Abu Dhabi

 

Abu Dhabi – The emerging holiday travel destination

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, is by far the richest of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE. It also covers more than 85% of the country’s total area. Abu Dhabi, though more prosperous and far bigger, has always lived in the shadow of its more glitzy neighbor, Dubai. Compared to Dubai, it has a more Arabic vibe and a relaxed and sleepy feel. But that is slowly changing with huge investments in real estate and infrastructure projects.

Here are a few things to do during you Abu Dhabi holiday:

Walk along the Corniche

Beaches, restaurants, cycling tracks, beach volleyball pitches, gardens etc. line the 6-km walk along the Corniche. Take a leisurely stroll and get a feel of the city. The impressive Abu Dhabi skyline provides a nice backdrop.

Go on a Desert Safari

Over two-thirds of the Emirate is desert and the best way to explore it is to go on a desert safari. The safari can be quite an experience. Experienced drivers will take you up and down tall and shifting sand dunes. Dune-bashing is followed by a barbecue at a camp in the desert. Typically, the camp will have some belly-dancing, falconry as well as henna painting. This is a bit touristy but the dune-bashing is a must.

Visit the Grand Mosque

One of the biggest, and probably the most lavish, in the world. This can accommodate over 41,000 people and is decorated with gold, silver and precious stones. Over 3,000 workers and artisans from all parts of the globe worked on it. Magnificent chandeliers in silver and crystal, a hand-woven carpet that’s the biggest in the world and a gigantic dome are some of the main features. Free guided tours commence at 10am, Sunday to Thursday. Visitors are advised to dress modestly.

Dine at The Emirates Palace Hotel

Ostentatious! There’s no better word for it. Gold plating and marble dominate the look. Drop in for a meal or have a drink overlooking the private beach just so you can see what money can do.

Spend a day at Yas Island

After Bahrain, it is Abu Dhabi which boasts a Formula 1 track. There’s Ferrari World for the kids. In winter, the Island hosts music concerts. Some of the biggest names in the music industry have played here.

Saadiyat Island

Situated just 500 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi, this island will soon be the venue of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Construction is underway for these and other museums and luxury resorts.

There are loads of nice cafes and restaurants in Abu Dhabi. But if you really enjoy clubbing, then head to Dubai which is just an hour away by road.

Best time to visit

November to March when the weather is pleasant and you can hang out at the beach. Summer temperatures occasionally nudge 50 degrees centigrade and you will be confined to air conditioned malls and hotels.

The emirate is being heavily promoted in Europe and the United Kingdom. So lookout for some great deals on Abu Dhabi Holiday Packages.

Read more about other holiday travel destinations and discover interesting and quirky places to visit.

 

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Posted by on February 21st, 2012

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