A fabulous city to visit is Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the main city of the emirate of the same name, located in the northeast part of the Persian Gulf. Abu Dhabi is characterized by a large number of high-rise buildings, tourist attractions and luxurious parks. The city spreads over an area of 67.34 square miles and attracts travelers from all over the world with its combination of Eastern traditions and modern urban landscapes.

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Video: Abu Dhabi


The UAE capital is built on an island archipelago along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is connected to the mainland by several road bridges. Abu Dhabi is not only the political and cultural, but also the economic center of the state. Its contribution to the country’s economy is 56%. There is an international airport and the major seaport Zayed. A huge part of the money that this Arab country has been earning from oil for more than half a century has gone into turning the capital into a unique comfortable resort and a real park city.

Abu Dhabi is justifiably considered the safest city in the Middle East. There is practically no crime, and excellent emergency services. The city is notable for its cleanliness and convenient layout. The streets of Abu Dhabi are perfectly straight and form a grid of six main highways, and the most spectacular skyscrapers are concentrated parallel to the sea coast.

Abu Dhabi leads the world year after year, leaving behind the capitals of other countries in terms of quality of life, size of entertainment centers and finances invested in beautification. Travellers come here to see the city, which grew up in a barren desert, being built and flourishing. Many are attracted by the beautiful beaches, sporting activities, and nightlife of the metropolis.

Climate and weather

Abu Dhabi is considered one of the hottest cities in the world as it lies in a tropical desert climate zone. During the summer months the thermometer reaches up to +50 ° C and in winter stays at around +20. +22°С. The comfortable tourist season lasts from October to May.

It should be noted that the city’s public gardens and parks keep the air temperature down, making it 1-1.5 ° colder than in the surrounding desert area. Rainfall in Abu Dhabi is only about 50 mm per year, and most of the rain falls during the winter.

City Park The cannon statue in Heritage Park

History of Abu Dhabi

Based on excavations, archaeologists have concluded that a settlement on the site of modern Abu Dhabi existed in the 3rd millennium BC. The city was founded in the 60s of the 18th century, and there is a legend telling how it happened.

The Old Fort is one of the first buildings in Abu Dhabi, dating back to the 18th century

Arab hunters who lived in the Liwa Valley saw the tracks of a gazelle in the desert. They tracked the animal for a long time, but it went farther and farther away, until it led the people to the shore of the Persian Gulf. The gazelle made its way to an island not far from the shore, fleeing the pursuit. The hunters rushed after it and found a source of pure fresh water here. It was a very valuable find, so people did not kill the gazelle in gratitude.

Abu Dhabi in 1980

The settlement on the island was named Abu Dhabi, which means “father of the gazelle” in Arabic. It originally consisted of a small fort and a few fishermen’s huts built under the walls of the fortress. Since 1793, local sheikhs placed their residence here.

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Until the middle of last century, life in Abu Dhabi went on without much change. Its inhabitants were engaged in fishing and fishing for pearls in the waters of the bay. In 1958, near the future capital the first oil fields were discovered and the city became the center of oil production. For three decades, from a small fishing village it has grown into a modern metropolis with spacious highways, green parks, entertainment centers and high skyscrapers. And in 1996 Abu Dhabi was awarded the status of the permanent capital of the country.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Fountains near the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Hotel

Walking the capital’s streets

Every tourist coming to Abu Dhabi is amazed by the abundance of greenery planted here. Palm and eucalyptus trees line the city entrance and the median strips in the middle of the streets. Flowerbeds, grassy lawns, and ornamental shrubs abound in the capital.

Corniche Beach promenade in Abu Dhabi

The city’s Corniche promenade is a beautiful sight, stretching along the coast for 8 km. It is also fringed with green plants, masking the naturally arid soil. The waterfront has equipped playgrounds, separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists, and many restaurants and cozy cafes.

The Corniche has its own beach park, which has received an honorary Blue Flag for its cleanliness. Lifeguards are constantly working on the beach, and the swimming area is fenced with special buoys. This place is so popular with residents and guests of Abu Dhabi, that on weekends it is difficult to find free sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach.

Many travelers gladly use the service of renting bicycles and can explore the entire long promenade from beginning to end. Conveniently, a special rental shop offers cycling enthusiasts different machines: mountain bikes, women’s bikes and bicycle tandems. Hourly rentals start at $5 for adults and $4 for children.

