Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat–We loved them all!

Back home, we are remembering some of the wonderful experiences we enjoyed in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat.   Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi was beautiful.

Front of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Photo from Wikipedia.

And we, as non Muslims, were able to go inside to see the largest carpet, largest chandelier and the grandeur of this mosque.   The fish market was fun and I, Zeb the Duck, got a fish.

fish market for a snack

An evening boat ride, dinner included, showed us old and new on the Abu Dhabi sky line.

Abu Dhabi skyline

A common sight, and sound, throughout our Middle East adventure, the minaret of a mosque with a speaker for the call to worship.

Minaret of mosque with speakers

We gave up a free day in Abu Dhabi to experience a little of Muscat, Oman.   Here we saw some old and some new.   Muscat is a few thousand years old.   We loved wandering through the souk.

We explore the souk

Driving through Muscat, we appreciated the absence of too many cars and the accompanying car noises.

Driving through Muscat, Oman

Here, our guide shows some of the new:  The Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman.

Our guide in Muscat, Oman

Back to the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai we rode a traditional boat, or dhow, to cross Dubai Creek.

Tourists crossing Dubai Creek on Dhow

We admired Dubai Fountain with Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, all connected with Dubai Mall.

Burj Khalifa behind Dubai Fountain

Dubai Marina was bustling, but still relaxing for our lunch stop.

Dubai Marina from Salsa Restaurant

Mall of the Emirates provided indoor snow skiing and tubing on snow, in additional to fabulous dining and shopping.

Skiing and tubing

Souk Madinat Jumeirah was a modern souk.

I love meeting new friends

The narrow alley of Bastakia Heritage Area showed life before oil and oil money forever changed Dubai.

Narrow alley walkways

Aromas from the spice souk will be with us always.

Spice souk

Of course we loved the animals.   The unexpected flock of flamingos were wonderful to see.

Some are looking at me

And riding the desert native, a camel, made our trip even more memorable.

Our camel is friendly

Of course we will never the gold souk with those huge gold necklaces and gold hats.   But our fondest memories are of the kind, welcoming people we met.   Our trip was a tour through http://www.SmarTours.com.   We have taken tours from them previously.   This was Deluxe Dubai and Abu Dhabi.   The day trip to Muscat, Oman, was not connected to SmarTours.   Chanel’s mom made separate reservations for us and we loved our day in Oman.   We hope you visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman soon.   We loved it.

Abu Dhabi Mall and Fish Market with Zeb and Chanel

The humans are hungry again!   Humans do like eat.   Tariq, our guide, says we will go to the mall and everybody can choose their preferred restaurant.  What is this?

Ferris wheel

Ferris wheel

I love ferris wheels, but mom says we do not have enough time.   We enter Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

This fountain is a little different than ours at home.   The water comes from above, much like rain.

Fountain inside Marina Mall

Fountain inside Marina Mall

Chanel the Bear and I, Zeb the Duck, did not get very wet.   Too bad, because ducks love water.   And this…

Dinosaur

Dinosaur

A dinosaur in the mall to promote another exhibit.   Very interesting.   Having lunch, the reason for this stop, leads us to this Lebanese restaurant.

Villa Beirut for lunch

Villa Beirut for lunch

We order humus with chick peas.   The humus, similar to paste, lines the bowl.   Accompanied by a bowl of assorted olives, all very tasty, but not overwhelming our taste buds.

Our lunch

Our lunch

The aroma of fresh, warm bread teases our senses.   We eat the bread and then they brought another basket.   Heavenly!   But, don’t forget, we are from the United States so we ordered French Fries from this Lebanese restaurants.   Tasting perfect, they did not last long.   And the Diet Cokes quenched our thirst.   We also drank water with lemon.   A perfect light lunch for humans, duck and bear.   Wandering through the mall, we saw this sign.

Common sign

Common sign

Rather common here, but not usual in our malls at home.   Leaving the mall, the column caught our attention.

Column in Abu Dhabi

Column in Abu Dhabi

A tribute to the royal family, we think.    Next stop is the fish market of Abu Dhabi.

Fish Market of Abu Dhabi

Fish Market of Abu Dhabi

I wonder if this is like the fish market I visited last July in Maputo, Mozambique.   Let’s go inside to see.   Yes, it is.   I love seeing the different kinds of fish.   This man is showing me the fish.

fish market

fish market

Another seller and I am with a human and more fish.

fish market

Fish market with my new friend

Well, what is this he is bringing near me?

fish market. eel??

fish market. eel??

I believe it is an eel.   This man likes me, too.   He thinks I might be hungry.

fish market for a snack

Fish market for a snack

Now, I, Zeb the Duck, am sampling a small fish.   Very nice snack for me.  Mom takes me to this display.

fish market

fish market

Some different kinds of fish here.   I like the fish market, and the sellers are always so nice to me.   My friend, Chanel the Bear, is here also, but she is made of cloth.   Mom can put me in a tub of soapy water and wash me.   If Chanel sat with the fish, she would smell like fish for the entire trip.   Maybe not a good idea, Chanel.   We are happy you watched from your carrying bag.

Fish Market in Maputo, Mozambique with Zeb the Duck

Isaac met us at the hotel entrance and we are going to the fish market today.   I, Zeb the Duck, have never been to a fish market.   Isaac finds a taxi for us.

Taxi

Taxi

I like this little one.   Driving out of town, I love the painted cement on the side of the road.

Great painting by road

Great painting by road

The photo was taken from the taxi, and guess mom got a mirror reflection in the upper right corner.   Typical ocean scene here, with a boat, a man to the left watching the water, and a bird flying overhead.

Approaching fish market

Approaching fish market

Watching the water is so relaxing for ducks and humans.   We have arrived at the fish market.   Going inside, I see that there are fish of many types, sizes, and colors.  Let’s start with shrimp.

Fresh shrimp

Fresh shrimp

Large, fresh shrimp look tempting.   But look at these fish.

Colorful fish

Colorful fish

The color variation is great, but guess when they are cooked, the color is not important.   And the bright blue catches my eye.

Bright blue

Bright blue

So many choices.   What to do with these fish?   There are many restaurants here.

So many restaurants here

So many restaurants here

Humans can purchase a fish and the restaurants will cook it as you request.   We did not know that.   We sat here, ordered grilled fish and waited.   Soon the fish arrived.   On the left is our taxi driver.   On the right Isaac and mom are looking at the fish.

Humans, ready to eat

Humans, ready to eat

All humans are ready to eat.   We have three whole fish.

The whole fish

The whole fish

And I mean whole fish.   At home they don’t bring us the fish heads.   But here they are.   We see something new every day.   Lunch was delicious.   I am sitting here with the Indian Ocean behind me.

Beach at fish market

Beach at fish market

Boats are in the water and a human is walking on the beach.   I could sit here for hours.   But, we have to go now.   Along the road near the fish market, we could buy more fish from this lady.

More fish

More fish

Or maybe coconuts from this gentleman?

Coconuts for sale

Coconuts for sale

Very tempting, but we do not have a kitchen in our motel room.    I enjoyed this drive along the water.   Love the fishing boat.

Fishing boat

Fishing boat

Of course palm trees always make my vacation better.

Palm trees

Palm trees

The people of Maputo work very hard, but the atmosphere here is calm today.    We hope you visit Maputo and also have a great experience.