Driving in to Abu Dhabi was amazing.  One minuet you are in the desert and the next you are in a very lush area.  We drove in along the gulf and the Cornish road.  Below are some photos of the Cornish. 

drivingalongcornish_abu.jpg (18747 bytes)  drivingalongcornish_abu-2.jpg (17470 bytes)

There are gazebosdrivingalongcornish_abu-restareas.jpg (15668 bytes) drivingalongcornish_abu-restareas-gazbo.jpg (23191 bytes)all along the area and they are beautiful and so very clean.  
The first thing we came to in Abu Dhabi were some beautiful houses on the outskirts of town.  

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This is a beautiful roundabout_abu.jpg (35258 bytes) round-a-bout.  

We then drove through some of the downtown area.  The building are beautiful.  I took a lot of photos for my friend Herschel (Harriet's twin brother) ~ who is an architect.  

This is an aerialabu-aerialview.jpg (44775 bytes)view of the city.

View fromAbuDhabi_downtownfromwater.jpg (8894 bytes)the water.  

Downtownabu-downtown.jpg (40035 bytes)Abu Dhabi

Here is another largeabu-downtown_incenseburner.jpg (5155 bytes)incense burner downtown.

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 This is a really pretty building.buildings-abu-3.jpg (21828 bytes)It is gold and silver.
I took this while standing in the souq.
This is a close up of the building.
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This was also taken  buildings-blue_abu.jpg (25879 bytes) in the souq.  What a contrast ~  the old and the new!
These are of the souq.
souq_abu.jpg (29394 bytes)  souq_abu2.jpg (25333 bytes)
It was hot and I was thirsty.souq_coccunut.jpg (36287 bytes) souq_mancuttingcoccunut.jpg (35715 bytes)These are called coconuts ~  not like what we think of ~  they always keep some cold and here the man is cutting one open for me and he gives you a straw and it is wonderful.  Does not taste like coconut exactly ~  It is better.  They are from Thailand, India, Sri Lanka.  I can get them here in Bahrain and they are wonderful cold.

The Goldgoldsouq_abu.jpg (34811 bytes)Souq

After all of this it had been a long day and we went to check in to the Hotel.  We stayed at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi.  It was gorgeous.  Below are some pictures out of our balcony.  

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The beach was beautifulhotel_abu-beacharea.jpg (33592 bytes)white sand.

The blue raft is hotel_abu-swimarea.jpg (26239 bytes) hotel_abu-swimarea2.jpg (30869 bytes)how far you are allowed to swim out to.
There were tennis
hotel_abu-tenniscourt.jpg (27443 bytes)courts, whirlpools and saunas.  I just can't imagine using a sauna ~ I was hot enough.
In our room on the ceiling was the sign that points to Mecca ~  so you know which way to pray when inside the room.
hotel_abu-signonceilingtomecca.jpg (22576 bytes)Close up photo hotel_abu-signonceilingtomecca-closeup.jpg (14025 bytes)
Here are some links to the hotel.  and to Abu Dhabi

Mike had meetings the next day so I took a taxi and off I went to shop.  I went to the Marina Mall ~ it was beautiful but had just opened and did not have a lot of stores yet.  I then took a taxi to the Abu Dhabi Mall ~  It had plenty of stores..haha  and was beautiful, and so clean.mallinAbuDhabi.jpg (32069 bytes)

When Mike returned from his meetings it was time to leave :(
We still had to drive back to Dubai to catch the plane.
About half way to Dubaiabu-dubi_fenceonright.jpg (25354 bytes)we saw this large entrance to someone's property ~  obviously someone with a ton of money ~  Maybe one of the sheikh's houses.  The fence on the right went on for miles.
A sign we are getting close to Dubai
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Coming in to Dubaidrivingindubi_fromabu_shpictures.jpg (20758 bytes)there is photos of the rulers.  I did not get a photo of the one I really like.  He is waving and looks so welcoming.  
We got to Dubai a little early so we went to check out the Dubai mall and have some pictures developed.
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Here is a picture of 2 guys coming out of the mall.  The UAE is the only place they have tassels on their head gear ~ outsidemallindubi_tasselsonarabgourta.jpg (18997 bytes) see look close and you can see the one on the right.
We then had to hurry to the airport dubai_airport.jpg (23296 bytes)  to catch our plane back to Bahrain.
We had a great time and I can't wait to go back and visit.
Below is some information about Abu Dhabi and some maps.


