The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi has been described by many as captivating and exhilarating, where you can experience luxury like never before and enjoy warm Arabian hospitality that is second to none. Abu Dhabi has a strong combination of international influence mixed with heritage and history – creating a fascinating world of old versus new.
Despite being the capital, Abu Dhabi has a smaller population than Dubai and a more laid-back lifestyle is prevalent. Just 60 years ago, Abu Dhabi was a fishing village that included a fort, a few buildings and some huts alongside the vast empty desert. That was, until oil was discovered in the late 1950s and life in Abu Dhabi was transformed into one of wealth.
In Abu Dhabi, there are more than 2,000 parks and gardens and more than 400 kilometres of coastline, 10 kilometres of which are popular public beaches.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque s a blend of contemporary design and ancient craftsmanship and is one of the world’s largest mosques. It features 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns, the world's largest hand knotted carpet and 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers. The first ceremony to be held at the mosque was the funeral of Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site. It can hold up to 40,000 worshippers at one time and is open to visitors daily (except Friday mornings when it is open to worshippers only).
While in Abu Dhabi, you should also visit the Heritage Village to get an insight into life “pre-oil”, the Arabian Saluki Centre, Masdar City, Emirates Palace and the Abu Dhabi Louvre.
Abu Dhabi is also popular for a number of events, from the Formula 1 grand prix, to the World Cup of Sailing and PGA golf championship. Throughout the year there are also an abundance of art and music festivals, sporting events, heritage and cultural festivals and trade fairs.
MUST SEE U.A.E
Al-Bidyah Mosque is located in Fujairah and is the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. An important historical site, the building has been beautifully designed and the surrounding area is an important archaeological site.
Visit the Hajar Mountains to explore and hike the valleys and enjoy the sights. The mountains sweep through the desert and twisting roads connect the region’s small villages.
At Sharjah – the third largest city in the United Arab Emirites – you can visit the popular Sharjah Arts Museum which is home to the most diverse art collection in the country. It is filled with works by Arabic artists as well as European artists who specialise in art based around the Arab world. You can also visit the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, which focuses on Islamic history, including manuscripts and religious documents.
Hit the desert from your base at Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Fujairah, and enjoy a range of activities including sand boarding, hiking, camel treks, 4WDing and dune buggy tours.
There are also plenty of beaches in the United Arab Emirates, from those in the city, to the relaxing beaches around Ajman and the more wild beaches of Fujairah. You will find that some luxury hotels have their own private beaches, which you can pay a fee to use if you are not a guest.