Donald in AUH

My jet-setting friend Donald visited Abu Dhabi after his most recent European tour (for the nth time!) last month. He had a layover of 4 days in Dubai via Emirates Airlines and decided to have a day trip to Abu Dhabi. I prepared our simple itinerary: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Masdar City and Ferrari World, Yas Island. Somewhere along the way, the trip to Emirates Palace got bumped out. We didn't have much time. Perhaps we'll visit it the next time he's in Abu Dhabi.

Funny thing is, when Donald landed in Dubai, he had no idea that his first cousin Jerome was also in Dubai for a layover en route from Canada to Iraq (he's an engineer and he's being sent to Iraq by the oil company he works for). He only found out through FB. They decided to go together to Abu Dhabi via public bus. My friend Paulo and I picked them up at the bus terminal and headed straight to Masdar City where we had lunch at Sumo Sushi & Bento.

Under the Wind Tower

Before riding the futuristic Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), Donald, Jerome and Paulo created their Masdar Institute's eco-themed signature.

The PRT uses solar-powered cars. Basically everything in Masdar City is solar-powered. The whole concept of Masdar is to build a sustainable city that doesn't depend on oil & gas to fuel their energy needs. Quite ironic that they have this here in Abu Dhabi considering their number one source of income is oil & gas. But quite smart as well because they are very well aware that these oil & gas resources will someday run out.

Next stop, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Closer please.

Photo op with the most opulent chandelier I've ever seen in my entire life. This chandelier is known for being the largest inside a mosque. All 7 chandeliers inside this mosque, all from Germany, are made up of millions of Swarovski crystals. No wonder the whole ceiling of the mosque is full of CCTVs. I kept on throwing the idea that I only need to reach for a handful and I won't need to be an expat anymore. Hehe. #BadIdea

Here are some photos from Donald's phone:

Off to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi!!! Yey!

The highlight of our trip to FW was actually the very first thing we accomplished: ride the fastest roller coaster in the world! Before heading towards Formula Rossa (the name of the ride), we all agreed that we will try it as long as there's no loop. Great! There was no loop. But the ride was... I don't have a word for it. The word INTENSE is an understatement. All four of us agreed that "naiwan ang kaluluwa ko" when the ride started. Paulo and Jerome wanted to try it again but they wanted to be sitting on the very first row. They said they will do it only if Donald and I would join them. No compromise was made, so they weren't able to do it the second time around.

I didn't get any FW souvenir for Donald but I did give him something to add to his precious collection of Starbucks mugs and tumblers: an Abu Dhabi city tumbler.

We ended our day trip with a simple Arabic dinner at my apartment. We made Donald try falafel, kebab, the Lebanese roasted chicken, chicken shawarma and hummus, all while watching NBA tv. :) Fantastic day indeed! Til next, Donald and Jerome!

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