Abu Dhabi, Arabic for father of the gazelle, is the federal capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The island capital is a beautiful and modern garden city lined with wide boulevards, green parks and bubbling fountains. The city of Abu Dhabi is a part of the large emirate with the same name. The greater emirate of Abu Dhabi occupies approximately 85% of the country’s 78,000 square kilometres.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE. This modern and multi- aspects city is distinguished with its rich history and cultural identity that has given a good impression to a lot of activities and events which meet the aspirations of all its visitors. It is the largest emirate of the UAE which has an area of more than 67000 square kilometers. It, also, includes a lot of islands. The most important islands are Das, Sir Bani Yas, Mubrez, Delma, Al Saadeyat and Um Al Nar. In addition, it has a lot of cities such as Al Wathbah, Al Ruwais and Al Dhafrah.
Abu Dhabi has high-level tourist components that meet the needs of all types of tourism such as conferences, business and entertainment tourism. Abu Dhabi offers modern and luxurious conference rooms equipped with the latest technologies. Furthermore, it contains a lot of five-stars luxurious hotels, interesting recreational centers, golf stadiums, theaters, as well as, a lot cultural centers. Soon, Abu Dhabi will host two of the most famous museums in the world; the Louvre – Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim – Abu Dhabi.
The luxurious shopping opportunity can be found in Abu Dhabi where a lot of malls that contain the most famous commercial brands and the global fashion showrooms with competitive prices, where all products are exempted from sales taxes. Also, the restaurants offer a variety of Middle Eastern and European cuisine and other international cuisine.
Abu Dhabi is characterized by a world-class tourist structure which allows to practice the entertaining sports such as walking, running and biking, taking into account the requirements of the movement of the special needs people in its streets and parks, where it witnesses several celebrations and festivals in the national events.
The city of “Al Ain” in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi includes Jebel Hafeet whose peak height estimated of about 1,340 meters above the sea level is considered the highest spot in the emirates of Abu Dhabi. The five-stars “Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet” hotel has been constructed on the peak of the mountain. It provides a relaxation and unique view on the city of Al Ain for its dwellers that enrich their experience.
There are a lot of heritage locations available in Abu Dhabi that have great concern and care. The history of some antique locations is related to 3000 BC, as indicated by the antique exploration expeditions, concerned studies and research.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi consists of three main areas :
The first area: the city of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi City is the headquarter of the president, the Council of Ministers and the most of ministries and federal institutions, as well as, the foreign embassies, radio and television. It includes Zayed Port, which contributes in facilitating the movement of trade, and Abu Dhabi International Airport, in addition to, most of the oil companies, establishments and commercial markets. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi Corniche including its gardens and fountains is one of the most prominent aesthetic features of the city.
The second area: the Eastern Region
The capital of the eastern region is Al Ain city. It had been called with this name because it is rich with natural springs that turned this region into a fertile green oasis and the natural water the flows by wells and Aflaj, which are underground water channels carry the water to various farms of this area. The most important landmarks in Al Ain are Al Ain Gardens, Haffet mountain, Al Hili Fun Park, Al Ail Zoo and Al Ain Museum for antiguities. Furthermore, the United Arab Emirates University and Al Ain International Airport are the most important milestones in the city.
The third area: the Western Region
The capital city of the western region is Zayed city that includes many of planted woods, that are estimated about 100 thousand hectares including about 20 million trees, to control desertification and some land oil fields, as well as, and oil refinery at Al Ruwais. The emirates has a lot of islands. The most important islands and maritime oil fields are Das, Mubrez, Zarkwah and Arzanah, in addition to, Delmah, Al Saadeyat and Abu Al Abiad.
Most attractive sites for tourist in Abu Dhabi are:
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque is considered one the most stunning religious and architectural landmarks in Abu Dhabi today. It is one of the most significant architectural masterpieces in the UAE today and one of the most innovative and beautiful spots in the world. It was built on an initiative of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who is the father and founder of the United Arab Emirates.
The mosque, known among Abu Dhabi residents as the Grand Mosque, is considered as an evolutionary landmark with a global touch in terms of design and architectural material brought from almost all over the world including Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and, of course, UAE. The best quality of natural material and fabrics were used to build and decorate the mosque such as marble, stone, gold, precious stones, crystal and ceramic.
A state-of-the-art hotel managed Kempinski, Emirates Palace is perhaps the most expensive hotel in the world. The Government of Abu Dhabi has spent around $3 billion to build the hotel. Many people mistake it for a presidential palace. Emirates Palace comprises 400 rooms and suites. Most of its interior designs are made of marble and pure gold. Several classical music and ballet dance concerts were organized in the Conference Hall of the Emirates Palace soon after it was opened. Emirates Palace is situated near ADNOC complex at a short distance from the Marina Mall. Visitors heading from t he city or the Corniche towards the Heritage Village or the Marina Mall will not miss the chance of having a glimpse of this magnificent edifice.
Al Maqta Fort
This is a 200 year fort that can be viewed when you come close to the Maqta Bridge inbound to Abu Dhabi. The fort was used as a protective shield against robbery raids at that time. In view of its value in the history of the Emirate, the fort, like most of the other forts in the country, has been renovated in recent years.
Heritage Village (Front water, Abu Dhabi City)
Any visit to Abu Dhabi is incomplete if it does not include the superb Heritage Village that overlooks the Abu Dhabi Corniche, near the Breakwater, at a short distance from the enormous Marina Mall. At the Heritage Village, the visitors will have a glimpse of the way of life of Abu Dhabi beduins of the past where they can see object that showcase the traditional desert camps such as the tents made of goat hair, in addition to the burner and Arabic coffee dallahs. The Heritage Village shows the techniques used in extracting water from old wells and irrigation systems, in addition to mud homes, old fishing villages and old bazaars.
What is interesting is that the Heritage Village has a number of workshops for old industries as such metallic tools, pottery and sewing where the craftsmen allow the visitors to try their ability to do the job. There is also a spice shop in the village offering spices of all tastes to the visitors. Additionally, a mini souvenir shop sells handicrafts. While touring the village, the visitor can pass by a mini museum exhibiting traditional industries tools such as diving equipment, jewelry, weapons, coffee pots and many more.
Photography is allowed in the village and visitors are advised to take their cameras with them to record their memories with the sociable craftsmen with the heritage components on the background. They can also take photographs with camels or horses.
There are also many other spots that worth visiting such as the Ferrari World where the largest indoor theme park and the Yas Circuit which hosts Formula 1 race. The Falcon Hospital, the old forts in Al Ain City and the Western Region as well as the nature resorts that are home for rare animal species are among the other spots in Abu Dhabi.