Abu Dhabi Holiday Tours Day Trips Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi UAE Attractions Tours day trips

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is similar to Dubai in many ways: both areas came into great wealth comparatively recently, both have plenty of swanky hotels and both attempt to fuse Arabic tradition with the demands of modern business.

However, focusing on the differences rather than the similarities will make a short trip to Abu Dhabi a worthwhile break from your stay in Dubai. Abu Dhabi the emirate is easily the largest (with more than 80 per cent of the UAE's land) and the richest. The city is smaller than Dubai, but its political importance means that it is the official capital city of the UAE.

But the real difference between the two places is that Abu Dhabi has more oil than Dubai, which means that there is less focus on greasing the wheels of the tourist industry. The city has the luxury of a more relaxed approach to tourism, which means that you may have a more peaceful time than you were expecting. The city sees itself as a cultural centre, so you will find the Cultural Foundation (a very big arts centre on Airport Road), the Heritage Village (an interactive representation of Bedouin culture on Mussafah Road) and city centre parks.

But don't be fooled into thinking that Abu Dhabi is too aloof for the business of attracting visitors. There are plenty of beaches, of which perhaps the best is Al Raha, past the Umm Al Nar roundabout. A shopping festival in March attracts shopaholics from miles around.

Holiday Hotels

There are also plenty of upmarket hotels, and most good restaurants are actually found inside these hotels, although there are a few exceptions, including Art Cauldron on Al Falah Street. Perhaps because of the city's small size, all the hotels are handily located near the things you came for no tedious trekking to the nearest shops, for example. Some, like Beach Rotana (near the Abu Dhabi Mall) have their own beach. However, these tend to be at the upper end of the price range.

To get to Abu Dhabi city from Dubai (and back), you can get minibuses or long distance taxis. Within the city itself, there is a bus network and it's quite cheap, but not very reliable, so it might be better to rent a car or use taxis if you're on a tight schedule.