Abu Dhabi – the name you can only pronounce with longing. Longing to discover its wonders for the first time, or an ever-growing longing to return. Nestled in the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi stretches over some 200 islands, both natural and man-made, connected to the mainland by the Maqta, Mussafah and Sheikh Zayed bridges. An important cultural hub, the capital of the United Arab Emirates fulfils all the desires any of us might have: the weather, the skyline, the cuisine, the leisure, the adventure, the vibing shops and glowing sand dunes, just to name a few. Moreover, its closeness to Dubai makes it an ideal gateway to the quintessential United Arab Emirates experience, providing a safe base for anyone wanting to venture out further into the region.
Get an idea of what Abu Dhabi is all about by taking a look around the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an Islamic architectural feat designed to hold over 40,000 worshippers and attracting millions of visitors each year. The UAE’s largest and most spectacular mosque was erected to embody the Islamic message of tolerance and respect. It also oozes Arabian luxury with onion-shaped domes, more than a 1,000 columns, gold chandeliers and the World’s longest hand-knotted carpet.Discover the stunning Qasr Al Watan presidential palace and its impressive library that boasts a huge collection of ancient books.The Emirates Palace also awaits guests and visitors with indoor gardens, a private bay and gourmet delicacies such as the Palace cappuccino or the camel burger.
Visit the vast, vibrant and varied shopping scene of Abu Dhabi, for portside fish souks, glitzy boutiques with private shopping sessions and everything in between! The Galleria Al Maryah Island has over 400 retail brands under one roof, plus some of the best food in the city, including the contemporary Italian creations of four-star Michelin chef Enrico Bartolini at Roberto’s Abu Dhabi. The shops of Medinat Zayed will be easier on your wallet, except for the fine gold, diamond and pearl jewellery stores in the adjacent Madinat Zayed Gold Centre. Traditional markets are a must for their ambience alone but they won’t disappoint on the retail front, either. Check out the catch of the day at the fish souk at Mina Zayed, snap a photo of the rainbow-coloured stalls of the Al Mina Fruit and Vegetable souk or find the perfect coffee pot at Souk Al Zafarana.
Don’t let their size fool you and explore the smaller islands of Abu Dhabi as well for an authentic experience! Visit Sir Bani Yas Island and explore the Arabian Wildlife Park, relax in the infinity pool on Happiness Island, replenish your energy at the five-star eco-resorts of Zaya Nurai Island or sip a cocktail under a beach cabana on Al Maya Island. For vastly different thrills, sign up for a dune walking at dawn, camel-trekking or an overnight 4x4 safari tour through the dramatic dunes of the Al Dhafra Region. You can also ditch the desert and get on the water to discover the Mangrove National Park in the city’s eastern outskirts: kayak among several-metres-high mangrove trees and their spectacular inhabitants, such as flamingos and western reef herons.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is located 30.6 km East of Abu Dhabi City but can also be considered as a gateway to the UAE. Dubai is located 120 km and approximately 80 minutes from the airport, easily reached by taxi, WIZZ Ride or even more comfortably with car rental for as little as €8 per day. Book at rentalcars.com now!
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