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Abu Dhabi is the largest of all seven emirates comprising the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with an area of 87,340 square kilometers, equivalent to 86.7 per cent of the country’s total area, excluding the islands. The city of Abu Dhabi is the capital of the emirate and also the federal capital of the UAE. HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, resides in Abu Dhabi city. The Parliament buildings, most of the federal ministries and institutions are located here, as are the foreign embassies, state broadcasting facilities, and most of the oil companies. Major infrastructural facilities include Port Zayed, Abu Dhabi International Airport, extensive cultural, sport and leisure centers, together with the wonderfully engineered Abu Dhabi Cor·niche which offers many kilometers of risk-free walking, cycling, jogging and roller-blading along the seashore of Abu Dhabi island. Architecturally speaking the city is also a fascinating place where older buildings sit comfortably in the shade of futuristic modern skyscrapers.

A passion for the past has attracted teams of eager archeologists to Abu Dhabi during the last half century. They have begun, through some remarkable discoveries, to trace the course of human settlement in this ancient corner of the world
Flint implements have been found in the desert which could be hundreds of thousands of years old. They make evidence of permanent settlement uncovered at digs on Umm Al Nar, an island near Abu Dhabi, and at Jebel Hafit near Al Ain, dating back only 4,000 or 5,000 years, seem recent.
New finds are made almost daily, so for ancient history buffs, this is the place to be. Head first for Al Ain's fascinating museum and nearby digs.


Abu Dhabi

Arab friendship and hospitality is legendary. Greetings are often protracted affairs as an Arab may enquire after your health, your family's health, your news. The polite reply is that all is well, thanks be to god. Having shown respect by not upsetting the inquirer, it is then permissible to reveal any actual problems. The verbal exchange may also be accompanied by a kiss on the cheek, or in the case of elderly men and sheikhs, a kiss on the nose. Hands are also shaken. The Bedouin custom of offering food and shelter to strangers in the desert is preserved by today's urban Arabs. Its most visible form is the coffee ceremony. From souks to corporate boardrooms, business starts with a tiny cup of cardamon-flavoured coffee poured from the traditional metal pot or dallah. To stem the flow, guests must wiggle the cup from side to side which indicates they have had enough.

Religion as a Way of life
The people of Abu Dhabi and throughout the UAE, led by their President Sheikh Zayed, are deeply committed to Islam. It establishes the principles and values by which they live day-to-day, such as preserving family life, sharing, and showing equal respect for one another. Abu Dhabi is a city of mosques, well over 400 of them and more being built each year. They range from elaborate architectural masterpieces serving thousands of worshippers to modest small rooms conveniently located. The muezzin's call to prayer forms a rhythmic pattern to life in the city. Muslims have a duty to pray five times a day, not necessarily in a mosque, but facing towards Mecca and reciting the prescribed prayers. The most important prayer is said in the mosque on the holy day, Friday.

Dressed by Tradition
Arab nationals usually wear their traditional dress. For men it is the white robe or dishdasha, with a white or red checked headcloth or gutra tied in place by the twisted black agal. A flowing gold-trimmed cloak or abba, is often added by men of high rank or wealth. The woman's abba or abbaya is normally black and covers her from head to foot, however underneath her garments are often prettily embroidered. They consist of a rectangular half cloak layered over a voluminous dress, over a baggy trouser narrowed from knee to ankle. Many women also wear a canvas mask called a burqa which leaves only the eyes uncovered.

Music and Dance
Traditional dances and folk songs are a part of most festivities, particularly weddings. The Ayyalah, performed by up to 50 men, which has its origins in a tribal war chant and victory dance, is usually part of the extended dancing and singing which may begin a week or more in advance of an Arab wedding celebration. During Eids (the end of Ramadan) and other national festivals, where feasting and dancing take place, young girls may perform the `hair dance', swaying and tossing their long hair to the rhythm of the music.
Another interesting part of the wedding ritual is the practice of decorating the bride's hands and feet with henna on the eve of the marriage ceremony.

Time-Honored Crafts
Bedouin women were traditionally expert weavers. Floor mats, food mats, and bowls were woven from date palm fibers. Examples can still be found in Abu Dhabi's souks. They also wove cotton and silver threads into trimmings for their garments, and fashioned coloured yarns into camel blankets and various decorative items for their tents. Some traditionally Arab-crafted metal objects such as the handsome patterned coffee pots, daggers and swords, are being reproduced for the souvenir trade.

Abu Dhabi City Mapabu_dhabi-citymap.jpg (337787 bytes)

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Great Map of the Middle Eastmiddle_east_map.gif (53220 bytes)It shows Bahrain in relation to Saudi and the UAE

UAEunited_arab_emirates_sm-map.jpg (137498 bytes)Map

Flags courtesy of ITA's Flags of All Countries used with permission.


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