Thanks to the magic of layovers, we were able to stop in the UAE on our way back from India. We spent a very brief and very intense 16 hours in Abu Dhabi. We arrived, ran off to our hotel, experienced a completely over the top buffet for lunch, and finally made it to the Grand Mosque and the mall. We scurried back to the airport in the morning, boarded our flight and headed back to the US.
After India, Abu Dhabi caused me to go into complete culture shock for me. The excessiveness and lavishness of the city is a really stark contrast to the poverty in India. Huge over the top modern sky scrappers dot the desert. Rich expats parade around in scantily clad designer duds, while the local woman are covered with headscarves and long dresses. The Grand Mosque is beautiful and extravagant, marble and gold overload on a massive scale. The city reminded me a lot of Vegas, only instead of gambling, they have oil.
I probably didn’t get a great impression because I was tired, and mostly because it was just a little too much for me to handle at that moment.