Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Day in Abu Dhabi

Less than an hour's drive from Dubai is Abu Dhabi, the neighboring emirate. The two could not be more different. Abu Dhabi is old school to Dubai's modern approach. Palm Springs vs. Phoenix.

The emirate is more lush, green, and definitely has an older 'feel', but that is quickly changing as its growth is deliberate, yet less frenetic. Palm Springs of the Middle East!

The day trip was to go to the beach and to see the Grand Mosque. What a magnificent structure! Unfortunately it was closed to non-believers, er, non-muslims. Nonetheless we were able to get close enough for pictures. Amazing!

Progress is taking place, though. Sitting back and learning from Dubai's mistakes, new, creative buildings and projects are taking place. The Ferrari Theme Park with F1 track is expansive and impressive in its scale. Then on the drive in we noticed this interesting building we dubbed 'the quarter' as it looks like a coin. Currently on hold, Abu Dhabi has an ambitious plan to create - from scratch - the first zero carbon city...Masdar.
Regardless, the visit was fantastic. The beach was nice, the sun warm, and in the distance we could see the Emirates Palace. A breathtaking complex that has seen its share on the big screen (The Kingdom and the upcoming Sex and the City 2, to name a few).

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Sounds like a fantastic vacation!