Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Today I was up fairly early and was ready for my four-hour driving tour around Abu Dhabi. I still wasn’t 100% sure that the person from the hotel’s travel desk got my order correct, but was happy when she called to let me know my driver was waiting for me.
I noticed the car was an upgrade but she assured me that the quote she provided would be the same. I also made sure, while she was still standing there, the driver understood the agreement regarding what was expected. When we were all in agreement we left the hotel.
One item that was still open was our itinerary for the next four hours. I don’t think he was comfortable with coming up with a tour plan and wasn’t able to give tell me exactly where we were going. In any case his English was okay and we got along fine.
Our first stop was a nearby five-star hotel called the Mangrove. He pulled up to the entrance and stopped. I looked at him and asked what we’re doing here. He asked if I’d like to see the lobby of the hotel. I asked why and he couldn’t tell me. I said we should go to the next stop.
From there we went to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a popular place to visit. I said I wouldn’t be interested in going in but I’d like to get out, and take a few pictures of the exterior of the building and also the nearby bay to get a picture of the city. It seemed after this stop he better understood what I wanted to see.
We made a number of stops for the next couple of hours. The most interesting for me was the city’s open market. It was like an outdoor shopping mall but geared for local residents to do shopping at local stores who provided the best and freshest food products. Also businesses who sold appliances and other household items. The large produce market had most every fruit or vegetable in great quantities.
The remaining sites were of the new hotel, similar to Dubai’s Atlantis resort, the biggest shopping mall in the city, the president’s palace, the royal palace (for official business) and we drove through the downtown area of Abu Dhabi. We finished up by driving into the Grand Mosque complex, just so I could get a feel of the site. (I’ll visit tomorrow.)
After the tour was done I went to the lounge for a late lunch and then took a long nap. Riding around, thankfully on smooth roads, wore me out. The heat was a contributing factor. When I woke it was almost time for my evening meal.
After I published my travel blog for yesterday I started to watch Star Trek and was in bed by 11:00. Think I took too long of a nap because I wasn’t really that tired, but eventually fell asleep. My only activity for tomorrow will be to visit the Grand Mosque.