Welcome to Abu Dhabi, where luxury and style are infused with traditional values of hospitality and respect. Where sunny weather, tranquil beaches, lush oases, vibrant city life, and a mixture of culture and traditions come together to create a holiday experience like no other. Explore the emirate’s old souqs, sip a fragrant Arabic coffee, ride the dunes on an exhilarating desert safari, or dive into a dazzling marine life - there is something for everyone in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates which make up the UAE and accounts for more than 85% of the country’s total landmass. The city, built on the largest of almost 200 natural offshore islands in the emirate, is the capital both of the emirate and of the UAE. Abu Dhabi’s population is currently around 1.6 million and is expected to grow by 6.8 per cent per annum over the next decade to a projected 3.4 million by 2015. Abu Dhabi has an estimated 9.2% of the world’s proven oil reserves and 4% of its total proven natural gas reserves. It offers a galaxy of the tourist attractions out-of-the-world resorts and facilities for leisure and recreation. The year-round sunshine and the temptations to unravel the mystique of the Arabian adventures all combine to make a visit to Abu Dhabi an irresistible choice.
Desert Safari, tranquil beaches, lush oases, vibrant city life, and a mixture of culture and traditions
Dubai's landmark building is the Burj Khalifa, which at 829.8 m is the tallest building in the world. For most visitors a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor here is a must-do while in the city. The views across the city skyline from this bird's-eye perspective are simply staggering. The slick observation deck experience includes a multi-media presentation on both Dubai and the building of the Burj Khalifa (completed in 2010) before a high-speed elevator whizzes you up to the observation deck for those 360-degree views out across the skyscrapers to the desert on one side and the ocean on the other. Night-time visits are particularly popular with photographers due to Dubai's famous city-lights panoramas. Buy your Burj Khalifa 'At the Top' Entrance Ticket in advance to avoid long line-ups.
Dubai's excellent museum is housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 to defend Dubai Creek. The fort's walls are built out of traditional coral-blocks and held together with lime. The upper floor is supported by wooden poles known as "handels", and the ceiling is constructed from palm fronts, mud and plaster. In its history, the fort has served as residence for the ruling family, seat of government, garrison and prison. Restored in 1971 (and again extensively in 1995) it is now the city's premier museum. The entrance has a fascinating exhibition of old maps of the Emirates and Dubai, showing the mammoth expansion that hit the region after the oil boom.