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December 7, 2016

Layover in Abu Dhabi

In November 2016 on my way to Austin Texas from New Delhi India, my flight arrived at noon and was leaving at 3 AM the next day, about 15 hours stopover in Abu Dhabi. I flew Etihad Airlines, which is very comfortable for the long flights especially if you flying Business Class or even Premium Economy.

At the Arrival at Abu Dhabi, Customs and Immigration is quick and Easy. I took an hour or nap at arrivals waiting area chairs as I was tired.  At the Airport the money changer was not giving me a good exchange rate,  so I used the ATM instead, even with the foreign transaction fee, ATM is a better choice.

I usually plan my layovers to best utilize my time, this time I had no plans, so I approached the information Desk, now this is information and not Tourist information, so they were not of much help, the only info of use I got was there are no Buses and I'll have to take a Cab.

At the Taxi stand I asked to be taken to Ferrari World, the Cab driver was an Indian from Tamil Nadu India, I greeted him in Tamil and explained to him in English why I was in Abu Dhabi. The cab driver Suggested I got to the City first and on on my way back to the Airport stop at Ferrari World.

Locals and especially cabbies know the city best, so I decided to make the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque my first stop, the cab fare from the Airport was 65 dirham about 18 USD.

The Mosque is incredible, with just beautiful Marble inlay work on the pillars and walls to the Chandeliers, pretty Amazing. Give your self an hour or more to see the whole complex. Dress code is enforced, do dress modestly or get a cover from the shop in the basement, I think it was free to get a body cover. I was wearing a pant and shirt and didn't need one.

From the Grand Mosque I took a cab to Marina Mall. Picture below of the Ferris wheel outside the Mall.

Marina eye abu dhabi

I walked the Marina taking photos and later went inside the Mall, now malls and shopping do not interest me, I sat in the center of the mall looking at the fountain and eating the snacks I had packed before leaving New Delhi.

Next I just walked the 'The Corniche' admiring the architecture and talking Sunset photos to evening photos.

The Emirates Palace was throwing some kind of neon light in different colors to be seen for miles. Pretty.

After all the walking, about 10 miles I was tired and hailed a cab to drop me off at the airport, leaving Ferrari World to be seen on another visit.


  1. Wow.. Planning to visit Abu Dhabi next year, I'm glad to know about the quick services of custom and immigration over there. What could be the exchange rate with USD? I believe you had a great experience, I will share my experiences after my trip to Abu Dhabi. Thanks for sharing.

    1. 1 US Dollar equals 3.67 United Arab Emirates Dirham as of December 2016

  2. I missed visiting Abu Dhabi last year when I traveled to Dubai, I had planned to visit Abu Dhabi but I had to cut my vacation short because of a family issue so I just went home from Dubai.


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