When searching for flights at Skyscanner and Momondo to Mahe, Air Seychelles was the first airline that shows up but turns out the first leg is with Etihad Airways with a nine- hours layover in Abu Dhabi. The price was competitive, especially booking multiple destinations.
I booked the ticket nine months before our trip. In the meantime, I receive some emails from Air Seychelles that there is some change to our flight. It starts at five minutes, ten minutes and then I receive an email that we have 31 hours in Abu Dhabi. Is like a slap in my face reading the mail.
I have to cancel our hotel booking for the first night in Mahe. I emailed Air Seychelles if we got a hotel for that long layover, but never get any answers from them. So we took the initiative by booking a hotel in Abu Dhabi at the CORNICHE HOTEL. I’ve been to DUBAI, and this time, I wanted to see Abu Dhabi but wasn’t intend to spend the night. I been there many times but only at the airport for connecting flights.
Comparing Dubai And Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is challenging to get around for the first time visitor. No metro. Also, the bus route is not easy to understand, as it only shows in Arabic while keep on searching online found an excellent app for Abu Dhabi’s bus routes called DARB that you can download to your mobile phone. The bus fare in Abu Dhabi is cheap; it works with a rechargeable card. Taxi price during the day: Flagfall starts from 5 and every one kilometer ticking 1.82 dirhams. During the night, the taxi price increase of 0.50 cents, which begin from 10 pm to 6 am. A minimum trip fare cost 12 dirhams.
What can I say was it worth? Certainly a merit visit. The significant changes on our flight were after all a satisfaction. However, my trip to Dubai lasts a little longer as there are more things to do. For Abu Dhabi, it is sufficient to see the city in one day, unless you want to make a Desert Safari trip, for that you have to extend more time.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The first reason I wanted to visit Abu Dhabi is to see the Grand Mosque. The biggest mosque in the world and free entry for everyone. There is a dress code when entering the mosque, especially for the women. If you respect the culture, don’t walk around in short or mini dress. Before you can go inside the mosque, they’ll send you first to the cloakroom, and give you an abaya to cover from your head to toe. Is free to use. The mosque is open daily except on Friday morning because of the prayer.
Tips for getting there: Coming from the center, take bus number 94 — the bus stop in front of the mosque entrance. You must have the rechargeable card with you because there’s no ticket sell on board. There are vending machines in the city where you can purchase and recharge the prepaid card.
The heritage village
The location is walking distance from the Marina Mall and free admission. Ever wonder how people in the Emirates living in early centuries? Well, this an exciting place for snooping around! It is like an open-air museum where the exhibition of traditional houses and object shown.
Gold And Silver Shopping
Shopping for a local souvenir or jewelry? Go to Madinat Zayed Shopping Center. The gold souk in Abu Dhabi is not too big as in Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, you can peacefully wander around without the urge from intrusive sellers. The same as in Dubai, if you purchase jewelry, you must ask for a discount. Prices of gold are per weight — the United Arab of Emirates is my favorite country when it comes to buying gold. You’re free to go in and out of the shop with no purchase obligation.
Window shopping at Marina Mall
The United Arab of Emirates known for shopping paradise. Who says you can’t shop in Abu Dhabi? You can shop till you drop in Abu Dhabi. However, if shopping is not your thing like I do. A visit to the Marina Mall is free with no obligation. A pleasant place for a stroll for window shopping and sightseeing, the mall has a beautiful interior with artificial palm trees, a fountain, and you can also go up to the observation deck.
A leisure walk at the corniche
The Corniche is close to Heritage Village, easy to combine. The best time to visit the Corniche is in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat. You also find the city beach, but I don’t think you come to Abu Dhabi for the beach. Well, I’m not. A leisure walk is lovely! You have views of the city’s skyscrapers, and if you go late in the afternoon, you have a beautiful sunset.
Take a ride on the Ferris wheel
Abu Dhabi doesn’t have the Burj Khalifa, but if you have no fear of heights and wants to see the city views. A ride on the Marina Eye Ferris wheel is a must. Is a bit pricey, you pay 55 dirhams for four rotations but worth it. If you have ridden the eye in Europe, the Ferris wheel in Abu Dhabi has the most spectacular views.
Tips from Abu Dhabi Airport: The cheapest way to City Center- Airport bus number 2 or 1 brings you to the city center. Check which part in the center you’ll be. We took bus number 2 to Khalifa Street near Corniche.
Outside the arrival, look for the counter where you can buy the rechargeable card. We pay for 15 dirhams each, and we could use the remaining amount the next day for other buses.
A taxi would cost 100 and hotel pick-up 165 dirhams.