Abu Dhabi comprises of extensive entertainment and leisure facilities, along beautiful green...
Abu Dhabi is both the capital and federal capital of the United Arab Emirates, and is the largest of the seven emirates. This second most populous city of the UAE lies on a T-shaped island with its futuristic skyscrapers rising from the desert coast of the persian gulf. Among the modern island city there are remains of an older and more cultural society. Abu Dhabi comprises of international luxurious hotels, never-ending shopping malls, extensive entertainment and leisure facilities, along beautiful green streets and parks.
The city’s origin reflects its true prestige, as it was a major hub for the pearl industry before it had discovered its rich reserves of oil. There is a stretch of traditional wooden dhows along the harbour, which were not just used for fishing but also for pearl diving. Abu Dhabi is known as the most important cultural city in the UAE, attracting many visitors to its established cultural foundation centre, which is responsible for hosting various art exhibitions and musical performances from all over the globe.
Capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Abu Dhabi literally means 'Father of Gazelle'. Largest of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE, Abu Dhabi has 70 per cent of the country's wealth. Expatriates from southern regions of Asia, and the United Kingdom form the majority of inhabitants in Abu Dhabi. The natives of this emirate are Arabic-speaking gulf arabs. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan is the present ruler of Abu Dhabi. The first hereditary ruler of this emirate, he is also the first president of the UAE.
Abu Dhabi, where luxury and style are infused with traditional values of hospitality and respect. Where sunny weather, tranquil beaches, lush oases, vibrant city life, and a mixture of culture and traditions come together to create a holiday experience like no other. Explore the emirate’s old souqs, sip a fragrant Arabic coffee, ride the dunes on an exhilarating desert safari, or dive into a dazzling marine life - there is something for everyone in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi’s people today enjoy living in modern, technologically advanced surroundings, a huge historic leap from living in simple mud-brick huts like some of its previous settlers. The emirate is rich in archeological finds. There has been evidence that the very first settlements were from the 3rd millennium BC in some regions of Abu Dhabi. Its early history resembles that of the nomadic period with typical herding and fishing lifestyles.
Settlements can be traced back as far as over 5000 years ago, and have been found around parts of Abu Dhabi, such as Jebel Hafeet near Al Ain and on the island of Umm al Nar. Abu Dhabi’s most significant settlement was those of the Bani Yas Bedoiun tribe which were located by the coast around the 16th century. Afterwards, the discovery of fresh water led the tribe to relocate to the island which was more fertile with large quantities of wildlife. Soon after, the ruling Al Nahyan family decided to flee to the island also.
Under the rule of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa, Abu Dhabi thoroughly developed through the trading of pearls, and in 1892 came the very first exclusive treaty linking Abu Dhabi with great Britain. The emirates location was seen as a great strategic convenience connecting it with India and the east, and it was established as the Trucial coast. Whilst Abu Dhabi’s wealth was looking on the upside, it was badly hit by the intervention of Japan’s pearl industry and also by the 1930’s global recession. Furthermore, Sheik Zayed bin Khalifa passed away which added more uncertainty to Abu Dhabi’s prosperity.
However, this was not the end of Abu Dhabi’s fortunes. In 1939 Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan granted petroleum concession to the Trucial Coast Development Oil Company, (renamed the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company, ADPC, in 1962) in a bid to search for large oil reserves. In 1958, huge offshore oil reserves were discovered and a year later onshore reserves were also found. It was not until 1962 that the oil exports began, leading Abu Dhabi on to the road of unbelievable wealth.
In 1966 Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the new ruler of Abu Dhabi and two years later he formed the federation of the United Arab Emirates, which was in response to the British threatening to withdraw from the region by the end of 1971. The ruler of Abu Dhabi realised that his connection with Britain was vital in order to maintain a strong position in the oil industry. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan was elected as the first president and with the assistance of the British started to carry out his vision of developing the country with the advantage of increased oil revenues.
Sheikh Zayed was known as the ‘Father of the Nation’ due to his great developments of the city of Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately he passed away in 2004 and his son Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was elected as president and made sure he would continue his father’s legacy. Sheik Khalifa has invested oil reserves sensibly in order to boost tourism figures; an ambitious 3 million target by 2015 has been announced. With the outstanding determination of the Al Nahyan family reign, anything is possible. Key fascinating and impressive developments have been implemented, such as the Saadiyat Island and Al Grum Resort in order to attract visitors from all over the globe.
