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A Glimpse into the Abu Dhabian Future

Jordan Sparks’ “Arabian Nights” experience, sleeping and hanging out with friends in the desert, was just last week’s adventure. Every week is a brand new experience for BE’s See the World, BE the Future scholarship recipients.  And this week, was no different for Jordan.

The university’s exchange office took the group on a 2-hour trip to Abu Dhabi to see the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Saadiyat Island. The first time Jordan visited Abu Dhabi, he passed the Grand Mosque, viewing it in the distance from the highway. While it looked like a large spectacle at the time, it didn’t impress him until he saw it up close.

 

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Jordan in the main courtyard of the Grand Mosque, pointing out its signature white domes.

 

Arriving at the Mosque, Jordan could see the beauty of the complex architecture, all in white, which makes it sacred to the UAE. Its white domes were unbelievably large and bared intricate detail on the outside. Once everyone was finished taking turns posing for personal photo-shoots in front of the Mosque, their tour began.

Jordan learned that the Grand Mosque was actually not very old. It was only completed in 2007, which is reflective of the new wealth that sprung up in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Holding many prayer rooms, the main one featured seven large chandeliers, representing the seven Emirates that Sheikh Zayed united: Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khamiah, Ajman, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, and Dubai. The prayer room also featured the largest carpet in the world. Even though Jordan says he’s not religious, when he stepped into the Grand Mosque he found it to be breathtakingly beautiful, with a feel of true holiness.

 

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Jordan and a few other exchange students in front of the 3D flowerwall, surrounding the outside of the main prayer room.

 

After leaving the Mosque, the group visited an island called Saadiyat, which in a few years will be the location of the cultural hub “of not only the UAE, but the world” according to his tour guide. Part of the huge plans are to build the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi (now in construction), a new Rodeo drive, similar to a mall where people can walk on the bottom and cars drive on top.

 

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Jordan's SnapChat of the future Sheikh Zayed History museum model, which will be the highest point in Saadiyat and the design represents Falcon wings. 

 

Saadiyat Island, Jordan reported, was his favorite part of the weekend excursion. It gave a good idea of what the future would be like. There will also be a new huge history museum dedicated to Sheikh Zayed that stands in the middle of the island and is set to be the highest peak. The whole country has such fancy places and he is eager to see the plans of everything that by the year 2020 will be a global cultural hub. Jordan’s goal is to come back to the UAE in the next five years, and see the plans, that are now just a model, in full effect.

 

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End plans of Saadiyat island. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the white dome, The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is the abstract building at the bottom. The mal is the large complex shaped like a football. And the history museum is the tall building in the middle.

 

Each week Jordan’s excursions are more exciting than the ones before, so make sure to come back next week for the latest!

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