Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

The Yas Marina Circuit is a race track that hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 since November 2009, it is located on Yas Island, half an hour from Abu Dhabi. The same company that built the circuit, has also built a theme park on the island, the Ferrari World; a marina, residential areas, sports and leisure facilities as well as hotels and resorts. The circuit is 5.55 km long with 21 corners, a long straight and a pin, between the marina and the sand dunes. The stands are quite spacious and the  exit of the pit lane passes under the track through a tunnel. The departure takes place day and night of arrival and cars go in the anticlockwise direction. The lighting is done through powerful illuminated projectors. Apart from Formula 1, the circuit is used for many other activities such as karting, motorcycle, marathons, etc. There is also a conference room that can be rented for events.

Tips

If you want to attend the Grand Prix, you have to make reservations well in advance, especially if you also want to stay in a hotel next to the circuit. For the various activities and events, check out their website.

Basilica of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor, Galilee, Holy Land, Israel

The Basilica of the Transfiguration is a Franciscan basilica on Mount Tabor in Galilee in the Holy Land, Israel. It was built with an orientation to the east in 1924 by the Franciscans who had the field since their installation in 1631, where Christian tradition says there was the event of the Transfiguration of Christ alongside Moses and the prophet Elijah, in favor of Pierre, Jacques and Jean. The Basilica is on the ruins of another Christian church that was built between the fourth century and the sixth century but also another church built in the twelfth century by the Crusaders. There is also a Franciscan monastery that was erected with the basilica. In the proximities of this basilica, there are another Greek Orthodox church that was built by evoking the same event of the Transfiguration. The road route for the transportation of materials needed for construction, is used today by pilgrims visiting the basilica. The entrance to the site is by the door of the Wind or Bab el-Hawa, old vestige of the Muslim fortress of the thirteenth century. The sanctuary has three new, large arc between the two towers in its facade and bronze doors. The nave is separated by the side of the vault arches and overlooks a staircase carved into the rock that goes down to the crypt. The scene of the Transfiguration is represented at the bottom in the choir. You can also see the remains of the previous masonry on the walls.

Tips

From the top of the mount, you might enjoy a magnificent view of cultivated fields of the plain of Esdraelon.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Sheikh Zayed Mosque has 22 412 m² and can accommodate up to 40,000 visitors, considered the largest mosque in the UAE and one of the largest in the world; located in Abu Dhabi. It is the only mosque that allows the visit of tourists. Its name comes from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who made built the edifice in Carrara marble, with the largest chandelier that weighs around 12 tons and the largest carpet in the world that consists of 9 pieces. He died before the end of the construction and his son Khalifa continued the work and gave his father’s name to the mosque. The construction took 12 years (1995-2007) and several international engineers and craftsmen worked there. It has many columns (1048), arches topped by domes (82) and four minarets of 107 meters in height. The domes are topped spiers covered in gilded mosaic glass. In its interior, it is decorated with floral motifs that have been made by a graphic arts company in Milan, Italy and we also find semi-precious stones of Austria. As it was built on a desert terrain, the structure is based on more than 6,000 steel pillars treated to resist corrosion caused by the salt environment. The land was raised from 9 meters to allow more impressive vision. The tomb of Sultan is located at the entrance, outside the mosque; there are two men who read the Koran all the time. Around the mosque there are 22 laps each provided with ten projectors that link to the mosque.

Tips

To make the visit, women should wear long skirts or pants that cover completely the legs below the ankle, they must have long sleeves and cover all the head; they can wear sandals and the entrance to the mosque is done barefoot so if you prefer you can wear stockings.
Be careful with the marble floor as it is slippery especially if there is water. We have had the experience of a lady who fell by aching ankle and was immediately transported to the medical clinic on site, in wheelchair, where she received care without spending a penny.
You can take pictures everywhere except at the tomb of Sultan.
The visit is free and it can not be visited on Friday morning.