Since I was heading into Abu Dhabi, we decided to spend a long weekend there. The capital of the UAE, is not as flash as Dubai, but there is plenty to do. We stayed near the convention center, which seems to have the best rates (unless there is a major conference going on). The grand mosque is nearby and should be on any traveler's list to visit while here. We went to Marina Mall and Heritage Village just down the road. We also drove the relatively new bypass road from the Corniche to Yas Island which is outside of the city near the airport. Yas Island also houses the Ferrari World racetrack, a massive waterpark, pricey hotels and even an Ikea store. We went on a “Desert Safari” which includes dune bashing, camel rides, henna tattoo and bbq dinner; some also include sand boarding. Dune bashing is basically driving as fast as you can across the sand dunes and going over, across and up/down the dunes in every possible manner. It reminded me a lot of a roller coaster and there are many times all you see is sky out of the front window… it was awesome and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. Many operators offer a desert safari, so it’s not too difficult to find one at a really good price. You could even look at the UAE’s Groupon site and simply call up the company to match the price (which worked for us as groupon’s site here did not accept intl credit cards.) This was a great way to end our trip and I can't recommend going on one of these enough... they can be found for as cheap as 89DHS which is around $25 USD (you can also find similar deals out of Dubai if that's where you are heading).
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