THE BEST OF ABU DHABI AND A LUNCH FIT FOR A SHEIKH AT THE EMIRATES PALACE (ends at the airport)
Panorama, Culture, Shopping, 2
In a nutshell An excursion to see what is best in Abu Dhabi, the very modern and extremely wealthy capital of the United Arab Emirates, a multicultural cosmopolitan city where tradition meets innovation.
Good to know
- Al Ittihad square
- Abu Dhabi’s Corniche and impressive skyline Abu Dhabi
- Heritage Village
- Tour and lunch at the Emirates Palace
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- We start our excursion with a first stop for photos at Manarat Al Saadyat and Al Ittihad Square, whose name means “union” in Arabic, to capture the spectacular white ivory monuments such as a large coffee pot and an incense burner that symbolise the typical Arab hospitality and tradition.
- We continue the tour along the Corniche, the amazing waterfront that stretches for kilometres and from where we can admire the impressive skyline of the city with numerous ultra-modern glass skyscrapers and the elegant residential complexes that have earned Abu Dhabi the name, “Manhattan of the Persian Gulf'.
- We then reach the Heritage Village, home to a small museum and houses illustrating the everyday activities of the local community before oil was discovered at the end of the 1950s.
- The next stop on our excursion is the Emirates Palace, where we can immerse ourselves in Abu Dhabi’s charm and where a delicious lunch awaits us. The palace is a luxury hotel, it overlooking the Persian Gulf and has a typically Arab structure, with 114 domes reflecting the various colours of the sand and stones and, of course, the grand dome over 70 metres high. The golden, mother-of-pearl and crystal furnishings are lit up by 1002 chandeliers, the largest of which weighs over 2 tons.
- We set off again to reach the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the most imposing in the world that can seat up to 40,000 people, a true oasis of tranquillity characterised by a combination of architectural elements typical of various parts of the Islamic world. The archways are substantially Moorish, while the minarets are in the classic Arabic style. The marble is Italian and the 96 interior columns are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The mosque features 80 domes, around 1,000 columns, 24k gold plated chandeliers with Swarowski crystals and the largest Iranian hand-woven carpet in the world weighing 35 tons. The pools of water along the porticoes reflect its columns, which are lit up in different colours at night thanks to a unique lighting system.
- After visiting the Grand Mosque, we reach Abu Dhabi airport, where our excursion ends.
Good to know
- Casual elegant clothing is compulsory for the visit to the Emirates Palace, we therefore recommend not wearing low-cut or transparent tops, shorts, jeans, t-shirts or trainers, but rather a collared shirt and closed shoes (women may wear open shoes).
- Limited number of places available, book early.
- For the entrance to the mosque, it is mandatory to wear a clothing suitable for worship places. Ladies must cover their heads with a scarf and wear long clothes that cover their ankles and wrists.
- Local authorities do not allow taking photographs of Sheik Zayed’s tomb.
- The excursions is reserved for guests who are leaving the ship with flights departing after 8.30 pm