Adjacent to the Corniche waterfront are several business districts of the city, where the offices of major companies and major government offices are concentrated. This, the northern part of Abu Dhabi is built up so densely, that for the abundance of skyscrapers is called the “Manhattan of the Middle East”. The most recognizable among the high-rise buildings are the twin towers of Al Bahar. Another popular attraction is the 35-storey Capital Gate, or the Falling Tower, which rises to a height of 160 m. This unusual architectural structure entered the Guinness Book of Records as the skyscraper with the largest angle of inclination in the world (18 °). Suffice it to say that the famous tower in Pisa has an angle of inclination of only 4°, i.e. 4.5 times less.

Al Bahar skyscrapers Capital Gate Tower in Abu Dhabi

To make it easier to navigate in Abu Dhabi, it is worth knowing that from north to south through the neighborhoods are laid roads, and perpendicular to them are Streets. Wandering around the city, you can visit one of its old attractions – the majestic Al Husn Palace, which was built in 1761. At that time, the main task of the fort was to protect the found source of drinking water. The rebuilding of the stone fortification into a palace took place during the reign of Sheikh Shabut. The architectural monument is on Al Nasr Street.

To feel the unique atmosphere of the oriental city you can visit the Old or Central Bazaar. Here you will find a lot of spices, sweets, jewelry, carpets, national clothes and beautiful souvenirs. And of course, as is customary in the East, buyers and sellers love to haggle.

Central Bazaar of Abu Dhabi

An interesting place to visit is the “Ethnographic Village”, a large open-air museum-park where old Arab dwellings are collected. Travelers can check out the blacksmith shop and pottery workshop, watch weavers and glassblowers at work.

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Abu Dhabi Ethnographic Village

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Huge in size Muslim shrine appeared in Abu Dhabi in 2007, and for its construction was spent 600 million. The mosque building is considered the largest in the country and one of the largest in the world. The Muslim temple was named after the country’s first president and is located on Sheikh Zayed Street.

It is noteworthy that the mosque is one of the few Muslim temples in the capital, where they allow not only believers, but also tourists. Moreover, there are paid tours inside the building for all comers. And there is a lot to see there! The floor of the temple is covered with the largest carpet in the world, an area of more than 5600 square meters. Its weight is 47 tons. To make a unique carpet, 35 tons of wool and 12 tons of cotton were used. And 1200 professional weavers worked on this masterpiece.

Mosque is illuminated by seven chandeliers, decorated with leaf gold and bright Swarovski crystals. They were made by German specialists. The largest chandelier weighs 12 tons and has a diameter of 10 meters. It is considered the largest chandelier, which can be seen in the mosques of the world.

The main hall of the temple can accommodate 7000 worshippers. There are two women’s prayer rooms adjoining it, which can accommodate 1500 people at a time. The main building is surrounded by four minarets rising to a height of 107 m. The mosque is covered with many white marble domes. Its courtyard is very beautiful – it is entirely lined with patterns of colored marble.

The Great Mosque of Sheikh Zayd

Amusement Parks

The abundance of amusement parks found in Abu Dhabi has a simple explanation. Arabs are ardent followers of the cult of family and lovers of spending their free time in a fun and interesting way.

The park “Ferrari World” built in the city has the status of the largest theme park in the world. The large-sized building is covered by a roof in the form of a stylized profile of the model “Ferrari GT”. The park is designed for families, so it is interesting to spend time with both children and adults.

Here you can learn about the history of Ferrari and drive a real racing car. The park has entertaining rides, such as the world’s fastest pneumatic roller coaster. And visitors can also visit an interactive exhibition of cars and enjoy the flavors of Italian cuisine. “Ferrari World is located in downtown Abu Dhabi on Yas Island and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Inside Ferrari World Park

On the same artificial island in 2013 was built a modern water park “Yas Water Park”, covering an area of 15 hectares. The water amusement center is able to accommodate 6 thousand visitors at a time. For guests in the water park is open 43 attractions, many of which have no analogues in the world.

Waterpark “Yas Water Park”

0,5 km from Abu Dhabi stretches Island Saadiyat, which turned into a huge cultural and entertainment center. The island has branches of the Louvre and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. There is also a center for applied arts, the Sheikh Zeid National Museum and an interesting maritime museum.

The beach at Saadiyat Island Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum The Sheikh Zeid National Museum

Abu Dhabi Nature Sanctuaries & Zoo

If the hustle and bustle of the city tires you out, you can head to a true natural paradise – the fabulous green oasis of Al Ain. Its 1200 hectares of territory are covered by date palm plantations – more than 147 thousand trees. Life inside the urban oasis is sustained by a system of water channels built in the tradition of the falajah system. It is an ancient irrigation technique. Such canals first appeared in the Arabian Peninsula 3 thousand years ago. The well-maintained natural area attracts with silence, shady coolness and birdsong. It is free to enter through any of the eight entrances.

