emirate of the United Arab Emirates
Asia > Middle East > United Arab Emirates > Abu Dhabi (emirate)

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the United Arab Emirates.

Cities edit

Map of Abu Dhabi (emirate)

  • 1 Abu Dhabi (Arabic: أبو ظبي‎‎) — the emirate's capital has colossal monuments, elegant museums, green boulevards, high-rise buildings, international luxury hotel chains and opulent shopping malls
  • 2 Al Ain (Arabic: العين‎‎) — this oasis town is the second-largest cityand home to cultural sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list
  • 3 Masdar City   (Arabic: مدينة مصدر‎) — A planned-city project in 2006 and designed to be a hub of clean-tech innovation

Other destinations edit

  • 1 Liwa Oasis (Arabic: واحة ليوا‎‎) — a collection of Bedouin villages along the edge of the Empty Quarter that can be a base for dune-bashing and other desert safaris
  • 2 Yas Island — home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, near Abu Dhabi city
  • 3 Sir Bani Yas Island (Arabic: صير بنى ياس) —  plays host to a wildlife reserve with many varieties of animals, birds, plants, dolphins, and turtles

Understand edit

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates and the capital of the UAE. It occupies an area of 67,000 km2 (26,000 sq mi). Its long coastline, the shallow waters of the Southern Gulf, extending from the base of the Qatar Peninsula in the west to the border of the emirate of Dubai on the north east, was once the world's best waters for pearling. When the pearling industry declined, oil discovery in the offshore oilfields of the Southern Gulf revived the economy of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi was also the first emirate to export oil from the Umm Shaif offshore field in 1962. On the land, it stretches south to the oases of Liwa where some of the world's largest sand dunes can be found and east to the ancient oasis of Al Ain. This makes Abu Dhabi the largest as well as the most populated of all the emirates.

Get in edit

Abu Dhabi (AUH IATA) and Al Ain (AAN IATA) have international airports, although Abu Dhabi's is by far the larger and better-connected of the two. Coming in via neighboring Dubai is also a viable option: it's 170 km (110 mi) from Dubai to Abu Dhabi city and 100 km (62 mi) to Al Ain.

Get around edit

Taxis are the preferred method of travel. They are cheap and have been replaced with a national service. fares start from approx USD1.50 and can take you from one side of the city to the other for less than USD10.

See edit

Abu Dhabi city is home to the 8th largest mosque in the world, an opulent palace, the national museum, an art gallery that is a branch of the Louvre, and an aquarium.

The Al Ain Museum and Fort was built to protect the oasis from raiders. Is museum recreates the way people of the region lived before the founding of the UAE. The Al Ain Oasis is the biggest in the region, and is made up of thousands of date palms.

At the Camel Souq about 5 km south of Al Ain, hundreds of camels are brought together to buy and sell.

The desert surrounding the border of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia (the Empty Quarter) is an excellent spot for stargazing. Al Quaa is known as 'the milky way spot' and is the location of the Emirates Astronomical Observatory.

The highway between Liwa Oasis and Abu Dhabi has a few interesting sights that can be visited within a day. These include salt lakes and the Emirates National Auto Museum.

Do edit

Desert Safari trips are an exhilarating experience. You must book ahead, but this can often be done as late as the day before, by your hotel receptionist. The whole event normally starts late afternoon. You will be collected directly from your hotel. The trips vary slightly but normally you arrive back to your hotel in the evening around 22:00. Most packages include an exhilarating drive over the dunes by an experienced driver in a 4x4 vehicle, a short camel ride, delicious Arabic buffet and Belly Dancer. The belly dancer is normally included only if there are enough of you in your party so enquire at the time of booking.

Formula One or Grand Prix motor racing is held on the Yas Island circuit in Nov-Dec.

Abu Dhabi Skydive is based in Khalifa Industrial Zone along the highway to Dubai.

A safari to the Sir Bani Yas Island wildlife preserve will bring to its wonderful flora and fauna. You can also experience the island's hilly terrain on a bicycle, hike, snorkel, kayak, or do archery.

Eat edit

Drink edit

Non-Muslims are permitted to bring up to 4 litres of alcohol into Abu Dhabi. Alcohol is also available in hotel bars, but bringing any of it home requires a liquor license.

Stay safe edit

Very safe, no need to worry, take the usual common sense precautions.

Go next edit

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