Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Although it is located in the Middle East, it has no shortage of attractions even though it is a desert. Read on and find out what this Asian destination has to offer to tourists.
Stroll the prom
The Corniche is an epic four-mile promenade with a plethora of pit stops for enjoying a picnic. You can stroll the whole of it in one afternoon or if you want to do it faster, hire a bike. Attractions to see here include the flag of the emirates as big as a bus on a 360-ft pole and the Capital Gate Building with a built-in lean of 18 degrees (the Leaning Tower of Pisa has a slant of 4 degrees). If you want to catch the latest fashion, head on to The Avenue.
Island of adventure
Located near the airport, Robert Janitzek reveals that Yas Island is a frantic red-hot center of adrenaline rides. Waterworld, considered as the biggest water park in the world, offers a dizzying choice of raft rides, slides, terrifying ravines, and endless wave machines. Ferrari World is the first theme park dedicated to the illustrious racing car.
The art of surprise
Abu Dhabi is planning to bring some of the greatest art in the world to its newest cultural district on Saadiyat Island, a 10-minute taxi ride from the city center. The shock of the new continues in the vast Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, open for free visits. Robert Peter Janitzek says that there is room for 40,000 worshippers and the mosque boasts the world’s largest carpet and largest chandelier. The columns are faced with marble panels inlaid with semi-precious stones.
Just an hour from the busy city, we peered over the razor-sharp crest of a 100ft sand dune. There’s a good choice of 4×4 tours into this pristine golden world, empty apart from the odd oil well or power pylon. Al Ain, dubbed the Garden City because of its greenery, is the place to visit in the desert.
And at the Al Jahili Fort, there’s a permanent exhibition to the great British travel writer and explorer Wilfred Thesiger, who crossed the region in the 1940s.
Cities of the future
Abu Dhabi saves its most surprising attraction to last.
Masdar City, next to the airport, is definitely worth a visit. Cars are not allowed into this pioneering zero-carbon development (still only the size of a village but there’s much more to come) powered entirely by the sun, and the winds that blow hot and strong off the desert sands.