I want to start this series by saying that this was the most magical trip I have ever been on. It is difficult to put into words, and you’ll be able to see why later on, how beautiful a place can be. There is a lot of stigma associated with the Middle East, and I will challenge it here. As a white Jewish and female traveler I heard all sorts of variations of the same negative story. FALSE. I was treated like gold, everywhere. In hotels, restaurants, stores … touristy locations and local spots. I was treated with the utmost respect. And of course, I returned this noble gesture.
It is important to note that I believe in immersing myself in the culture of the places I visit. That said, I was extremely respectful of the Arabic Culture. I kept my shoulders covered, and my outfits were below the knees – conservative. It is not required to cover up completely, but I did it on multiple occasions out of respect and due to my own curiosity. It is like a gentleman’s agreement of traveling : admire and honor another man’s culture. So here goes, enjoy. Part IV.
People asked me many questions about the Emirati dress code. Well in all honesty there is no dress code. I previously mentioned respecting … understanding … and committing yourself to another culture. With that said, on hotel grounds you are still a tourist and you are free to do as you please. Drinking, going to the beach and the pool is completely normal. Although you are advised to be covered up on other hotel grounds such as the lobby, restaurants, etc. I spend lots of time by the pool and on the beach.
This was our last day and we vowed to make the best of it, just like the rest of the time we spent here in The Emirates.
Just as I thought that I could not see anything more beautiful than I had already seen … I crossed the street from my hotel and entered the magical land of The Emirates Palace.
So there I was standing in front of this remarkable place, staring into abyss.
It was EVERYTHING I wanted it to be … except more. Which is why we ended up going there for lunch and for dinner.
We had lunch at Mezlai, the only authentic Emirati restaurant. Since the Emirates Palace is a hotel, wine was a given.
Moroccan tea and shisha was a must. The cost for lunch was $250 for two.
Driving in the taxi to our next destination I thought to myself that this is it … I have seen the worlds most beautiful places. I am blessed.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
I have never been to a place that is completely quiet … quiet because people are taking in the beauty in front of them.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers from Germany and theyre compromised of millions of Swarovski crystals.
Here, everyone is required to be covered up. Before entering the Mosque, we gave in our ID cards for traditional attire. To go inside, we had to take our shoes off as well.
A beautiful piano solo as we enter The Emirates Palace again for dinner.
Don’t be fooled though, I took off my cardigan just for this photo.
We had dinner at the BBQ Al Qasr. An upscale BBQ Restaurant at The Emirates Palace. Exceeded my expectations by a mile ! Medium rare as per usual. Total cost of dinner : $320 for two.
A little more wine and I would’ve fully utilized this Gold ATM.
And a beautiful farewell to my beautiful Abu Dhabi.
So … do you think I made the best out of four days ?