November to February
Corniche, Abu Dhabi Ice Rink, Lulu Island, Al Ain Club, Central Gardens, Rub Al Khali, Al Jahili Fort, Hili Fun City, Jebel Hafeet, Al Hosn Palace, Bedouin Village, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Iranian Souk, Dhow Harbor, Al Ain National Museum, Heritage Village, Bateen Shipyard, Hili Archaeological Gardens, Al Ain Old Prison, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Ain Al Fayda Resort, Womens Handicrafts Center, Volcano Fountain, Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium
Corniche: The Corniche is a long road that extends almost 6 km or 4 miles from the Sheraton Hotel to the Hilton Hotel. There are several gardens lined all along the Corniche around the coastal boulevard that borders the city. The Corniche proves to a boon for one and all, athletes who want to practice, families who want to relax and enable children to play in open space.
Abu Dhabi Ice Rink: The Abu Dhabi Ice Rink is located at the Zayed’s sport city off the airport road in Abu Dhabi. It is not very far off from Abu Dhabi. All the tourists, visitors, and the locals agree that it a must-see place for everyone and it is also agreed by everyone that it is a must-try sport. Moreover, it is a great way to escape the sweltering heat of Abu Dhabi. It is hard to believe that though Abu Dhabi is in the middle of a vast desert there is an ice rink right here.
Lulu Island: Lulu Island is located just opposite the Corniche and easily accessible by boat. It officially opened in 2007 and ever since it has been a popular attraction for tourists and even residents who want to escape from the busy centre of Abu Dhabi. This large man-made island is an ideal spot for short weekend trips and soon it will be linked by a bridge or tunnel to Abu Dhabi, making it even easier to gain access to.
Al Ain Club: The Al Ain Club, Abu Dhabi came to existance in 1968 and throughout the progress of club was full of contributions and achievements. This sports house of Al Ain Sports Club received tremendous support from HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Tourists interested in Sports in Abu Dhabi should visit Al Ain Club, Abu Dhabi. This is one of rhe most important Abu Dhabi tourist attraction.
Central Gardens: Central Gardens, Al Ain, has large adventure playground for children. At the children's adventure playground children can do wall climbing, grass skiing and other facilities. So if you are on Abu Dhabi adventure tour you must check out Central Gardens at Al Ain. Central Gardens, Al Ain also has a spectacular musical dancing fountain. This fountain, also known as grand fountain attracts large crowd of visitors.
Rub Al Khali: Rub Al Khali is one of the largest desert in UAE as well as in the world spreading over an area of 518,000 square kilometers. The desert territory is shared by the Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. The desert of Rub Al Khali, Abu Dhabi is the location of several adventure sports and activities.
Al Jahili Fort: The Jahili Fort, Abu Dhabi was home of the late ruler of Dubai Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This fort tells about the history of Al Ain city and of the emirate in general. The fort, houses the most popular tourist museum in this region, Al Ain National Museum, Abu Dhabi.
Hili Fun City: Hili Fun City is largest and most popular theme park in the Gulf region. Hili Fun City features over forty rides and attractions including a looping roller coaster, the dynamic motion theater, the high flying sky flyer and a host of other rides and slides. Picnic facilities, food outlets, souvenir shops and variety shows are provided in addition to the selection of rides including modern favorites and the latest attractions such as laser dome and gyro tower.
Jebel Hafeet: Jebel Hafeet, Abu Dhabi is Abu Dhabi's most well known mountain in the region. It is located on the Al Ain border. The height of the mountain is about 1240 meters. Jebel Hafeet road leads to a summit that offers a slendid view of the city. The road is often described as the best driving road in the world. Tourists from all over the world visit Jebel Hafeet.
Al Hosn Palace: Al Hosn Palace also commonly known as the old fort or the white fort is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. The palace was built in 1793 as the residence of the ruling family and the seat of government. The interior of the Al Hosn Palace has been renovated and modernized, and is now used by the cultural foundation to house the center for documentation and research. The center holds a collection of documents on the heritage and history of the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region.
Bedouin Village: Bedouin Village in Abu Dhabi is a must visit for both children as well as adults, as it gives ample scope to learn the how the Arabs lived traditionally much before the discovery of oil that changed the skyline of the United Arab Emirates. Bedouin Village in Abu Dhabi includes elaborate replicas of ancient mud-brick houses, wind towers and an example of the ancient irrigation system used in the Abu Dhabi in UAE.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world; able to accommodate more than 30,000 worshipers. The beautiful mosque is completely clad in marble and also features intricate Islamic decoration and carvings as well as extensive landscaping works. The architectural design of the mosque as a landmark building focused on the factors that would make a lasting impression on the worshipper.