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Al Ainah Oasis National Park Eastern Mangroves Lagoon

All nature lovers love the national park located on small islands right in the Abu Dhabi city limits. The Eastern Mangroves Lagoon is home to a variety of fish, crabs, octopus and stingrays, as well as colonies of pink flamingos and black herons. To preserve the unique biodiversity of the mangrove islands, the city authorities have prohibited passage along them by scooters and motor boats. There are educational kayak tours for tourists. The national park can be accessed via Al Salam Street. The park is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Travelers with children often go to the big city zoo, spread over an area of 900 hectares. There is a large collection of animals and especially try to show the guests the species included in the Red Book. The zoo territory is green and well-groomed. For the convenience of visitors on it are created playgrounds and open cafe. Guests can feed the animals, ride camels, and visit the contact part of the zoo, which is a stylized home farm. Here you can not only feed the animals, but also pet them.

Abu Dhabi Zoo

Restaurants and Cafes

Each hotel in the city has its own restaurant, but most visitors to the capital also try to look in the cafes or restaurants on the streets of Abu Dhabi. As in any Muslim country, there is an official ban on the sale of alcohol in the UAE. In restaurants located in the city, it is impossible to order alcoholic beverages. Meeting the needs of tourists arriving in the capital from non-Muslim countries, the authorities have allowed the sale of alcohol only in hotel restaurants, and that in the most expensive.

Abu Dhabi has many good restaurants serving European, Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Mexican cuisine. Almost everywhere you can order well prepared fish dishes. Particularly popular is “briquettes” – pieces of fish fried in batter. In the street eateries tourists eagerly take shawerma and flatbread with greens and cheese, which is called “manakish” here.

Abu Dhabi has its own exotics. In the restaurant of the five-star hotel “Emirates Palace” they serve coffee with gold. A thin film of gold coats the hot beverage. One eats it first and then drinks the coffee.

Rare lamb at the Hilton Snacks at Benjarong Street Food in Abu Dhabi


All roads in the UAE capital are of excellent quality, and there are parking lots in various locations. The city has an extensive bus network with modern, air-conditioned shuttles. The climate is hot here, and almost all bus stops in Abu Dhabi are air-conditioned. From the central bus station you can travel to cities in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and to cities in other emirates in the country. Buses start at 5:30 a.m. and end around midnight on weekdays, and depart at 2 a.m. on weekends and holidays.

Abu Dhabi Bus Stop Abu Dhabi Bus Taxi in Abu Dhabi

The capital’s cabs are painted in several colors. Private, older cabs, which will soon cease operating on the streets of Abu Dhabi, are white. Gold and silver cars make up the city’s modern taxi fleet. Pink cabs are driven by women. They take orders only from women and by rule can take boys up to 10 years old. All cars have meters with a single set rate.

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Special offers on Abu Dhabi hotels

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Interesting facts about Abu Dhabi

  • Electrification of the city was carried out in 1967.
  • The streets are planted with 40 million date palms, and each tree has its own hose for watering.
  • The city is equipped with about 90 fountains. The most beautiful – “Volcano”, “Flying Swans” and “Dallas” – can be seen on the waterfront Corniche. Their jets look especially picturesque in the evening illumination.
  • The local custom is to offer food, drink or money from the left hand.
  • Gambling and sexually oriented printed and video products are banned in Abu Dhabi. It is also forbidden to be drunk in public places. The only exceptions are hotel bars.
  • A person who throws garbage in the street will have to pay a fine of 3,000 dirhams.
  • Sheikh Zayd Mosque can accommodate 40 thousand worshippers.

How to get there

32 km east of Abu Dhabi is an international airport connected with 50 countries. For Russian tourists there are direct flights here only from Moscow. From the airport of Abu Dhabi to the city center there are buses and cabs.

If you choose to change planes, it is more convenient to do it via Dubai. From here you can get to Abu Dhabi on Emirates Airlines branded buses, coaches, minivans or cabs from Bar Dubai Bus Station. Buses travel for about two hours and arrive at Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station.

A fabulous city to visit is Abu Dhabi

A fabulous city to visit is Abu Dhabi - Photo 2

Abu Dhabi, what is worth visiting?

