Duden Waterfall, Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Men to the back of the bus...

Our hotel has a free shuttle bus that leaves at 10:00am to the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. This mosque is a major tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi, and it boasts of 64 million visitors since it opened in 2007.

So after our filling all you can eat breakfast buffet, we hopped on the free bus to go check it out.

Only about a 15 minute ride north of our hotel...

Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque.

It's definitely impressive.

But we're not going to show you any more!


Because Friday is the holy day here (which we totally forgot about), and it's during Ramadan. So it wasn't open until 3:00pm. A bit frustrating, but we will try again today!

The visitors center was open, but it turns out that most of the visitors center is actually an underground shopping mall.

This will be funny to our Canadian readers... there is a Tim Hortons coffee shop at the mosque!

Tim Hortons Abu Dhabi.

Tim Hortons with a middle east flair!

There was not a single customer in it. To those who don't know, Tim Hortons is a VERY popular Canadian cultural fixture. And you will never find a Tim Hortons in Canada at any hour of the day that doesn't have customers.

We spoke to an employee and told him that we are Canadian. He insisted on taking our photo!

At Tim Hortons Abu Dhabi.

The visitors center with the mosque in the background.

We figured out that there is another free shuttle bus done by Abu Dhabi tourism that we could take from there to downtown. So we hopped on that, and got off at a big shopping mall. We wanted to be able to take the local city bus back to the hotel later that afternoon, but we had no local cash. And not really any need for very much, so we found an exchange counter in the mall and traded a $10 USD bill for some local dirhams. 

We were right at the Grand Millenium Hotel, so we went inside to see if we could access a view from the top. Sure enough, we could get up to the 31st floor where the swimming pool is located.

The view didn't look in the best direction, but it was still a view!

Swimming pool on the 31st floor.

We decided to walk the 4 kms (2.5 miles) to the waterfront.

Big wide boulevards.

Fancy wedding cakes at this bakery.

Walking path and cycling path.

More fancy skyscrapers.

Big teapot.

That's a cool building!

And that's a cool McLaren!

Made it to the waterfront, and the sand dunes on the opposite side.

People enjoying the beach.

Scenery along the way.

So we found the number 41 bus to get back to the hotel. I knew they have a tap card system, but I had also read that they accept cash. We entered via the front door to talk to the driver. The bus was pretty busy, and it was standing room only... it was early rush hour. I had my money in hand, and asked how much it cost. He says "card only". I explained we didn't have a card, and he obviously knew we were tourists because we stand out like a sore thumb. He just waved us to the back. But a girl quietly said to me "you need to use the second door". So we got off and entered via the middle door. 

A few minutes later, I realized that there were only women in the front of the bus, and only men in the back of the bus. We couldn't see anywhere that this was explained, but it's obviously a thing.

Anyway, we got back to the hotel and all of our transportation for the day had been for free.

This morning, we are headed back to the big mosque!


And in Canada...


  1. How did you cross the 8 lane blvd without getting run over


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