Abu Dhabi

Culturally Modern

As the federal capital and seat of government for the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi was once considered less exciting than neighbouring Dubai. When current head of state, Sheikh Khalifa, came to power in 2004 he set about a radical transformation of the Emirate, turning it into one of the most modern and exciting cities in the world.

Recent years have seen a sharp rise in hotels, shopping malls and attractions, like Ferrari World, as well as large international events like the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the V8 supercars, attracting a sharp rise in tourist numbers flocking to this exciting sun-drenched city. The city is also home to an emerging arts and cultural scene, with both the famous Louvre and Guggenheim museums due to open Abu Dhabi galleries on the cultural precinct of Saadiyat Island in the near future.

The city is not all about modernism though, the fascinating Heritage Village houses a recreated traditional mosque, lively souk and Bedouin camp which gives a flavour of life in the UAE centuries ago. There are also workshops where you can see master craftsmen at work.

Insiders' Tips

  1. Children's Parks: Abu Dhabi has 20 parks especially designed for children. One of the best is Mushrif Children's Garden, in the Mushrif area.
  2. Take a Journey Back in Time: Housing a recreated traditional mosque, lively souk and Bedouin camp, the Heritage Village gives an insight into life in the UAE centuries ago.
  3. Housing a recreated traditional mosque, lively souk and Bedouin camp, the Heritage Village gives an insight into life in the UAE centuries ago.
  4. Stroll along the Corniche. With its beachfront location, paved walkways and gorgeous greenery, a stroll along the Corniche is a must.

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