The laidback and tranquil cousin to Dubai's loud and cosmopolitan living, Abu Dhabi shines as one of the most beautiful cities in the Southwest Asia. It's also one of the most liveable places in the region due to its wide range of high-class facilities and lack of traffic jams. Located on the eastern part of the Arabian peninsula facing the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is in a strategic location to explore other sights from the UAE's coastline.
Abu Dhabi retains a distinctly Arabian charm that combines tradition with modern surroundings. The city is committed to promoting its heritage and culture while providing a warm welcome to visitors. Travellers to this part of the world can find relaxing place to unwind while interacting with the local community.
Desert day tours serve as one of the highlights in going to Abu Dhabi. Travellers can look for local companies to go dune bashing. Travellers will experience a rollercoaster-like ride over the sand dunes and then see a vista of the city from a high vantage point. Camel rides can also be part of the itinerary, depending on the package. There might also be a lavish dinner with traditional dishes to experience the authentic taste of Arabian food.
A tour of the city to see the impressive landmarks is also necessary. Tourists should visit is the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan Mosque. It's one of the largest mosques in the world, which can accommodate around 40,000 people. Before going inside, be sure to follow the dress code and find out the proper way to move around to prevent distractions for those praying inside the mosque.
Once finished with the tour, tourists can go to the Women's Handicraft Centre to learn more about the artists and their handiwork. Workshops for creating Arabian oils, local dresses, silver thread works, and weaving are located here. There's also a shop inside for those looking to buy souvenirs. Visitors can also get a henna tattoo that will last about two weeks.
Tourists interested in the local life before the Great Oil Discovery can tour the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. This open-air exhibit displays how everyday life was in the city. There's also a traditional Bedouin camp in the museum for those who want to find out about the city's culture and heritage.
How to get around within Abu Dhabi
Travellers coming from the airport can take a metred taxi to arrive at their destination. There are also public buses available, but these generally cater to locals. To move around by bus, find out the routes to make the commute easier. Driving by car can be a convenient option, but be sure to become familiar with the rules and the road before hiring a local car.
How to get there
The Abu Dhabi International Airport caters to various flight carriers from different parts of the world. Travellers coming from South Asia should look for the following airlines: Air India, EgyptAir, Gulf Air, Jet Airways, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, Turkish Airlines, and many others. Those from the Asia-Pacific region can book flights on Philippine Airlines and Virgin Australia.
European and North American passengers, on the other hand, can go to Abu Dhabi on flights from British Airways, Air Serbia, Air Berlin, KLM, Lufthansa, and other carriers.