Al Ain  (pop 632,000)

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

April 15, 2016


As-salamu alaykum,

Friday.  The Muslim Sabbath.  Al Ain is quiet.

I wander alone downtown.  Modern, low-rise office buildings dot the broad streets.  No skyscrapers!  A pleasant, colorful city.

I find a market area.  Only a few shops open.  Scarves on display.  One in particular?   I bargain hard ($20 to $5).  And wrap my new cotton treasure around my neck and shoulders.

Prayers over.

Holiday!  Day off!

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

April 10, 2016

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world.

I can’t think of anything more to say than what is written in my guidebook:*

“Rising majestically from beautifully manicured gardens and visible from each of the bridges joining Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque presents an impressive welcome to the city.

Abu Dhabi

Capital City

United Arab Emirates

April 9, 2016

I heard somewhere that the Sheikh in Abu Dhabi declared, “When the oil runs out, we will have the best educated population in the Arab world.”   I couldn't find the source of that quote.  I did find a reference to a speech the Sheikh delivered in 2015:

HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the UAE and other countries in the region had “lagged behind” in the past when it comes to investment in education.

Speaking on the first day of the Dubai Government Summit, Sheikh Mohamed told an audience of world leaders and decision makers: “I think in the region we have all paid a high price in the delay of education.

“We were lagging behind. When we know that we were lagging behind – and we know we are still behind – it’s different than if we are oblivious of our status.

“At this time, when we have a lot wealth, we need to invest in education.”