we spent our last day in the uae in the emirate of abu dhabi. i feel like abu dhabi is the younger but actually cooler sibling of the glitzy celebrity of dubai. we totally loved abu dhabi, especially the sheikh zayed grand mosque, which completely blew us away.
we took a bus from dubai to abu dhabi, and then headed straight to emirates palace, which sounds like a really cool governmental building but is actually just a super fancy hotel. we only had a few minutes before we had to get back in a taxi to go to church, but we quickly checked out the opulence – quite amazing. and then, we were so excited to get to church (the first lds building in arabia!) aaaaand no one was there. we failed to realize that church meetings are held on friday in the uae! i should have known to double check on this because i spent four months going to church on saturdays in jerusalem. we were sad we couldn’t worship there that day!
i am fairly certain that the sheikh zayed grand mosque was my favourite single spot we visited on our around the world trip. i’m trying to think of some superlatives to describe it, but i’ll just let the loads of pictures i took (and can narrow down no further) illustrate. that crisp white! that stunning symmetry! that colorful marble inlay! that sumptuous interior! and it was all so serene and soothing to the eyes and soul. i could have stayed for hours admiring, but it was a little toasty in my abaya and headscarf in the 111 degree humid heat. even ian, who grew up in super muggy summers in texas, admitted this day was the hottest he has ever been. we left before we succumbed to the urge to take a dip in the pristine pools around the pillars and domes.
but seriously!! can you believe this place?!