The Oman trip was originally planned to be two days, but in the end, crossing the border with Rick's rental car provided to be expensive and complex. By the time he figured that out, only day tours were available, which left today unexpectedly free.
Since it was too late to shuffle my afternoon tea reservation to today, plan B turned out to be renting my own car for the rest of the trip and then heading to Abu Dhabi to check out the sights.
Ferrari World turned out to be more family-friend amusement park than anything else, which I honestly should have guessed given how expensive the ticket was to get in. Compounding that impression was the fact it was located in a shopping mall complete with a overpriced, mediocre food court, an Ikea, and a cinema. Shuffle in a good mix of Ferrari themes but rather less Ferrari history (and actual Ferraris) than I was hoping, although they did have a biplane there (!). Oddly I was also not allowed to ride any of the rollercoasters with a N95 mask; those were cloth masks only, which was never properly explained. They also had electric go-karts available, but as I was a bit pressed for time, I reluctantly opted to pass.
Next stop, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, supposedly one of France's largest cultural projects abroad. The building is deceivingly low-key from the outside, a dark colored dome atop a low-rise building at the water's edge. Only once you stand inside, underneath it, do you appreciate just how marvelous a work of art it is, complete with the water flowing in from the bay and sunlight aplenty at the edges. The art inside is quality, drawn heavily from the Louvre (Paris), the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Musee d'Orsay, and the Palace of Versailles, although I will defer a proper opinion on that to experts. Much like Getty Center in Los Angeles, I actually found the architecture a more powerful draw than the art.
Final stop of the day was Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Done in the modern Islamic style (constructed 1996 to 2007), with large white stone walls and subtle textures, surprisingly restrained gold accents with colorful flowers, reflecting pools, and an impressive array of exterior lights. The main prayer room has some chandeliers that would have seemed over the top anywhere else, yet the room was so large it actually did not feel too ostentatious.
Having seen so many major historic religious sites, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque left more of an impression than I expected, especially considering the fact that I often am not impressed by late 20th century architecture. What I did not expect was to find that Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was actually atop an underground shopping mall. That definitely made yet another late dinner easy, although the mall food court was sadly typical mediocre mall food, in this case Barns Broasted Chicken.