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A Guide to Abu Dhabi

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, and the sister city of Dubai, the more famous economic capital.

While more often seen as a serious city for business, it is not so often considered a serious tourist destination. However, the governing authorities have a plan to change all that and turn the city into a hub of culture, business, and the arts, with plans for an outpost of the Louvre well under way, as well as an extension of the Paris-Sorbonne University and even a Guggenheim Gallery.

Abu Dhabi is a city which is worth more and more looking out for as time goes on, as there are more and more activities and attractions here opening every few months. Due to immense oil wealth, they’ve got no shortage of cash to do it with either, with the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, estimated at over $800 billion US Dollars. It’s probably advisable to land in Dubai and explore it first before venturing into Abu Dhabi, as it’s not enough of a destination to warrant a visit to the UAE alone. Abu Dhabi is located about two hours drive away from Dubai. The most advisable transport option if you don’t have a car at your disposal is a luxurious bus service with wireless Internet costing only €5.

Once you’ve arrived, you’ll probably want to sort where you want to stay. Abu Dhabi only seems to have very luxurious, albeit expensive hotels, which for some may prohibit the cost of an extended visit. There are many well-renowned hotels around the beautiful corniche overlooking the sea and many of Abu Dhabi’s outlying islands and for sun and sand lovers there are many hotels adjacent to private beaches, although these will usually attract a higher premium.

The most efficient way to travel around Abu Dhabi is on the Bus Service, at €0.40 it’s also being rapidly improved with Air-Conditioned bus stations under construction. Taxis are also an option, and rides around the city should seldom cost more than €3. Some of the best things to do can be go for a cup of tea at the Emirates Palace Hotel, which is though to be the most expensive hotel ever built. The cups of tea are thankfully cheaper. The decor is absolutely splendid and there are frequently historic and cultural exhibitions being held here. The Jazz Bar at the Hilton can be a great place to go at night; with a restaurant section and pretty decent Jazz (the bands also take requests). One thing definitely worth doing to is to visit a mall. Abu Dhabi city has three main malls, the best one being Marina Mall which features opulent décor and a musical fountain well worth seeing – as well as a plethora of cafe’s and boutiques. The shopping and eating experience here is only rivalled in by Dubai’s Malls – there’s pretty much just about every brand of clothing imaginable.

Top 3 Abu Dhabi Hotels:

Photo of the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE, by Joi

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer paul crompton

Paul Crompton is an avid reader and has a passion for cars and technology, primarily. He loves traveling to whichever exotic travel location which is cheap. His dream is to become an advertising executive.


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