NYU - Abu Dhabi
We'd never thought that an international school that was founded in 2010 would be so magnificent in architecture, resources, cleanliness, and overall campus beauty. NYU-Abu Dhabi exceeded our expectations on our third day of our trip, and it all started with our information session from our admissions representative, Laye.
Laye was helpful, informative, and so enthusiastic about our visit, which was such a friendly welcome to the city. NYU-Abu Dhabi has so much to offer and countless opportunities for students at their school, like studying even more abroad, using school funding to create short films and movie productions, a free exercise gym and personal trainer, interactive media rooms, a cinema, and breathtaking views and weather. It is generally categorized as a research facility, with an integrated liberal arts and science college. They offer 24 majors and 33 minors spread across 5 school divisions: Arts & Humanities, Engineering, Science, Social Science, and Multidisciplinary.
The NYU campus was funded by the United Arab Emirates to attract young minds who are curious, creative, driven, and reflective on their projects and achievements. In this manner, NYU encourages their students to take learning outside the classroom by interacting with the expanding world, participating in clubs and sports, and having a job on campus. Their mission is to achieve records for being one of the world's greatest research opportunities and providing a higher level of education for the global world.
Our campus tour brought us through their library, cinema, olympic-sized swimming pool, engineering rooms, media rooms, and countless more. If we had taken it, their full art school tour would have lasted 3 hours!
After the tour, we gathered back into the dining hall to eat a lunch sponsored by NYU, and soon we were off to prepare for our 5-hour Abu Dhabi City Tour.
Abu Dhabi City Tour
We hopped on a private charter bus with a personal tour guide, Georgette, who led us through the city of Abu Dhabi and narrated about the history of their landmarks and way that they live. Because dried dates are the UAE's national fruit, our first stop was not a surprise. We visited the fresh fish, fruit, and date markets on the side of the street, where we were able to try 4 different types of dates. Some where chocolate covered, some were almond-filled, and some were legally still fresh. We were able to discover first-hand how much dates mean to their culture and how they want to share their love for dates with tourists as well.
We then headed on to the Heritage Village, where we learned about traditional ways of living in the desert from a museum, walked through some of their clothing markets, and took skyline pictures on the famous coast of Abu Dhabi Corniche.
The highlight of our tour was entering the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the UAE that could accommodate over 40,000 worshippers. It was a requirement to dress by proper code before entering, and so our female travelers were able to experience wearing traditional head scarves together.
The mosque, having been only built in 2007, was one of the most beautiful structures we've ever seen. Its walls, columns, ceilings, and floors were polished and glowing, its white radiance beaming during sundown. We took advantage of the many photo opportunities given to us, so we can appreciate its beauty longer than a memory. Inside, we saw the world's largest rug, which lay just below the world's largest chandelier. The bigger, the better.
At night, lights shine a blue hue over the mosque in accordance with the phases of the moon- darkest for a full moon, faintest for a crescent moon.
Dinner at Cafe Palmier at Le Royal Meridian Hotel
Just the name made us drool. Our buffet-style dinner was exquisite; bountiful arrays of breads, dips, and spreads lay over the first counter, as we continued, we encountered fresh grilled steaks, fish, and chicken, roasted vegetables and potatoes, as well as traditional favorites like basmati rice and green chicken curry. Our international-style arrangement left us all more than satisfied, but the dessert table was still hard to resist. Selections of rich cakes, individual pastries, and warm puddings were displayed in the middle of our dining area. It tasted even better than it looked.
We came back to the hotel at around 10:00pm after a briefing about our next day's schedule. Stay tuned for our 4th day exploring Abu Dhabi's Louvre, World Trade Center Mall, and.... Ferrari World!!!