Holiday in Abu Dhabi + Style With a Smile Link Up

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Hope poncho

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some photos from my recent holiday in Abu Dhabi. I have to admit that having never visited the UAE before, I really didn’t know what to expect. Knowing how to dress appropriately was the biggest conundrum for me as I had read conflicting dress code guides on the internet. Luckily, as we were staying with friends I was able to ask for advice beforehand.  Of course that still didn’t prevent me from over-packing! Old habits die hard.

 The design and construction of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is said to “unite the world” by using artisans and materials from many different countries

Having done some research on what to do and see in Abu Dhabi, at the top of my list was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque, which opened in 2007, is one of the world’s largest, with a capacity for 40,000 worshippers. It has 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. The design and construction of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is said to “unite the world” by using artisans and materials from many different countries. The seven imported chandeliers from Germany incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals….that’s a lot of bling!

All visitors are required to observe a strict dress code; women need to cover up from head to toe, including hair. Wearing a long sleeved top, full length trousers or maxi skirt is fine, but you are told at the entrance if you need to borrow an abaya (a full length loose robe) which is free of charge. The abayas at the mosque also have a hood, but they are not very flattering…Isobel said I looked like a dentist, so I used my pashmina to cover my hair.

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

We used the cooler days to do most of the sightseeing, which gave me the opportunity to wear my gorgeous poncho from Hope.

The usually hot and dry weather seemed to be taking a holiday of its own when we arrived – it was actually raining when we touched down. The weather did improve as the week progressed, but for the first few days it was windy and a bit chilly at times. We used the cooler days to do most of the sightseeing, which gave me the opportunity to wear my gorgeous poncho from Hope. The visit to the mosque was the first stop on the Big Bus Tour which allows you to hop on and off, stopping at all the main attractions. The ticket includes a cruise along the corniche on a traditional wooden Arabian Dhow that lasts about 40 minutes. It’s a lovely way to view the Abu Dhabi skyline.

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Hope-poncho-zara-trousers FitFlops

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Dhow cruise Hope-poncho

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Dhow Cruise

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Dhow cruise

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Hope-poncho-zara-trousers FitFlops

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Hope-poncho-zara-trousers FitFlops

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Hope-poncho Azuni-athena-cuff

Holiday in Abu Dhabi Hope-poncho-zara-trousers FitFlops

Outfit details: Hope poncho | Zara trousers | FitFlops | Azuni Athena cuff

Holiday in Abu Dhabi yas-waterworld-wave-machine

Towards the end of the week the weather had improved so we spent the day at Yas Waterworld. I have to admit that I’m not really a fan of hurtling down water slides at breakneck speed but it was a really fun day. In fact I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I was even brave enough to go on a rollercoaster…twice! It wasn’t a particularly scary rollercoaster (according to my husband who’s an afficionado when it comes to lunatic rides) but it was enough for me!

We floated serenely around the lazy river, before going on a white knuckle ride down a water slide on a big inflatable for six people.

Yas Waterworld isn’t cheap (it was about £100 for the three of us) but it was definitely worth it. It wasn’t at all busy so there were no queues and lots of sunloungers free. I got to relax and surf the internet (there’s free wifi) while watching Isobel get soaked by the giant tipping bucket and whizz down the little slides. We floated serenely around the lazy river, before going on a white knuckle ride down a water slide on a big inflatable for six people. I happened to be sitting backwards, which may have been a good thing as I couldn’t see what was coming. Halfway down Isobel decided that she didn’t like it…a bit late to bail out at that stage! Thankfully the arrival wasn’t as violent as the journey and I didn’t get dunked.

Holiday in Abu Dhabi yas-waterworld-water-chutes

Holiday in Abu Dhabi yas-waterworld snakes

Holiday in Abu Dhabi yas-waterworld sun-loungers

Holiday in Abu Dhabi yas-waterworld dryers

As well as fun at Yas Waterworld, we did spend some time at the beach where we were staying. The sea was a bit cold for me to do more than paddle but I thoroughly enjoyed basking in the sun looking out towards the Yas Marina F1 circuit.

Holiday in Abu Dhabi al-muneera-beach-abu-dhabi

Going to the mall is a day out in itself – Yas Mall is huge and spotlessly clean, with plenty of pristine public toilets ( a bonus when you’ve got kids). I made a beeline for Zara (as I always do) and bought a couple of pairs of culottes. I also bought a pretty bird print bag with a chain strap from another shop, which I’m sure will make an appearance on the blog soon.

Holiday to Abu Dhabi Yas Mall

Holiday to Abu Dhabi Yas mall

The last day of our holiday was also the birthday party of our friend’s young daughter. I wore one of the many tops I’d packed but hadn’t worn, with some new culottes from Yumi.

