Nestled on a T-shaped island in the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi, which means “father of deer,” is the capital and largest city in the United Arab Emirates. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is situated in the middle of it all, directly connected to the high-end Nation Galleria Mall and near major business districts, as well as the newly inaugurated Louvre and Guggenheim museums.
A worldly blend of tradition and modernity, Abu Dhabi is famously home to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The size of five football pitches, the mosque accommodates up to 41,000 worshipers. It also houses 82 domes and over 1,000 columns, and at night the mosque glows with an extraordinary lighting system. Inspired by the phases of the moon, it produces beautiful reflections in the surrounding pools.
Nearby, Al Ain offers insight into the past. An oasis on the caravan route from Oman to the UAE, it is among the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements. Today, the city where Sheikh Zayed was born remains the most traditional community in the UAE and is home to one of the country’s few remaining camel markets, the Wildlife Park, and the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum.
On the contemporary side, 45 minutes from the hotel, Yas Island hosts Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World, the world’s first and largest indoor theme park, with the fastest rollercoaster in the world and the Yas Marina Formula One™ Circuit. Meanwhile, the Foster + Partners-designed Souk at Central Market seamlessly unites past and present with a classic Arabic marketplace situated in an environmentally sensitive structure.
Relish Abu Dhabi’s sunshine, Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club covers 300 hectares of grassland. Just 30 minutes from the city center, the club boasts eight polo fields and stables for more than 200 horses.
Additionally, three award-winning golf courses pepper the area. The 27-hole Abu Dhabi Golf Club —designed by world-renowned course architect Kyle Phillips—features seven salt-water lakes. Just 20-minutes away, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club—designed by golf legend Gary Player—presents spectacular vistas of the Gulf.
An hour and a half south of the city, the Empty Quarter, otherwise known Rub al Khali, presents the world’s largest sand desert. Bigger than France, Belgium, and the Netherlands combined, its dunes can top 300 meters.
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