Monday, April 22, 2013

Around the Arabian Gulf

This is the last set of pictures from my Arabian adventure. 

One of my stops on the Persian Gulf cruise was Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman. I didn't know much about the country before I got there, and found it to be a bustling, very affluent city, where old meets new, culture collides with modern every-day living & the price of gas is just $0.31 / €0.29 per liter. So if you ever need to stock up on fuel, this is the place to go.

Lofty arches, strong geometric lines, arcaded colonnades and artful curvature are an integral part of Arabic architecture. This is a view of the Sultan Qaboos courtyard in Muscat, Oman.

A scene from an Omani Souq (or market place), where you can buy ethnic handmade crafts, traditional clothes, including the famous 'kummah' hat that is native to this region, as well as exotic glass mosaic and brass lamps to colorfully light up your home. (Although I don't know how you would get that through the airport all in one piece).

The Sultan of Oman reigns and hosts royal functions from the grand Al Alam Palace.

Our next stop was Abu Dhabi, where the glorious Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the most prominent landmarks. It features 82 domes, Moroccan and Andalusian artwork, hand-knotted wool carpets and can accommodate up to 40 000 people. This is a perfect example of the decorative architectural style of the Middle East.

I had never seen chandeliers quite extravagant as this one before. Pictured above is one of seven sources of illumination in the mosque. Made in Germany from thousands of Swarovski crystals, this ornamented piece of art weighs about 2 tons.

Sivec marble was brought in from Greece to construct the incandescent white crowned columns, arches, floors and walls, which are embellished by colourful floral designs.

Calling all Italian car fanatics...Ferrari World is the first of it's kind and the world's largest indoor theme park. It also boasts the world's fastest roller coaster - the Formula Rossa, which reaches a speed of 250km/h (149mph). If you're not an adrenaline junkie (like me), you can stroll through the automative history of this spectacular car brand in the Galleria.

Thanks for sticking around through my journey around the Arabian Gulf. If you love high end shopping, fancy cars, sunny weather, vintage markets, luxurious resorts & magnificent architecture, look no further than the United Arab Emirates. With unlimited funds, and if you can brave the 45 °C desert heat, it can be as glamourous as Carrie Bradshaw made it out to be in SATC 2. Now if only I could have the wardrobe included in this stylish scene...



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