Holiday in Abu Dhabi jane-norman-top-al-muneera

Holiday in Abu Dhabi jane-norman-top

Outfit details: Jane Norman top (similar)  Azuni Athena cuff  | Yumi culottes

During our holiday we took a trip to Dubai, which I’ll be posting about separately later in the week because otherwise there’d be far too many photos! Also, I think a trip to the world’s tallest building deserves a post all to itself 😉

Have you ever been to the UAE? Or are you planning a trip there? I’d love to hear about your travel plans in the comments! Now, let’s get the link up party started 🙂

 


Linking up with: On Trend TuesdaysThe Saturday ShareFab FavoritesMidweek InspirationsSpread the KindnessThe Weekly Style EditFine-WhateverThursday Fashion FilesOn Mondays We Link-UpShoe and TellVisible MondayTrendy WednesdaySpotlight WeeklyI Feel PrettyMix It MondaysThe Pleated PoppyStyle Swap TuesdaysStyle SessionsTop of the World StyleFancy FridayThursday ModaFlashback Fashion FridaysFabulous FridayFun Fashion Friday#iwillwearwhatilikeSpring Fever FashionCelebrating StyleFashion FridayLinkup With LisaOn the Edge of the WeekBrilliant Blog Posts, Weekend Wear

 

*Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links meaning I may earn a small amount if you click on them, which goes towards the running costs of the blog.

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42 Comments

  1. March 21, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    I’ve never been but have a very good friend who has been several times because she loves it so much. It does look incredible! I absolutely LOVE your black and gold top. You look beautiful!
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:44 pm

      Thank you Suzy! Yes it’s an amazing place and I’d love to go back!

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:45 pm

      I’m sure you’d love it Jodie!

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks Sarah! Yes it was a wonderful trip 🙂

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:47 pm

      I’m glad it’s not just me 😉

  2. March 21, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    Wow, that is quite a trip you took and what amazing photos. I’ve never been to the UAE. Thanks for sharing your experience and for hosting.

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

  3. March 21, 2017 / 3:32 pm

    Great photos! I love the vibrant poncho and the Jane Norman top is very pretty. I went to Dubai a few times for work, so didn’t see too much of it (though did manage a visit to the gold soukh!).

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:49 pm

      Thank you Gail! I really want to go back, especially to Dubai because we only had one day there.

  4. March 21, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    I think it would be amazing to visit. Such a different world. But not for me….We are going to Sussex in April! There is nowhere I d rather will stay!

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:51 pm

      Fingers crossed for good weather when you come to the UK!

  5. March 21, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    WoW! that buliding is just wow! Beautiful photos Emma. It must be a really interesting place to visit. Good to see the poncho still going strong. I’m looking forward to wearing mine again. Thank you for hosting Emma xx
    http://www.vanityandmestyle.com

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      It is a fascinating place and I’d love to go back. The poncho came in very handy, sadly the cashmere one has a tiny hole in it so I’m too scared to use it until I figure out how to repair it.

  6. March 22, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    WOW!! beautiful photos … this is on my bucket list of places to visit and your post is inspiring me to see it sooner than later …thank you for sharing your experience with us…

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Thank you Celia! It really is worth a trip there.

  7. March 22, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    I would have loved to have gone on this trip! You did a lot. I just love that black dress with the gold lace on top! So pretty!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:56 pm

      Thank you Rachael! It’s actually a top and culottes but because they are quite thin and flowing it does look like a dress 🙂

  8. March 24, 2017 / 3:00 am

    What an amazing trip! That mosque is gorgeous!! Thanks for linking up for The Weekly Style Edit. I hope to have you back this week. xo ~ Megan The Fashionista Momma

  9. March 24, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    I can’t get over the beauty of the architecture. I must visit.

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:57 pm

      It’s really beautiful – I want to go back!

  10. March 24, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    What an amazing trip! The mosque is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing with us!
    –Roxanne
    http://glassofglam.com

  11. March 24, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Wow so beautiful! It looks like such a great trip and thank goodness for friends to help with what to wear. That’s a good idea to get their recommendations.

    • April 1, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      Yes it was a big help…although I still took loads of stuff that I didn’t wear!

  12. March 25, 2017 / 5:15 am

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style linkup party. You look great with the hiab

  13. Vix
    March 25, 2017 / 9:03 am

    What wonderful photos, you look absolutely ravishing in every outfit and the architectural details on those UAE buildings? Breathtaking! xxx

  14. March 27, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    Great photos — and travel outfits! I found myself smiling and nodding throughout your post, because I used to live and work in Abu Dhabi! The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is so beautiful, even more so up close as you get to see all the colorful details. Thanks for sharing and linking up with Fabulous Friday 🙂

    • April 1, 2017 / 7:03 pm

      Thanks Jen! How interesting that you used to live there! It’s such a beautiful and fascinating place…we found ourselves wondering if we could live there…if only for a few years for the experience. I never say never!

  15. April 6, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    Loving your post on holidaying in Abu Dhabi & your day visit to Dubai. I visited the latter but not the former and would like to now! Really think the Mosque attire suits you, quite beautiful! I will join your link up when I am back to normal next week . Suzi x

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