Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.   November 9, 2022

Best bed in the world!

A excellent buffet breakfast is included with our room- hummus, labneh, feta, Emmental, omelettes, cucumber water, pastries, pita, dahl…. Then we had a leisurely start and headed for Qsar Al Watan which is the presidential palace of the United Arab Emirates.  No one lives here but it is for hosting foreign leaders of states and for meetings of the country’s supreme Council and federal cabinet.  The palace was just opened to the public in March 2019 and only completed in 2017. It is beautiful and I got the senior rate to get in.  I can’t believe I qualify for a senior rate!

The floors are beautiful-

As are the mosaics on the walls-

The doors are enormous-

The Great Hall-

There’s a library-

The gift room displays gifts other politicians have given U.A.E.-

The banquet room holds 300 people-

Al Barra, a gathering place-

The Spirit of Collaboration room is the official meeting place for the U.A.E cabinet and the Federal Supreme Council, the highest constitutional authority in the U.A.E.  It includes 57 member states-

The chandelier has three levels, 350,000 crystals, weighs 12 tonnes, is 11 m tall and 8 m wide.  There are 11 steps inside so maintenance can be done and it hangs from a single point.  The dome is lined with 23 carat gold leaf.  Gold leaf is gold that is pounded until it’s less than 1 mm thick.  It’s then placed in a book between layers of tissue paper until used. It is used to guild objects and applied using a brush.

The outside fountains-

And garden-

I’d be livid if my tax dollars had paid for this beautiful and completely over the top place.  There’s a rather “funny” quote inside - “Wealth is not money and oil.  Wealth lies in people and it is worthless if not dedicated to serve the people,” said Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan.  Ok…..  That quote inspired artist 
Mattar bin Lahej to sculpt The Power of Words-

After, we walked to the Emirates Palace Hotel where it costs $1000/night-

Not only are the rooms expensive but a small, as in two bite size cake costs $10-

and a fancy cupcake costs $27.50-

Returning home, more great buildings-

At least they know where their money comes from and they’re proud of it too.  Along the drive home-

We women - Karen, Leanne, Cynthia from Australia, Carole and I went for sushi-

I like sushi well enough but it doesn’t hold me.  I’m hungry within an hour or two.  After, I found a laundry with a dryer so I got my black puffer coat wet and took it to be dried.  I had washed it and hung it to dry but the feathers all balled up so it needed to be fluffed up in a dryer. I will pick it up in the morning.

Later I went for a walk and saw some colour changing fountains-

and passed a mosque-

I kept walking trying to orient myself to the area.  Tomorrow I’m going to the beach and will find the pool.  It’s going to be a great day!

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