An important direction during my several days stay in the UAE has become the capital of this country. In order to get to Abu Dhabi I used the RTA bus line. Directly from the Ibn Battuta station in DUBAI I got to the main bus station. The both-way trip was about 50 zlotys and took around two hours.
I didn’t know to much about Abu Dhabi but I really wanted to see this city. So I planned a one-day trip during which I decided to go to Masdar City. However, the tense plan did not work because instead of visiting the capital of the Emirate I spent most of the day in public transport.
I was only a few hours in the capital of the UAE and from this perspective I will tell you about the city built on islands.
Abu Dhabi officially became the capital of the United Arab Emirates in 1996. However, the history of the place itself dates back to much older times because in the surrounding area the city was discovered artefacts proving the civilization inhabited these areas since the third century BC. The main period of development of Abu Dhabi is the second half of the 20th century and the interest in the benefits of oil production. The city has a semi-dry, tropical climate with little rain during the year.
After arriving at the destination my eyes saw an unique in terms of its character and shape mint building of the BUS STATION. There was no option to get lost in this city with such a characteristic point of reference. I expected probably everything when going to Abu Dhabi but definitely not so unattractive station. On the place I went for a quick and very cheap dinner – that was a kebab served with pickled spicy peppers. What’s interesting we won’t find any metro in such a big city, but it doesn’t change the fact that public transport in the form of buses works perfectly there. At the station I had to buy a card and then recharge it to move around the capital without any problems. To help with recharging the card and providing the necessary information came a very helpful local residents.
DOMINANT POST CARD
The object that will probably be remembered by the visitors will be the SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE. This building definitely is dominating above the city. Moving by public transport around the capital I could see its great shine from every place. This object became my first place I wanted to visit in this city. The construction of the mosque began in 1996 and was initiated by the first president of the UAE, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The mosque has the largest chandelier in the world and multicoloured Persian carpets. It is worth mentioning that in order to enter the object women must wear burqa and visitors must take off their shoes. The entrance to the mosque is free of charge.
When we are in Abu Dhabi, we will definitely find that we are surrounded by pieces of architecture that have been spread out in the urban tissue like bones thrown on a table. Due to the very tense plan, I had the opportunity to look at these buildings only from the perspective of a bus passenger. The first object I noticed was AL BAHR TOWERS, whose facades “live”. The buildings were designed to eliminate as much sunlight as possible. This idea has resulted in intelligent facades that close or open their curtains depending on the time of day and the intensity of the sun’s light. Another building I was able to catch with my eyes was the CAPITAL GATE, the most sloping building in the world. In addition I also noticed ALDAR HEADQUARTERS in the far distance of the city, which is the only round skyscraper in the world.
Abu Dhabi’s economic development makes the city more tolerant than neighbouring countries. The result is that the city creates a diverse and multicultural society. In the city next to mosques, we can find Catholic churches or Indian temples. The large amount of pluralistic immigration which began at the beginning of the 20th century, makes the city struggling with traffic problems, lack of parking spaces and overpopulation. Interest of Abu Dhabi leads to 67th place as the most expensive city in the world and the second largest in the country.
Due to the very limited time I had to give up many attractions in the capital of the UAE. It was for example, to see the most expensive hotel in the world EMIRATES PALACE, the track formula 1 FERRARI WORLD, or spend the afternoon on the sandy beaches of the GULF OF PERSIAN.
Despite a wide range of leisure activities I decided to visit the museum: LOUVRE ABU DHABI. The building covered with braided dome was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel. Inside the building there are cubic, white buildings where art exhibitions are located. The building is a unique connection between land and water. The museum contains works of art from all over the world with a special focus on the art between Eastern and Western culture. The facility is one of several museums to be built as part of the project to create a new cultural district off the coast of the UAE capital. In the near future, museums designed by Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Tadao Ando and the well-known Guggenheim, designed again by Frank Gehry will also be built in the area. Beautiful, but in my opinion it was already done.
AT THE END
Abu Dhabi is not a place you can visit in one day. Anyway, I didn’t do it. I met with very helpful people there which is perhaps argued by the fact that in 2018 Numbeo awarded the title to Abu Dhabi as the safest city in the world for the second time in a row. The Emirate capital city will be remembered for me a long time. Travelling through it is my biggest test so-far. I will remember this city as very green, clean and well-kept in which I had the opportunity to move with great comfort.