Iranian Souk: Iranian Souk is an open-air souk located in Al Meena. This market sells goods imported from Iran, including beautiful bedspreads, carpets and hand-painted pottery. Iranian Souk, is a perfect paradise for shoppers. The souk offers - Oriental spices, vibrantly colored fabrics, prized Persian rugs, traditional designs in jewellery, and many more items.
Dhow Harbor: The Dhow Harbor in Abu Dhabi, has been developed as a free port for oil rigs supply vessels, buoys tug boats as well as traditional Arab dhows and launches for prompting active trade between Abu Dhabi and the gulf countries. You have to head to Dhow Harbor Abu Dhabi to watch the traditional Arabic ship boats in action, visit this harbor to view one of the regular sailing races.
Al Ain National Museum: The Al Ain National Museum is located adjacent to the Al Hosn Palace. The Ethnographical section of the Al Ain National Museum reflects the daily life of the people of the region. Reconstructions of traditional majilis and exhibits featuring traditional life are highlights. Garments, household items and utensils, as well as gold and silver jewelry reflect the local customs and traditions.
Heritage Village: Heritage Village is an authentic replica of a Bedouin encampment before oil wealth struck the area. Mud-brick houses, a traditional mosque, shopping in a traditional souq, taking a camel ride and watching a demonstration of the sport of falconry are highlights of the village. Heritage Village is located in the center of Abu Dhabi providing living exhibits of the lifestyle and traditions of the Bedouin and other local cultures.
Bateen Shipyard: Bateen Shipyard is situated on the west coast of island Al Bateen. The Bateen Shipyard is located close to the intercontinental hotel. Visit this place to see the ancient art of making boats. You can view the the traditional Arabic ship-building process.
Hili Archaeological Gardens: Situated within a public garden, the Hili archaeological site is accessible from the Dubai Road, some 10 kilometres outside Al Ain. Visitors, including those with children, can enjoy the landscaped public garden whilst having a picnic especially during the cooler months. This public garden features an important site where remnants of a Bronze Age settlement was excavated and restored.
Al Ain Old Prison: Al Ain Old prison is located just north to the Al Ain National Museum, Abu Dhabi, between the coffeepot roundabout and the flyover. The compound contains the prison tower and gardens. The prison is an isolated square turret placed in the center of a gravel courtyard. It surrounded by high walls on all the sides.
Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation: The Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi is housed in a modern building of Islamic design with arched columns, elaborate courtyards, manicured gardens and intricately carved doorways. It is considered the arts center of Abu Dhabi as it works to preserve the heritage and encourage cultural activities.
Ain Al Fayda Resort: Ain Al Fayda Resort, Abu Dhabi is a landscaped resort, which built around natural springs. The resort located to the south of the city. This resort is situated very close to the famous Jebel Hafeet, Abu Dhabi. A guest house and chalet style accommodation is provided to the guests. Even
those guests who are not taking an accommodation in this resort can also avail many leisure facilities.
Womens Handicrafts Center: The women’s handicraft centre is a rounded building featuring several huts where local women artists perform silver thread work and weaving. They also exhibit essential arabic oils, incense, local dress and handmade crafts. Photography is restricted and visitors are advised to remove their shoes before entering each hut, in conformity with local traditions.
Volcano Fountain: The volcano fountain, Abu Dhabi is one of the most famous Abu Dhabi tourists attractions. The fountain has a conical shape of a volcano, hidden lights color the water orange. This creates an impression of a volcanic eruption. This is the reason why this fountain is known as the Volcano Fountain.
Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium: Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium opened in 1969 and has since expanded into one of the largest collections of both common and rare animals. Arabian antelope and deer comprise a large area of the zoo. A variety of african antelope, such as oryx, eland, gazzelle and lechwe can be found in the tree shaded paddocks which offer excellent breeding conditions.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is the UAE's second busiest airport (after Dubai) and the home base of Abu Dhabi's flag carrier Etihad. Launched only in 2003, Etihad has been expanding furiously and now flies everywhere from the United States to Australia, and its services are remarkably good in all classes.
Despite its slightly dingy appearance and the spectacularly bizarre blue-lime tiled mushroom canopy that awaits you at the gates, the airport itself is quite well-maintained and has duty-free shopping.
The five-laned highway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is the country's heaviest-traveled route, and the 170-km journey can be covered in two hours. While there is a national speed limit of 120 km/h. Stay out of the leftmost lane and drive carefully, especially at night.
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