The capital of the United Arab Emirates has always been more conservative than neighbouring Dubai but what Abu Dhabi lacks in glamour, it more than makes up for in culture by maintaining a more distinctly Arabian ambiance.
Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a well-ordered, industrious city with a pretty waterside location. First inhabited by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe in 1760, the settlement remained a small fishing village until oil was discovered. The revenues transformed Abu Dhabi into the modern city of today – a bustling centre of government and business.
Other than shopping, Abu Dhabi offers many sightseeing attractions that wows all who visit. To name but a few, is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which is able to hold 40,000 worshippers, the biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates; Abu Dhabi’s Heritage Village – an authentic replica of a typical Bedouin encampment that gives an idea of typical Emirati life before the oil boom; Al-Hosn Palace, also known as the Old Fort or the White Fort, is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi, built in 1793 and once the residence of the ruling family and the seat of government.
Abu Dhabi’s answer to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the Observation Deck, offering skyline views from the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel, the highest point in the city.
The city also makes a good base for excursions to the desert landscapes of Liwa Oasis and the oasis city of Al Ain.
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