This city has many attractions, surprises, pleases and relaxes. Many tourists come here for a while and return to Dubai . It’s a shame, because after all, one day is clearly not enough to enjoy the greenery, the unusual sights and the entertainment in Abu Dhabi . The Emirates is growing at an express pace. New roads, skyscrapers, and hotels are being built in the desert. Investment plans go on for 30 years ahead. All this is consistent with the vision of the Emirati sheikhs, who, realizing that oil will one day run out, have laid the foundations for a liberal economy, and invested in tourism. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Emir of Abu Dhabi for almost 40 years, the first president of the country (the UAE was created in 1971 as a federation of Emirati principalities) emerged from this assumption. It would be a long time to write about his merits to the new state. It is worth noting that he was a man insanely rich and at the same time modest, pious, tolerant. It was he who initiated the construction of the largest mosque in the UAE, which is also considered the most beautiful in the world.

A mosque like a fairy tale

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A mosque like a fairy tale

It is characterized by its size (accommodates 40 thousand worshippers), elegance, architectural styles and historical heritage. Its snow-white marble domes and slender minarets are reminiscent of images from a fairy tale “One Thousand and One Nights”. The columns, both outside and inside, are absolutely unique. Many of them have bulbous gold crowns and crescents, as well as ornaments made of mother of pearl. The gates, ornaments, and courtyards with pools create an architectural masterpiece filled with religious and cultural symbols. You have to look around not to miss the original wall decorations, also look down at the beautiful handmade carpets (the largest is in the main prayer hall, at 5,700 square meters) and crane your head to admire the impressive chandeliers of gilded stainless steel, brass and glass panels decorated with Swarovski crystals (the largest weighs 12 tons !). On the day, the building reflects the sunlight beautifully.

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Ferrari and Italian coffee

A fabulous city to visit is Abu Dhabi - Photo 4

Ferrari and Italian coffee

Who wants to drive an iconic Ferrari? In Abu Dhabi it is possible even without a driver’s license! Such surprises await in the theme park Ferrari World Abu Dhabi on the artificial island of Yas. How many sights are there! The fastest roller coaster in the world (reaching speeds of 240 km / h, the passengers experience overloads like taking off in a spaceship), an exciting Turbo – track (rides on an almost vertical track!), Flying Aces (his loop is heart-shaped and is the highest in the world – 63 m!) For relaxation you can drive a Ferrari 250 California through a miniature Italy or a real Ferrari with an instructor around Yas Island and to cool off you can stroll through the streets… Italian cities. If there is a Ferrari park, there must be an Italian atmosphere. And this is evoked by replicas of old buildings, courtyards, squares, fountains and stores, of course, the aroma of Italian coffee . And then there’s the culinary part ( Italian cuisine, which pizza is the patron of) and the shopping ( lots of specialty souvenirs in superbly organized stores). The exit of the park is the entrance to the shopping arcade Yas Mall , and in the neighborhood there are other entertainment venues: a water park, amusement park Warner Bros, a yacht port, a golf course, the beach and the famous Formula 1 race track.

The City of Tomorrow and the Past

Fabulous City to visit - Abu Dhabi - Photo 5

The city of tomorrow and the past

Abu Dhabi is filled with modern buildings, bold designs, and traditional oriental charm. Numerous islands and islets, gardens (watered with desalination water!), parks, mangrove forests are a sight to behold. There are cricket clubs, sports centers, diving schools, playgrounds, rental of equipment for water sports . A modern hallmark of the city is a complex of 5 buildings Etihad Towers, there are office buildings, residences, hotel, observation deck. The capital has not forgotten its past, as evidenced by the restored White Fort (built in 1790) – the former home of the ruling family, today an important museum and a monument to the nation. In many places you can enjoy the harmony of traditional architecture mixed with an ultra-modern background.

A cultural symbol of the city is the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi . They were designed by the famous architect Jean Nouvel . With its bright dome, openwork patterns, water and play of lights, it looks phenomenal from the outside but inside it hides a huge wealth, has 12 permanent galleries , temporary exhibitions, an auditorium . There are collections from more than a dozen French museums, as well as those of Egypt, Jordan and others. For the right to use the name of the Louvre the UAE paid 400 million euros. This unusual place is on the island of Saadiyat, or the island of happiness. Soon there will be new museums and galleries, which will be part of the largest art space in the world.

A multitude of beaches.

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Lots of beaches.

Bright colors, the sound of water, beautifully decorated interiors, elegant restaurants, a swimming pool, a beautiful beach with rental sports equipment, with tables, deck chairs, wicker baskets. How nice … it’s worth a walk along the beach along the other luxury hotels. Pools, waterfalls, fountains, palm islands, gardens, soft sand, and on the other side the white facades of the Sheikh Zayd Mosque sparkle. A relaxing and beautiful view.

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