We saw her in the distance and couldn’t believe our eyes as we stared in awe. She was built in the 1900s on many many acres of land. The whole thing is white and the pure gold accents emphasized just how regal she was. The Grand Mosque was just that: GRAND! I felt my blood boil a bit when the driver said that we may not be able to go in because we didn’t make a reservation. I thought: “Isn’t that your job since we booked the tour with your company? This mosque is the reason we are in Abu Dhabi so it would defeat the whole purpose if we were here and couldn’t go inside.” Thankfully we were able to go in from a different entrance but the driver said we only had 40 minutes. Surprisingly there was no entrance fee, but although we wore maxi dresses and covered our heads with scarves, we were told by security that we are not dressed properly because he can see our arms and thus we needed to pick up proper attire in the basement. Sigh! We provided ID and in exchange black gowns were given to us to wear over our already long dresses. To say we were on the verge of suffocation isn’t too far fetched. It’s at least 100 degrees everyday so multiple layers of clothes were just not the ideal wardrobe. If you plan on visiting, I suggest you wear the lightest clothes possible since you will need to cover up with a second layer upon arrival.
This miniature replica of the mosque was the only way we were able to see the whole thing. It is massive but beautiful from every angle.
Overall, as magical as the mosque was, I must say that day 4 was a bit of a downer. I do not like being rushed so 40 minutes in the mosque simply wasn’t enough. The heat was draining, the pictures didn’t come out as nicely as I anticipated and the day started with me burning my dress as I ironed it that morning. Thank goodness I brought a gown for a shoot which served as plan B.
To make matters worse, a man approached me on the way back from Juice World, and said hello. I responded and kept walking only to be stopped again and he asked me with a heavy accent if I was “working”. Dumbfounded, I repeated his question to confirm that I heard him correctly and he proceeded to offer me 100 Dirhams (~$27 US) for my services. Crazy things have happened to me in NY but never have I been mistaken for a prostitute. It’s crazy how one bad thing in the morning can lead to a domino effect of aggravating situations that mess up your day but it’s alright to have bad days and redirect your thoughts to the silver lining in every situation. This girl from Haiti was in Dubai & Abu Dhabi of all places on earth and was blessed enough to be able to experience it all with family and friends. Nothing can take away from the fact that this trip was simply a dream come true and I cannot wait to visit Abu Dhabi a second time.
Thank you for reading.