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Abu Dhabi is no ordinary island in the sun. The capital of the United Arab Emirates it has recently been declared the world’s wealthiest city. Located on the edge of the Persian Gulf, a holiday in Abu Dhabi conjures up beautiful blue skies with luxury resorts and hotels, but this is just the beginning of what an Abu Dhabi holiday has to offer.
The culture of Abu Dhabi is an amalgamation of its Islamic traditions as well as international influences, which give a truly intriguing mix of old and new. The regal services and luxurious accommodation that Abu Dhabi prides itself in provides a perfect backdrop for romantic getaways, honeymoons, and even family holidays. There are a variety of airlines reaching Abu Dhabi, including Etihad Airways, British Airways and American Airlines. From its humble beginnings as a small fishing village, Abu Dhabi has transformed into one of the most sought after holiday destinations today.
The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr which is in a prime location at the mainland gateway to the city of Abu Dhabi this will not disappoint any holidaymaker. Combining unique architecture and modern décor the Fairmont Al Bahr is a hotel of sheer excellence. An oasis in the midst of Liwa desert, this is the largest uninterrupted dessert in the world.
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara embraces the desert culture with renowned luxury. With comfortable palatial-style villas, this Abu Dhabi hotel will let you experience a retreat that blends cultural passion with desert tranquillity.
The five star Beach Rotana is an Abu Dhabi resort gem and brings together unique blend of traditional Arabian hospitality and the breathtaking opulence of modern luxury. In a perfect location in Abu Dhabi the interior décor will not disappoint, with elegant rooms and suites with a new level of luxury. All the accommodation has been designed and furnished with what it seems like royalty in mind.
For short weekend trips, Lulu Island is a large man-made island opposite the Corniche. It is accessible by boat and visitors are free to enjoy the resort and the restaurants and cafes present on the island.
Top Things To Do:Historical Sites& ArchitectureThere are plenty of historical sites for holidaymakers to immerse themselves into the culture of Dubai. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an awe-inspiring feat of architecture with captivating Arabian charm. As one of the world’s largest mosques, it can hold a capacity of an astounding 41,000 worshippers. The sunset tour at around 4:30 is an exquisite opportunity to see the structure in all its beauty.
ShoppingShopping can certainly be seen as a national pastime in Abu Dhabi, and from contemporary malls to traditional souks, the diversity between the two is remarkable, and definitely worth experiencing.
SportsWhen it comes to sport, activities are far from scarce in Abu Dhabi, with International standard golf courses and blue skies provide the perfect holidays for Golf Enthusiasts. Abu Dhabi’s majestic sand dunes provide a perfect environment for off-road driving adventures. Space Walk Abu Dhabi is a vertical wind tunnel enabling almost everyone to experience the thrill of free falling or skydiving.Camel SafariThis timeless Arabian tradition of travelling across the Emirates by camel is a memorable experience in itself. The Abu Dhabi desert (Al Ain Desert) provides breathtaking scenery for a 2.5hour journey. Just make sure you remember to bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat!
Wildlife ParkThe Arabian Wildlife Park in Sir Bani Yas Island allows visitors to interact with it’s residents consisting of over 10, 000 free roaming animals, including gazelles, Arabian oryx, hyenas, giraffes and cheetahs.
Ferrari World Abu DhabiFor a thrilling day out with rides for all ages, Ferrari World is the world’s largest indoor theme park and Ferrari Gallery. And if that isn’t enough to get the adrenaline pumping, it also hosts the world’s fastest roller coaster, as well an exhilarating interactive 4D adventure through deep jungles, icy caves and fiery volcanoes.BeachesThe Abu Dhabi Corniche is one of the most popular destinations in the Emirate, and rightly so, with a prestigious Blue Flag status. This guarantees clean and safe bathing water, in a beautiful and pristine setting.
Arabian Nights Heritage VillageA visit to Abu Dhabi would be incomplete without dropping by the Heritage Village, which overlooks the Corniche and is a short walk from the Marina Mall. It is a traditional reconstruction of an oasis village, giving a vibrant and colourful insight into Dubai’s past.
Food:Vibrant and exquisite, there are a number of options when it comes to cuisine, from vegetarians to non-vegetarian specialist restaurants and street food. From Mediterranean influenced buffets at the Olive Branch in Mafraq, to the Arabian Palace with Middle Eastern and South Asian curries, portions are almost always generous.
Festivals and Celebrations:
The Abu Dhabi FestivalThe Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation is a non-profit organisation that aims to embrace local creative talent by making international art and music accessible to everyone. It organises regular concerts and features some of the top classical and opera performers. Past years have seen the likes of Andrea Boccelli, Magida El Roumi and Bolshoi Ballet.
Shopping Festival March – AprilA tribute to how the nation values its shopping experiences, the Abu Dhabi shopping festival adds sparkle to the existing impressive range of shops available, and draws visitors from all around the globe to experience this retail culture.
Beats on the Beach Festival NovemberCorniche hosts this fantastic free concert with workshops in music and dance for astute musicians and beginners alike. With acts from a diverse range of countries, international music is presented over three days, with the likes of Ce Lo Green and Missy Elliot representing the USA.
Ramadan: Falls around Oct-Sept depending on the lunar calendar.Ramadan is an Islamic month of abstinence, and therefore it is illegal throughout the UAE for adults to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours. Many hotels, however, have areas where non-fasters can eat so food services will remain available in these places. Adults are also expected to dress more modestly during this time, and tight or revealing clothing should be avoided in public.