Abu Dhabi boasts year-round sunshine, pristine beaches, spectacular sand dunes and a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Located on a low-lying island, the city of Abu Dhabi features a Manhattan like skyline with tree-lined roads and landscaped parks and gardens. Sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf surrounds the city and completes the scenic vista.
Abu Dhabi combines the distinct Arabian hospitality and mystique with world-class infrastructure. All of these qualities make it easy to understand why Abu Dhabi is one of the fastest growing tourism and sporting destinations in the world.
Abu Dhabi culture
Blessed by a rich, diverse landscape, Abu Dhabi has more than 400 kilometres of pristine coastline, over 200 natural islands, vast tracts of serene desert, tranquil oasis towns and a vibrant, cosmopolitan capital city.
Start your day with a stroll or cycle on the Corniche. With more than eight kilometres of waterfront, including a beautifully maintained public beach, Abu Dhabi Corniche is a top visitor attraction and is a sun-worshippers haven – www.abudhabibeaches.ae
Join a guided tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest, for the chance to experience a unique journey through the UAE’s cultural heritage. With its 80 domes, 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold-plated chandeliers, the world’s largest hand-woven carpet this mosque, which can accommodate 40,000 worshippers will be a highlight of your trip. For group bookings visit http://www.visitabudhabi.ae/en/szmregistration/default.aspx
Start your afternoon with a high-tea at the breathtaking Emirates Palace, one of the world’s most opulent hotels. Resembling a 1001 Arabian Nights’ Palace, the hotel sits majestically on 1.3 kilometres of private beach and counts head of states, movie stars and world statesmen among its regular guests.
Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
On the breakwater near the giant UAE flag and Marina Mall, the Heritage Village comprises a group of traditional buildings and a small museum showing the life of the Bedouin in old black and white photographs. A replica of a traditional oasis irrigation system, or ‘falaj’, and a wind tower - the world’s first air-conditioning - are striking examples of the ingenuity of the early inhabitants of the UAE. There is also a traditional souk where you can buy traditional gifts and souvenirs.
End your journey with a memorable view of the city. Take a helicopter ride over Abu Dhabi with Falcon Aviation Services (FAS). This is an unparalleled experience that spans the Corniche, Abu Dhabi’s many islands and the landmarks of the city. Fly in the lap of luxury for a bird’s eye view of this capital. Speak to your hotel concierge for details on how to schedule a birds’ eye view of the capital.
Abu Dhabi lifestyle
Abu Dhabi offers great shopping options – choose from the comfort of air-conditioned malls or soak up the atmosphere at a traditional souk (market). Souks are a definite must-see for visitors – as much for the atmosphere as for the fun of bargaining for that special gift.
There are a number of major malls throughout the city, the largest being the Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall all featuring global high street chain stores and more exclusive luxury brand outlets.
The city also boasts hundreds of fine restaurants with cuisine from across the world, including Arabian, Thai, Vietnamese, French, Spanish, German and Brazilian. You can even order bangers and mash or an all-American steak.
Try out some of the local favorites:
• Hakkassans (Chinese fusion), Emirates Palace Hotel
• Diwan L'Auberge (Lebanese), Emirates Palace Hotel
• Indigo (Indian), Beach Rotana Hotel in the Tourist Club Area
• Sho Cho (Japanese), Souq Qaryat Al Beri
• Sardinia (Mediterranean), Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club in Al Mushrif area
• Bord Eau (French), Shangri-La Hotel in Souq Qaryat Al Beri
• Vascos (Various), Hilton Hotel on the Corniche
• Nautilus (seafood) – Yas Hotel at Yas Island
• Blue Grill (Steakhouse) – Yas Island Rotana
For the night owl visitor, Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of clubs and bars with relaxed atmospheres, live entertainment and cosy interiors. With hundreds of outlets across the city there’s every style of music to choose from for those visiting the city. For more information visit www.timeoutabudhabi.com
Abu Dhabi activities
Desert safaris promote a range of Emirati cultural experiences mixed in with a slice of adventure. Drive out into the dessert for some “dune bashing” as professional drivers take you on a roller-coaster ride over steep sand dunes in specially-fitted SUVs. In the heart of the desert, elegant tents are spread out with camel rides, shisha, henna, and a dinner buffet of local cuisine. Belly dancers and local music provide entertainment for a beautiful evening under the stars. Speak to your hotel concierge for details on how to schedule a birds’ eye view of the capital
Offering kayaking experiences like no other, Noukhada Adventure Company run daily trips out into the natural mangrove forests on the east Corniche area as well as overnight island trips and kayak fishing. Accessible for visitors of all ages, take a kayak out with an environment expert to increase your awareness and knowledge of the natural beauty of Abu Dhabi's beautiful, watery oasis. Speak to your hotel concierge for details on how to schedule a birds’ eye view of the capital
Located at the Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club, Spacewalk offers visitors the thrilling experience of indoor skydiving without jumping out of an airplane. A family fun activity for everyone.
Abu Dhabi entertainment
For visitors who enjoy live entertainment – whether it be music, sports or culture – Abu Dhabi is home to some of the regions most talked about events.
Over the last few years, Abu Dhabi’s cool credentials have risen dramatically as some of the world’s most famous musicians and artists have entertained residents and visitors across the capital. To date, the city has seen spectacular concerts from artists including Andrea Bocelli, George Michael, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Cold Play The Killers, Beyonce, The Kings of Leon and Aerosmith. With a host of music festivals and annual shows on the calendar, Abu Dhabi has become one of the regions premier destinations for live music. For more info go to www.thinkflash.ae
The UAE is a sports loving nation. The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 represents the jewel in the crown for football fans across the region and Abu Dhabi is proud to be hosting this landmark tournament. Alongside the Club World Cup, Abu Dhabi hosts a number of international and regional sporting events including the award winning Abu Dhabi World Tennis Championship, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the Red Bull Air Race, the Al Ain Aerobatic Show, the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon and many, many more.
To keep your ear to the ground go to www.abudhabievents.ae for all your entertainment info.