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Abu Dhabi is the federal capital centre of the United Arab Emirates and among the most modern cities in the world. The city is a T-shaped island on the Persian Gulf. By far, it is the largest and the richest emirate occupying up to 87% of the country’s total area. Abu Dhabi is an orderly, industrious city endowed with several beaches.
Since the discovery of oil in the city, there has been rapid growth and development in Abu Dhabi. A lot of investments have been made in the domains of economy, culture and environmental conservation. 50 years ago, the city was a mere fishing village with a fort, a few barasti huts and coral buildings. The city is characterized by futuristic buildings and several state-of-the-art tourist hotels and resorts, attracting tourists from all over the world. Today, Abu Dhabi is a modern city serving as government and business center. The city was designed by Dr Takahashi, a Japanese architect, and was established by Sheikh Zayed.
With over 145 hotels, tourists have the pleasure of choosing from an array of accommodation facilities ranging from spectacular beach resorts on the great Abu Dhabi’s glittering coastline to stunning islands, hotels and desert tourist hotels.
Abu Dhabi or ("Abu Zabie" as pronounced by locals). The Capital of the United Arab Emirate, and the biggest Emirate in terms of land. There are only three seven-star hotels in the world, Abu Dhabi is home to one, Emirates Palace. While the other two 7 star hotels are found in Dubai, Burj Al Arab Hotel and Milan, Town House Galleria also known as the Seven Stars Galleria.
While the international press would have you believing Dubai’s cornered the market on local luxury, Abu Dhabi’s coming up fast on the outside: it might not (quite) be Dubai, but Abu Dhabi is still a destination where you’d best be carrying a wallet full of hefty notes. If you can afford it, though, you’re in for a treat.
There is a large international airport. That is the best way to get here.
You can also arrive by land from Dubai (which currently has more routes than our airport)
Following the Sheikh Zayed road (E11 highway), Abu Dhabi is approximately one and a half hours drive from Dubai by car.
The trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai takes approximately 2 hours by bus. They leave Al-Ghubaiba station in Dubai after every 40 minutes.
Delma Island ferry service provides passenger and vehicle ferry service to Delma Island.
Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation provides world class public bus transportation services it operates more than 650 buses in more than 95 routes.
The buses serving all routes within Abu Dhabi city operate on 24 hour basis. Women are offered the seats immediately behind the driver’s seat while men are offered seats at the back. Frequent visitors of this city are advised to make use of Hafilat smart cards that are credited at various selling outlets on Abu Dhabi Island.
Private taxis are available charging approximately Dh250. Shared taxis charge around Dh50 from Abu Dhabi to Dubai.
The beaches in Abu Dhabi are characterized by stunning views of white sand and turquoise clear waters.
Tourists from all over the world visit the beach to relax and unwind.
A number of beach resorts and tourist hotels offer entertainment to tourists visiting the city of Abu Dhabi.
A few or the beaches charge entry fee to visitors while the rest are free to the public.
Splash the cash on five star resorts, and you’ll find yourself amongst swimming pools the size of lakes, designer boutiques, exuberant restaurants and chandelier-strewn hallways. This is the kind of place where you can easily relieve your pockets of several grand in cash every day, especially once you start indulging in the diverse selection of extra-curricular activities. The most popular of those may be familiar to visitors to nearby Dubai, and include stunning (if sometimes almost unpalatably hot) beaches, the chance to race four-by-four jeeps through the sand dunes and even sand boarding, an adaption on snow boarding that’s best reserved only for those with a serious sense of balance (unless you don’t mind a mouth full of sand, of course).
If you’re after a more traditional taste of the Middle East you’ll have to dig a little deeper then the areas around the hotels, but some of the sights are genuinely different to anything you’re likely to find outside the region, so it’s worth the effort. Al Maqtaa Fort, for example, is a tiny columned building surrounded by a lake, and the city’s key defense 200 years ago. It’s striking how far the city has come since it was built. The array of mosques, meanwhile, both dominate the skyline and give a sense of a more typical local lifestyle – it’s not all champagne and caviar, though the oil money input has certainly made life a whole lot more comfortable around here.
What Abu Dhabi really is best for, though, is the kind of luxurious holiday most of us can only dream of, blended with the odd piece of enticing off-the-wall sport along the way. Make the most of it; not many can afford to come here twice.
For something different try Mangrove Kayaking Tours. This is a Kayaking tour into the mangrove forests, islands along the shores surrounding Abu Dhabi.
Tours are available ranging from one and a half hours to three paddling hours. During a kayak tour, visitors go deep into the mangrove water and catch amazing views of different species of fish wading in the turquoise waters.
Note: best time for a visit is between October and May
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Graphic showing average weather in Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
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