Abu Dhabi has become the bustling modern city glinting skyscrapers, large boulevards, lofty apartment buildings and busy shopping malls. It is made up of nearly 200 islands where a great number of multi-billion dollar hotels, houses and amusement parks for wealthy locals and tourists can be found. Among the 5-star lifestyle of Emirates, somewhere you can still feel the fascination Bedouin culture. Its deep tradition, historical buildings, old Arabian oasis, regional festivals and the authentic marketplace hit the right boxes for a mesmerizing holiday.
Enjoy the Arabian desert
If you have grown up reading Arabian tales and fantasized about their life, this is the time to experience it in real. Abu Dhabi’s desert safari must be in the top of your ‘to- do’ list. Go for a cool camel trekking, rest in a Bedouin tent, have some qahwah and watch the majestic sunset across the golden sands. Your tour can often comprise of henna body art, enjoy the belly dancing, shisha smoking, watch falconry exhibition and savor delicious Arabic buffet. For extra dose of rusticity, you can plan for a trip to Arabian Wildlife Park situated in Sir Bani Yas Island.
Explore and shop the best of Abu Dhabi
No holiday is complete without shopping. When it’s about shopping in Abu Dhabi, you can hardly resist doing so. The sparkling shopping malls, local souks and traditional markets offer plenty of choices to pick up your favorites and swell up your bag. From Iranian Souk, Meena Souk and Grand Souk, you can feel Abu Dhabi’s remarkable culture. Its ultra-modern shopping malls must be visited. The endless range of retail outlets, superior infrastructure and awe-inspiring architecture will escalate your shopping experience (image by Els).
Know the past at Heritage Village
Heritage Village is a living museum located at the Breakwater, the middle of Abu Dhabi. It offers few glimpses of emirate’s history. The traditional Bedouin lifestyle, age old cultures employed in trading, fishing and agriculture are explained and showcased in detail. The location also features workshops where craftsmen demonstrate their skills in making conventional decors and clothing. You will also find tents, courtyard house and an ancient irrigation system. The souvenir shops sell authentic pottery and exotic Arabic spices.
Visit the 200 year old fort
Al Maqtaa Fort is actually 200 years old which has been renovated several times to preserve its charm. This fort is one of the most mysterious old constructions in Abu Dhabi. When it was built, Abu Dhabi was not more than small trading and fishing port. The isolated fort was used as a watch house to keep an eye on bandits who attempted to invade the city. Be alert of your actions because this is a sensitive military zone (image by world-travellers.de).
Witness art and cultural exhibitions at Al Ain
The second largest city of Abu Dhabi was named as UNESCO World Heritage site. Without any doubts it can be tagged as the cultural hub of Abu Dhabi. Al Ain is also known as ‘Oasis City’. Back in history, the ruling family used to have their home here. The natural springs flowing from the rocky heights are sites of attraction. Al Ain hosts an art and cultural exhibition frequently, at Al Qattara Arts Centre. It is built on a location that dates back to 1100 -300 BC i.e. the Iron Age. You can also see the ancient camel souk (world’s last existing camel market) adjacent to the art centre.
The United Arab Emirates is known for its vibrant city life and top tourist attractions. Not just Abu Dhabi, but it has other fascinating countries like Ajman, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and more where great vacationing moments and snaps are guaranteed!
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Feature image by Rashed Al Za’abi