Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Dubai to Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.   November 8, 2022

And we are off!

Because of apparent border difficulties, our real bus didn’t make it to our hotel this morning so we had a replacement bus just to take us to Abu Dhabi.  We didn’t leave until 8 am, so I went back to last night’s restaurant for butter chicken because they told me that was possible.  I was very much looking forward to it but it isn’t ready until 11 so I had-

I have  no idea what it’s called but it had a slimy texture and excellent flavour.  I also had a thinner flat bread than last night which was also good.  

Leaving Dubai-

Along the way-

My first toilet with a hand spray-

Our first stop was the Jubail Mangrove Eco Resort.  The Arabian Gulf is a 1000 km long basin with a maximum width of 350 km, an average depth of 40 m and a maximum depth of 120 m.  It has a surface area of about 239,000 km².  The park is 4,000 hectares of mangrove forests and coastal estuaries-

Roots from  trees grow horizontally and/or vertically –

There’s a nice boardwalk throughout-

Normal salinity is 35 parts per thousand but in the Arabian golf salinity is 43 parts per thousand and can get up to 70.  There are 88 bird species, various fish and crabs.

Grasses outside the park-

Back at the welcome centre there’s a female prayer room-

We carried on to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.  The entrance to the underground shopping mall, food court and registration is under the egg-

I was directed to a different line to avoid waiting because I was a “senior”! The man running the registration saw I was from Canada and asked if I was from Saskatchewan. All he would say was that he knew because it was “magic”.  He wears an eqal on his head as part of his traditional dress – 

Rules for visiting-

The mosque can hold over 41,000 people and measures 1380’ x 950’.  There are 82 domes of seven different sizes and the outer domes are 279 feet tall and 106 feet wide.  The minarets are 351 feet tall.  It’s quite the place-

I had to cover up and it was smoking hot as in 35° –

The large dome in the centre of the picture is 84 m x 32 m-

The outdoor prayer hall can hold 31,000 people-

The floor is beautiful marble-

As are the pillars-

and walls-

The flowers are native to the area.
There are also many marble hallways.  The marble comes from 37 different countries-

Some walls are decorated with tile-

Throughout the mosque are 11 clocks, shaped like a six petal flower, that show the five prayer times as well as the date.  They were made in the UK, are stainless steel and inlaid with pearls –

The minbar is the Iman’s pulpit and it’s found on the Qibla Wall.  It has 11 stairs leading up to where he stands and it’s covered with a dome-

The Qibla Wall also contains the Niche, an essential part of a mosque.  The Niche is symmetrically located in the middle of the wall.  It is where the Iman stands to lead the worshipers.  The yellow golden leaf mosaic of the Niche seems to flow downwards from the beehive feature on the top representing the flow of honey-

The Qibla wall faces Mecca.  It’s decorated with many five sided flower shapes, each one containing one of the 99 names to describe Allah.  They include the Merciful, the Gracious, and the Patient.At the centre is a large circle and the word Allah is written in the middle –

It’s gorgeous-

The main prayer hall houses the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. 1200 artisans worked on it for two years.  It is 54 m² and weighs 35 tons.  It is 70% wool and 30% wool and cotton-

The chandeliers are gigantic-

After exiting the mosque, I walked beside it –

The gardens and fountains are also important to a mosque –

It’s hot-

After the mosque visit, we had time to get lunch and I found a Tim Hortons.  It is very expensive.  There are 2.7 Durham/dollar-

but it’s fancy-

Carole, Karen, me and Leanne-

We are staying at the Sheraton for three nights which is like a hotel at home. I am rooming with Carole from Ottawa –

Today is Leanne’s birthday so most of us went to a Turkish restaurant-

First we were served appetizers-

I had tabbouleh-

and falafel-

We were given tea at the end.  It was delicious and the portions were huge-

Tomorrow I’ll explore Abu Dhabi!  I’m slowly learning the names of the 19 people in our group!

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