This summer everyone had Abu Dhabi on their minds and lips with the premier of Sex and the City 2. What most people don't know is that the Abu Dhabi Michael Patrick King had you believe existed, really does not. This entry is a postcard from the real Abu Dhabi. I'm in no way intending to discredit the wealthier and more refined emirate of the UAE. However, Abu Dhabi boasts neither the glimmering skyline or bustling souqs of the movie. In fact, arriving there for my day long excursion had me blown away by how little there was to see. I do believe that the potential is quite apparent though. Its attempts to become the cultural hub of the region are certainly within its reach.
Abu Dhabi is lined with rich green grass, an astonishing feat given the heat, and obvious nod to their fortune. I was absolutely astounded visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It houses the largest Swarovski chandeliers in the world. It imposes an incredibly strict dress code as you will see from my photos. But at least it afforded me the opportunity to wear the abaya I purchased in Dubai. From there I visited the Emirates Palace which is Abu Dhabi's response to Dubai's Burj Al Arab. In true Abu Dhabi fashion, it possesses a more classical sense of opulence and grandeur. Inside was a museum devoted to the development of its creative arts projects, including the new Louvre design.