Snow-white sand of the beaches, emerald greenery conquering even the everlasting sultriness, smooth and even streets like there were made with a ruler, and mind-blowing skyscrapers. Abu Dhabi is so respectable, solid, and accurate. This city emerged in the middle of a harsh desert within just a couple of decades, challenging nature. It's an Arabian fairy-tale where the rapid rhythm of modern life intertwists with ancient traditions and futuristic technologies. Abu Dhabi reasonably justifies its status of capital. It knows how to steal a way into a guest's heart and how to amaze him. It can show you such wonders that no other city in the world is aware of.
Districts of Abu Dhabi
Map Abu Dhabi
Attractions of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a young town and can't offer many historic attractions except for the Qasr al-Hosn and museum exhibitions. But the modern wonders - the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace, the Leaning Tower, the circular building, Louvre - sparkle even more interest among tourists.
The population of Abu Dhabi
History of Abu Dhabi
Several Arabic hunters were chasing a gazelle in the desert. As it was trying to escape from human beings, it headed towards the Persian Gulf. Then she got into the water and reached the island located not far from the bank. Hunters were following its track when suddenly stumbled upon a source of freshwater. In gratitude for this valuable finding, people did not kill the animal. A settlement was found near the spring and was named Abu Dhabi, which from Arabic translates as "Father of Gazelle".
At first, it was a small fort surrounded by fishing huts. But in 1793, the settlement became a residence of the local sheiks. Fishing and pearl fishery had remained to be the primary activities of the inhabitants until they found deposits of oil in 1958. Owing to the extraction of oil, Abu Dhabi transformed from a small fishing village into a modern megalopolis with all pertaining attributes in just a couple of decades. The city became the capital of the United Arab Emirates in 1996.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to visit Abu Dhabi
As Arabic culture has its peculiarities, it's vital to remember what is considered to be bad manners in Abu Dhabi. First of all, it's tasteless to hand over food, beverages, or even money with a left hand. In addition to this, you can't offer the locals any food that contains pork and strong drinks. When you enter the Arabs' home, you have to take off your footwear and leave it at the door. Usually, it's also a typical habit for people from post-Soviet countries.
If you throw a package, a candy wrapper, or any other type of rubbish and miss a trash bin, you can get into severe troubles in Abu Dhabi. Fines for such actions are enormous. Moreover, it's strictly forbidden to smoke in hotels, shopping and amusement centers, and even at beaches. You are allowed to smoke only in special designated areas. Otherwise, you will have to pay a significant fine. And if the accident repeats, you can be deported.
Bringing medicaments into the country has its set of characteristic features. Even the traditional drugs containing loperamide or painkillers can be forbidden. Therefore, you should check the list of permitted meds in advance.
The sacred Muslim month, called Ramadan, also has its peculiarities. It starts on the day when a thin crescent moon appears in the sky after the new moon of the eighth month. A special committee keeps track of this. During this month, even non-Muslim people are not allowed to eat before the sunset, drink and smoke in public places, sing, and dance. Violation of these rules can also lead to detention in jail.
It's pretty easy to follow the dress-code. According to Islamic laws, the clothes must cover shoulders and knees regardless of gender. The blazing sun provokes the situation. Therefore, if you plan some trips and tours outside the hotel's boundaries, consider choosing loose-fitting and covering clothes made of light natural fabric. Thus, it will protect you from the ultraviolet, and you will observe the decencies.
What should a tourist do in Abu Dhabi?
- The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a number one point in the list of attractions in Abu Dhabi. It's a contemporary Wonder of the World that everyone should definitely see with their own eyes. Unlike many religious establishments, this mosque is open to tourists. Women are given abayas - a particular piece of clothes - right at the entrance. Mind that men wearing shorts and sleeveless T-Shirts won't be permitted inside the sight. Both the exterior and interior of the mosque strike the imagination. Over 40 thousand people can be inside the building simultaneously. Everything is decorated with marble, leaf-gold, crystals, semiprecious stones, and Swarovski crystals. The surface of a carpet that lays in principle prayer area occupies 5600 square meters and weighs 47 tons. The courtyard is tiled with unique marble mosaics.
- Walk along the Corniche waterfront. Its overall length is eight kilometers. This area offers plenty of pedestrian and cycling tracks, playgrounds, and cozy cafes. There is a lot of greenery, gorgeous fountains, beaches, and street musicians. You can rent a bicycle to see the whole waterfront. Marvelous views of the water on one side and magnificent skyscrapers on the other become a pleasant and absolutely free advantage. A sunset will become an unforgettable spectacle.
- Attend the gorgeous Emirates Palace hotels. It's hard to imagine, but it has seven stars instead of the traditional five. When you come inside, you realize that seven stars are honestly not enough for this splendor. They say that around two tons of gold were spent only on the decoration of this eastern luxury. Every tourist can dive into this magnificent atmosphere. For example, you can drink a cappuccino or try some ice-cream with gold here. It will cost you only 60 Dirhams (approximately 20 dollars).
- Get into the Louvre. Yes, you have read it correctly. Abu Dhabi has its Louvre. Everything is official and registered. The Emirates paid France an impressive sum of money (525 million euros) only for the name of the brand. It displays the items within a scope of a thirty-year agreement between Abu Dhabi and the government of France. The collection includes paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Claude Monet, cultural items of ancient civilizations rented from the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, Pompidou Centre, and Musée d'Orsay. By the way, the unique architectural project was also developed by the French.
- Choose the most beautiful skyscraper in Abu Dhabi. And the choice is mind-blowing. No wonder the city is even called "Manhattan of the Middle East". First of all, this is Etihad Towers consisting of five towers standing next to each other. It also includes the round skyscraper (110 meters in height) that ascends over the horizon like a blue ball and occupies 62000 square meters. And the Leaning Tower in the very heart of Abu Dhabi was recognized by Guinness World Records as the furthest leaving humanmade tower in the world.
- Spend the whole day in the "Ferrari World" themed park on Yas Island. It has the permanent racing track of Formula One. Out of racing hours, the park offers a wide range of attractions for both children and adults. A kart racing academy, a racing track for kids, the gallery of Ferrari, light show, and roller-coasters! This is the primary conveyor of adrenaline! They are 63 meters in height and speed up to 120 kilometers per hour with a 51-degree incline of rails.
- Explore the fabulous oasis of Al Ain. Its territory occupies 1200 hectares and is covered with plantations of date palms. A complicated irrigation system helps to support their lives. The system was inspired by the ancient irrigation technique. Silence, chillness, and singing of birds are available free of charge to every citizen and guest of the Emirates' capital.