Mosque.
We then drove to the Marina Mall to have some dinner and I wanted to buy a few things in Sephora.
After this, we went to the Emirates Palace to have a look around and have some tea and cake! Emirates Palace is a luxury 5 star hotel and it is an iconic landmark of Abu Dhabi.
We then called it a night as we wanted to get up early the next morning as we had planned to go to Yas Waterworld!
We woke up the next morning and had some breakfast in the hotel, then got ready for our day at the waterpark – Yas Waterworld. I absolutely love waterparks and I have been to both Wild Wadi and Aquaventure in Dubai, so I was looking forward to trying out a new one in Abu Dhabi. The standard entry tickets are 250 dirhams each but with our Emirates Platinum discount card, we managed to only pay 75 dirhams each – bargain!
We didn’t take any other photos in the waterpark but it was so much fun. My favourite waterpark is still probably Wild Wadi, because I have so many good memories from my childhood there, but Yas Waterworld was a strong second. We hardly had to queue for any of the slides and there was a good mix of scary ones, as well as all the family ones.
We also had a delicious BBQ lunch and then watched the mermaid show in the afternoon. My favourite rides were the Liwa Loop which is similar to the Jumeirah Sceirah and Falcons Falaj. It then started pouring with rain just as we left – perfect timing!
We came back to the hotel, got changed and then went to Abu Dhabi Dates Market which wasn’t too far from the hotel. I love dates so I was very happy to be going from shop to shop trying all the different types. My favourite dates are the ones with the orange peel in the middle so I got a box of those and medjool dates.
After this, we had a long walk along the Corniche and then had dinner at the Wafi Gourmet restaurant which overlooks the Corniche. We both had Moroccan tagine which was very nice! Next door was the St. Regis hotel which had a panoramic lounge bar so we went there afterwards and had a drink and some shisha!
The next day, we were supposed to be heading straight back to Dubai but last minute, we decided to go to Ferrari World. I wasn’t that fussed about visiting here, but we realised the Emirates Platinum discount was also applicable here, so we thought, why not! And I am soooo glad we did!
We arrived around 12pm and of course, we headed straight for Formula Rossa – The World’s Fastest Roller Coaster.
I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie so I was buzzing for the ride. I didn’t feel one bit nervous, just pure excitement! But, oh wow, it really is something else. The speed at the beginning is just unreal, and you don’t even have time to think about what is happening! I loved every second of it! Mamdouh on the other hand absolutely hated it and was a bit traumatised! I was dying to go on it again, but he point blank refused!!
We went on a couple more rides after this including Flying Aces and Turbo Track which were also brilliant, but nothing could top Formula Rossa. It really was amazing and I’m so glad we came here before driving back to Dubai.
We made our way back home to Dubai around 4pm after a fun filled few days in Abu Dhabi. It was such a nice break away and it felt like we were so far from Dubai.
Thanks for reading.
Kerry May xo