Abu Dhabi is known as the capital and the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is also capital of the largest of the UAE's seven member emirates. Abu Dhabi is located on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast.
Abu Dhabi is a relevant location to important financial institutions which includes the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, and the corporate headquarters of the biggest and also majority companies and numerous multinational corporations. Aside from that, Abu Dhabi is one of the world's largest producers of oil and has actively attempted to diversify its economy in recent years through investments in financial services and tourism.
With all that under its belt, people are not surprised to know that Abu Dhabi is the second most expensive city for expatriate employees in the region, and is recognised to be the 67th most expensive city in the world. Fortune magazine has made its statement along with CNN that Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world in the year 2007.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Travellers have exclaimed that going to the Grand Mosque is simply a must-do in Abu Dhabi. The structure is simply glorious and sophisticated. It is notably one of the most beautiful mosques that a traveller will encounter. Travellers who plan to visit must consider dressing modestly as this is one of those places where you simply cannot dress up. For female travellers who are not accustomed to the culture, the mosque will let you borrow Abhayas. All that trouble of dressing accordingly will be worth it as the marble work, stained glass work, and pillars are simply stunning. The The Grand Mosque is also known to have the world's largest carpet made by thousands of carpet knotters. The ceilings are adorned with seven immense chandeliers imported from Germany that are made up of millions of Swarovski crystals.
Emirates Palace - As some would like to say as Abu Dhabi's answer to the Burj Al Arab, this hotel which is managed by the Kempinski Hotel Group, opened in 2006 and is located on 1.3km of private beach near the Abu Dhabi Corniche and surrounded by 85 hectares of gardens, with 114 domes that are 80 metres high. Travellers will be delighted by the vastness of this place; the main palace building stretches over a kilometre from wing to wing, and its gardens and surroundings spread across 100 hectares. The palace hotel has 302 rooms and 92 palatial suites. Unfortunately, if you are not a guest, you cannot enter the Emirates Palace. An alternative however is to dine at one of the hotel's restaurants.
The Heritage Village - This place will give travellers a sneak peek of the culture of the United Arab Emirates. Located at the Abu Dhabi Marina, near the Marina Mall and facing Lulu Island, the village has views of the Abu Dhabi Corniche. This place is usually included in the day tour of Abu Dhabi from Dubai, so take note of your day tours as to not mess up your itinerary. There are many activities within the village such as a re-creation of a souq, a traditional old mosque, a Bedouin encampment with a goat-hair tent and camels, and a barasti house. There are also workshops that are held where travellers can watch craftsmen making pots, blowing glass, beating brass, and weaving on traditional looms. Souvenir items can also be purchased here.
How to get around within Abu Dhabi
Public transport systems in Abu Dhabi include the Abu Dhabi public buses, taxis, ferries, and airplanes. Those who are looking for the most convenient way to go around Abu Dhabi should opt for street taxis which are easily recognised. These street taxis are either silver for the newer models with a yellow roof sign or white gold for the older models with a green roof sign. It is said that a massive expansion of public transport is anticipated within the framework of the government's Surface Transport Master Plan 2030.The said expansion is expected to see 130km of metro and 340km of tramways and/or bus rapid transit (BRT) routes.
How to get there
Travellers who want to travel to Abu Dhabi will arrive via air at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. There are many airlines that operate from this airport and travellers will not have a hard time in booking a flight. Cheap flights can be booked by Skyscanner through a variety of airlines in their system. Among the many airlines that serve the Abu Dhabi International Airport include Air Berlin, Air India, Air Serbia, airBaltic, Alitalia, British Airways, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Middle East Airlines, Qatar Airways, SriLankan Airlines, and Virgin Australia.
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