Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi has become an elegant and modern city now a day. This place has a fascinating mixture in between tradition and innovation. Abu Dhabi preserves an Arab atmosphere due to its rich history that dates back to 3,000 B.C. The Nomadic Bani Yas tribe first inhabited it in 1760, and for a while this place remained as a small fishing village until oil was found. This was what revolutionized Abu Dhabi into the modern city that we know today. A city that has become one of the main cities in the United Arab Emirates because of it’s growing economy. Abu Dhabi is one of the principal oil producers, being able to produce at least 1,5 million of barrels a day.

These are places in Abu Dhabi that are definitively worth paying a visit to:

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque fits up to 50,000 worshippers, and is one of the few mosques that is open to non-Muslims. This mosque was built in between 1996 and 2007 at the demand of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This is one of the largest mosques in the world. It has 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns and a white with gold appearance which is adorned in Macedonian marble.

The mosque is not the top attraction, however tourists say that one must visit this place to understand the city’s religious identity. The recommendation here is to tag along the free-guided tours in order to understand better the place and its history. One must remember that it is still a religious place, which is why dressing accordingly is a must; no shorts, skirts, or sleeveless shirts, and also women will need to cover their hair.

Observation Deck at 300

The observation deck shows a skyline views from the highest point in the city, on the 74th floor on the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel.  Up here you can enjoy some snacks and drinks while enjoying panoramic views of the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The ‘300’ stands for being 300 meters in the air, which makes this observation deck the capital’s highest observatory.

Marina Mall

The United Arab Emirates are known for not being shy to show the wealth of their country. Along with this, it comes one of the most popular shopping venues called Marina Mall. This enormous place holds more than 400 stores, as well as entertainment, amusement centers, cafes and also restaurants in addition to a food court. What calls a lot of the visitor’s attention is the Marina Mall’s observation deck, which offers a panoramic view of the Persian Gulf, the Corniche and the Emirates Palace.

Desert Tours

The dessert here is considered the largest sand mass in the world. There are a couple of options to experience the desert, like the following: you could ride a camel through a trek, hop in a dune buggy-ride, experience a safari in a jeep ride, get in an air balloon tour, etc.

Another way to experience a different side of the desert could be by staying in the villages that sit around the Empty Quarter dunes, which also offer desert tours as well.

The Corniche

The Corniche is a promenade that stretches nearly 5 miles along the coast of Dhow Harbor. It passes through the most popular hotels, as well as restaurants and shops. The Corniche shows a view of the Persian Gulf and the city skyline. Although the walk might be long, it is an enjoyable experience. Renting a bicycle is another available option for the people that prefer skipping the long walk; this can be done at numerous stations along the Corniche. Besides doing the promenade stroll, the Corniche is famous for its beaches. Here you can relax and enjoy the sea, and also play volleyball, catch a concert, or just grab a bite.

You might also enjoy: Frugal Travel: A Handful of Tips for Traveling on a Budget