Being the capital of UAE, Abu Dhabi doesn’t get enough tourists as much its neighbor Dubai. It’s not exactly the easiest city to explore as public transportation has very little information online. But none of those stopped me from getting there and trying different ways to get around its attractions.
How I got there from Dubai
From Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Dubai, I rode the E100 bus for AED 25.00 that took me straight to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station. The whole ride was a little less than 2 hours. There are separate lines for men and women/couples so make sure to go to the right one.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Going to the mosque, I took a metered taxi that are easily available outside the station. I made sure that the taxi is from Abu Dhabi because Dubai taxis apparently charge differently and could cost more.
The Grand Mosque is free to enter and guided tours are available throughout the day. When I got there, the 11 AM tour was already over so I just went around on my own.
The best part of the mosque was the main interior with giant chandeliers. It exudes regal-ness. It feels like you’re richer just by stepping inside the mosque. Every corner was detailed with something expensive, you’ll never run out of something to look at. So mesmerizing!
I took a taxi directly from the mosque to Ferrari World for AED 56.00. It was around noon at that time and the crowd was small compared to other theme parks I’ve been to. Especially that I went on a weekend, my expectations were not met (thankfully). After getting my ticket, I sat on a bench and fixed the food and water bottle in my bag so the inspector wouldn’t see them. They were very strict with bringing in food and water. So I hid mine all the way to the bottom of my backpack below my camera bag, extra shirt, and cable pouch.
What I noticed while entering, and roaming around the park was that it didn’t feel quite festive. It’s an indoor park and it’s very grim inside. I get that they’re trying to have as much natural sunlight in, but it’s not enough. Also, I was surprised to see the lack of guests on a Saturday. I don’t know if I just went on an off-season, but I hope it was not a usual case for them. If it was, then I’m glad I got to go there before they (hopefully not) eventually close down.
My first ride was Formula Rossa which, as of this writing, is the fastest roller coaster on world. I love roller coaster, as I’ve said in my other posts, so I have a pre-ride opinion about it. When Formula Rossa was opened in 2010, I thought it was built just to say it’s the fastest. I thought back then that it was boring and overrated. Although, I was still excited to try it. I must say that I was disappointed I was wrong. It didn’t have crazy elements but the launch that speed up to 149 mph was enough to cure a hangover, and cause another one. It was an amazing ride, not enough to be in my top 5 (probably Top 9 at best), but I really enjoyed it.
A ride that I really liked was Flying Aces. It’s supposedly a wing coaster, but it doesn’t look like one. It has world records like highest non-inverting loop and fastest cable-lift, which to me were nonsense and gimmicks. But the actual ride was really fun. The first drop was steep and there were multiple inversions (I lost count) and airtime hills. It’s more memorable than Formula Rossa to be honest. And also, it has an outside viewing area, perfect for seeing the whole ride in all its beauty.
End of my day in Abu Dhabi
I didn’t last til closing in the park because I had to figure out how to go back to the city. I got to talk to a Filipina saleslady at Tryano in Yas Mall and she told me to either take a bus or carpool. Both could be found outside the department store, near the parking lot. She even gave me her transportation card because I told her I didn’t have one for Abu Dhabi. I didn’t get to use it because I eventually took a carpool. But I was so touched that she not only helped me but gave me her card. I paid AED 15.00 for the carpool straight to the bus station, which are only for 10 normally.
There are lots of other interesting places in Abu Dhabi that I wish to visit in the future. The Louvre, Qasr Al-Hosn, and other resorts at Yas Island. With only a day, the places I went to were enough to introduce the past and present culture of the city. I got to see traditional practices and technological feats in just a day. I would love to go back and see more of the in between.