Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the largest of the seven emirates federation. Renowned for its picturesque Corniche overlooking the glittering waters of the Arabian Gulf, the city is well on its way to becoming a preeminent international destination.
Just minutes from the resort, the Saadiyat Cultural District is quickly transforming into a cultural epicenter that will eventually be home to the Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Performing Arts Center. On the mainland, the capital exudes a rare mix of tradition and modernity, pulsating with cosmopolitan energy at the same time it offers rare insight into the past through myriad heritage sights.
For both information and inspiration, the 200-year-old Al Maqta Fort operates as a visitor information center. Nestled next to Al Maqtaa Bridge, it was originally built to fend of bandits and today serves as an evocative contrast to the neighboring contemporary structure.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a striking art piece and one of the largest mosques in the world, is celebrated for its diverse Islamic architecture and striking white color. It can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers and is the unique mosque in Abu Dhabi open to non-Muslims. Additionally, Arabian Horses provide exhilarating insight into the local culture. Having served the Middle East since ancient times, they are famed for their intelligence and versatility. Equally enlightening, a trip to a date farm illuminates how this local fruit, known as the tree of life, is cultivated and processed for export.
Moreover, the natural wonders of the region are not to be overlooked. The dramatic desert enchants with its endless imposing dunes, while the Abu Dhabi Corniche—peppered with cafes, gardens, beach volleyball courts, and more—provides access to the city’s stunning beaches.
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