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Abu Dhabi

Top architectural sightseeing and landmarks of Abu Dhabi - ideas on city exploration routes

gate-purple Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Ferrari World, Emirates Palace Hotel, and Yas Marina Circuit are the architectural landmarks for not only tourists, but also for residents of Abu Dhabi. The majority of these monuments were created several centuries ago. They witnessed many important events, so besides the architectural value for United Arab Emirates, these landmarks are of a great historic importance. In this review, you will be able to get acquainted with the main architectural sites of Abu Dhabi. Also, we will look at them from an unusual point of view – only interesting facts and photos, which come together with a 3D visualization of every monument. Use our unique technology to fly over all architectural places of interest of Abu Dhabi – the video is at your fingertips.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

» The mosque accepts all visitors on condition that they don’t touch anything with their hands. It can hold up to 9,000 Muslims.
» The huge chandelier is listed in Guinness World Records. It’s made of Swarovski crystals and weighs 13 tons! The diameter of the chandelier is 10 metres, and the height is 15 metres.
» A handmade carpet that is 15,000 square metres and weighs 45 tons catches the eye. It’s placed in the main prayer hall.
» About 40,000 believers gather to listen to the holy book.
» The mosque is surrounded by towers (minarets) where a muezzin calls people to prayer from. They have pointed ends that are 115 metres high.
» The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is meant to embody the prosperity of the United Arab Emirates.
» All wall panels are decorated with gold and ornaments from semi-precious stones. All the precious items prove that Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is a great person who managed to unite land allotments owned by destitute Bedouins into one state.
» The construction cost 500 million USD.
» Many countries helped to erect the majestic construction. China and Italy provided marble, Iran – carpets, Austria and Germany – lighting, India and Greece – glass, America – engineers.

Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

» Several large Italian car producers came together to create their own corporation. To show their achievements, they arranged an exhibition and entertainment zone. The Ferrari World amusement park was opened in 2010.
» The huge pavilion is covered with a dangling roof of over 200,000 square metres. The red roof can be seen from afar. It resembles a flower in the form of a sports car of GT type. A graphic Ferrari logo – the largest of all the images present – can be seen on the roof.
» A message for descendants is laid in the foundation. A part of the engine of a champion car was put into the capsule. It’s going to be unsealed in 2047.
» Ferrari World has a great choice of various amusements. There’s a hall where you can watch a documentary on car racing. A special simulator lets you fly over Italy.
» The simulator can transfer you straight to a seabed. You can take a ride of 200 km/h on a roller coaster. There are rooms where a car-making process is demonstrated. Simulators show how pilots are trained. You can also take an amusement car ride.

Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi

» The Emirates Palace, a five star hotel on the beach, was opened in Abu Dhabi in 2005.
» It’s made to look like a castle. It’s covered with a colourful ceramic dome surrounded by 114 smaller domes. Each one has a gold spire.
» The palette of exterior walls is similar to the shades of sand found in the Arabian Desert.
» The hotel is surrounded by a green area of 100 hectares.
» The interior of the Emirates Palace is rich in silver, gold, and glass mosaics. It’s a mix of traditional hospitality and modernity. All decorative elements demonstrate Arabian cordiality.
» There are 14 cafes, lots of bars and restaurants.
» The Emirates Palace has marble bathrooms, provides all necessary technical services (free wi-fi, TV, video). It offers a 24-hour service. A set of snacks and traditional Emirati dishes are offered in lounge areas with a view of the sea. They can be tasted during a buffet or ordered individually.
» The hotel has two swimming pools, a health centre with a spa and massage, and a fitness centre. Children can take water rides.

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

» The Yas Marina Circuit is a professional race track. It hosts not only international auto racing contests but also other events.
» It’s situated on Yas Island.
» $1.3 billion was spent on building the autodrome having an area of 162 hectares and a track that is 5.5 km long.
» A starting line is 15 km long. The width varies from 12 to 16 km. The longest straight segment is 1,173 metres.
» The calculated speed of an open-wheel car before a turn should be 317 km/h. The record for doing a circle is 1:38.434 minutes.
» Driving along the “road” is performed in the opposite direction – counterclockwise. There are 21 turns along the entire track. One of the sections goes through a hotel. One of the parts of the highway is blue in colour – Yas Marina Blue Metallic.
» Four stands can accommodate up to 50,000 visitors. There are roofed and air conditioned seats.
» Races begin early in the morning and end at night.
» Yas Marina has two rings. Competitions can be held simultaneously on them.
» At weekends, it’s allowed to ride a bike, jog, or have a walk on the path. Karting is available on the additional track.

Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi

» The Marina Mall shopping mall houses the CineStar Cinema multiplex cinema with 9 screens, a bowling alley, an ice rink, cafes and restaurants, a playground, musical fountains, and up to 400 brand shops.
» A lift delivers visitors to the observation platform with a view of the Persian Gulf.
» The mall was opened in 2001.
» The area of the mall is over 200,000 square metres.
» The construction is built next to an artificial dam made to protect the area from waves. Thus, the exterior of the complex is marine-themed. It has three upper floors with a basement extension and two lower levels. The parking lot can accommodate up to 4,000 cars. There’s a special area where you can admire a starry sky in the afternoon.
» The complex is also convenient for people with disabilities. There are special stairs and passages. A prayer hall is available for believers.
» The construction is made of steel and glass and located on Yas Island. There’s a terminal near the main entrance where you can get all the necessary information.
» Famous bands often perform on the territory of the complex.
» About 1.2 million people visit the mall every month.

Aldar HQ, Abu Dhabi

Location on the map:
Facts: » The unusual skyscraper was constructed in 2010. The building resembles a blue balloon and seems to soar above the beach.
» The Aldar Headquarters is similar to two flat surfaces encircled with a ring along the rim. A circular building rises on a platform. It’s fixed with a shining steel grid.
» The glass construction symbolizes economic stability in the country.
» The 23-storey Aldar Headquarters is 110 metres tall. The total area is 62,000 square metres. Inside, there are shops, offices, and cafes. A hotel with luxurious rooms waits for visitors.
» There are twelve passenger and two service lifts inside.
» The architects won lots of awards for such an original design. It took seven months to build the spherical skyscraper.
» It’s constructed completely from recycled materials. Despite the convexity from both sides, no curved glass was used. All windows are made in the form of transparent triangles.
» A curved facade is supported by internal steel structures, which allowed dispensing with concrete supports. That’s why all rooms are bright and spacious.

Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi

Location on the map:
Facts: » Capital Gate is a skyscraper in the form of a leaning tower. It is situated near the National Exhibitions Company and a stadium.
» Its construction lasted for 4 years. A multifunctional building was erected in 2007.
» Capital Gate stretches for 160 metres. Having an eighteen-degree inclination, it’s listed in Guinness World Records.
» Twelve levels of the tower are placed strictly one over another. Further levels were designed with a metre gap. That’s why the construction is stable.
» The 35-storey building has an internal area of over 50,000 square metres. There are lots of offices and a five-star hotel.
» $2.2 billion was spent to build a skyscraper.
» The exterior of the tower is made of glass. Light goes in without hindrance, which reduces electricity costs.
» A diagonal grid was used in the construction of the building for the first time. It can absorb and redirect wind.
» To make a building stable, 490 pilings were drilled 30 metres below ground.
» 728 diamond-shaped glass panels were inserted between the diagrid borders. 12,500 panes of glass were used in total. This solution helps reduce lighting costs significantly.
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