While I do prefer Dubai over the capital, Abu Dhabi features a lot of interesting sights. A weekend trip in March 2019 took me to a few new ones: The Presidential Palace, the Founders Memorial, Qasr Al Hosn and the Etihad Towers observation deck, with a quick stop at Emirates Palace as well.
Ritz Carlton, Grand Canal Abu Dhabi
A strange hotel in a Venice style setup, that could be straight out of Las Vegas.
The entrance gate to the Ritz Carlton with the mosque in the background.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
It was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky. I've been inside in 2016 and more photos are on my blog - defintely worth a visit.
Pink glass facades with minarets in Abu Dhabi city.
Company name = Win!
Qasr Al Hosn
The evolution of the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi city.
The fort is now open for the public with exhibitions on its history.
The former gates to the fort with Sheikh Zayed the first in the background.
Each door to the left features small exhibitions on the history of the country and the ways of life of the Bani Yas.
The fort with the old watch tower in the center in a darker brown shade, originally from 1761.
The tree in the courtyard of the fort.
A local woman and man cross paths in the courtyard of the building.
The entrance doors to Qasr Al Hosn.
The main lobby of Emirates Palace featured an exhibiton on culture of determination, as the Special Olympics World Games are taking place in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
The roof of the main lobby and the surrounding corridors.
In 2017 the UAE passed a law that describes all people with any disability as "people of determination".
One of the art pieces on display.
One of the wings of the building, with ADNOC HQ, Etihad towers and Hyatt Pearl in the background.
Etihad towers features the highest observation deck in Abu Dhabi with a view of Emirates Palace and the Presidential Palace to the left.
It opened to the public earlier in 2019.
The entrance to the Presidential Palace is relatively simple...
...so that the moment you step inside is even more impressive.
One of the 4 courners of the Great Hall.
The palace features rich and rare materials from Italy, India, China and elsewhere.
A photo of the mirror cubes on the 4 sides of the main hall (the meaning of which I could not figure out).
Its sheer grandeur is hard to understand until you visit in person.
The portrait of the late father of the nation in one of the rooms.
Official government meetings take place here.
The Great Hall
100m by 100m in size, it's the centerpiece of the palace.
The palace includes a room displaying gifts brought by officials from other nations visiting the UAE.
These include several official medals, bracelts, necklaces and more.
Jordanian and Greek gifts.
The room where GCC and Arab Nations council meetings take place.
The level of detail and ornamentation is breathtaking.
Upwards view of one of the wings of the building.
The exterior courtyard at night.
One section of the building features a library.
It includes many reference works on the history of the UAE.
Palace in Motion
A daily light show takes place each evening.
The 15min show tells the story of the UAE's beginnings.
The show uses projection technology to create 3D imagery on the palace facade.
The fireworks in the background were probably for the end of the Special Olympics World Games.
The tribute to Sheikh Zayed, including a three-dimensional silhouette of his face.
From the bridge towards Marina Mall, with Etihad Towers on the left.
A close up of the hotel, which opened in 2006.