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Abu Dhabi (أبو ظبي) is the capital of the United Arab Emirates but not the largest city, which is Dubai. Still the city has about 1 million inhabitants of which 80% are expats! Compared to the latter, it also moves at a relatively slower pace. The government seat is here and thus it is the political heart of the country. People have been living here since several thousands of years ago. Nowadays it is a lively city in the central northern part of the country, along the coast of the Persian Gulf. Many people visiting the United Arab Emirates overlook this city and favour to spend time in Dubai or other places which cater to package tourists.
Red Bull Air Race in February and the Abu Dhabi/Etihad Formula One race in November.
Huge crowds flock to the most-populated city in the UAE for Abu Dhabi’s International Jazz Festival. This beloved May event lures thousands of music lovers, where amazing performances are given by some of the world’s leading jazz artists. The festival began as a two-day event, but now spans more than a week.
At the end of Ramadan, the cities of the UAE celebrate with parties and feasts. Both visitors and locals can share in the spoils as Dubai and Abu Dhabi throw social events for several days to mark the end of the Islamic fasting period in September.
Commemorating the formation of the UAE and the independence of the region from Britain, National Day is celebrated across the country in December with performances and events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Accommodations are hard to come by at this time, so book well in advance.
Weather in Abu Dhabi generally is warm to hot and dry. The hottest months are between June and September when temperatures can rise up to 45 °C or even more. Humidity can be high as well, although this mainly applies to the coastal areas. Still, the best times to visit are from October to April with warm and dry conditions, although some rainshowers are possible during the wintermonths.
|Avg Max||23.8 °C||24.6 °C||28.6 °C||33.4 °C||38.4 °C||39.6 °C||42 °C||41.5 °C||40.1 °C||35.8 °C||30.6 °C||25.7 °C|
|Avg Min||11.8 °C||13.2 °C||15.8 °C||19.1 °C||22.8 °C||24.8 °C||27.6 °C||28.7 °C||25.6 °C||21.8 °C||17.5 °C||14.1 °C|
Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the gateway to the city and also the main base of the flag carrier, Etihad Airways. Etihad Airways has flights to many major cities in Europe, Asia and even further away to Sydney and New York. Low-cost carrier AirAsia X connects Abu Dhabi with Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from November 2009.
Etihad Airways provides bus coaches between Dubai and Abu Dhabi International Airport for Etihad customers. Taxis are available for transport into Abu Dhabi centre.
The current Abu Dhabi airport was built in the 70's and although unique in a quaint sort of way, it's showing it's age.
The new terminal 3 has opened in 2009 and should provide a better experience. A midfield terminal is under construction and is slated to open around 2012 and will be a world class international facility with a 22 million passenger per year capacity.
There are no trains within the United Arab Emirates.
Buses link Abu Dhabi with the main cities and emirates, including Al Ain and Dubai.
Top notch intercity highways, but driving in the city is a nightmare. There are many cultures and driving styles and they all are aggressive. Picture Manhattan on steroids. Even if you get to your destination unscathed, parking is almost non-existent.
Cheap, but crowded and unreliable buses. Get a cab instead.
The city is compact and pedestrian-friendly, but in the summermonths the heat and humidity will have you hailing an airconditioned cab within minutes.
Not recommended unless well out of the city. Even then the erratic driving habits here will put you at risk.
Abu Dhabi is home to scrumptious Arabic food. One can find small cafes and Lebanese eateries all over the city, where you can try out delicious kebabs with freshly baked Arabic bread called khaboos. One can enjoy a tasty snack of shawarma (shredded chicken pieces with a melange of sauces in a khaboos roll) and a fresh juice for less than Dhs.10. For vegetarians there's an option of filafill sandwiches (deep fried chick pea cutlets). One can enjoy a variety of international fast foods at malls or at the various outlets all over the city.
|Al Diar Dana Hotel||P.O. Box 47300 Tourist Club Area||hotel||-|
|Al Diar Mina Hotel||P.O. Box 44421||Hotel||-|
|Al Diar Palm Hotel||P.O. Box 2406||Hotel||-|
|Al Manzel Hotel Apartments||Zayed the 1st Street||Apartment||-|
|Kingsgate Hotel||Tourist Club Area||Apartment||-|
|Vision Hotel Apartments||Tourist Club Area Old Mazda Road||Apartment||-|
|Ramee Guestline Hotel Apartments 1||Hamdan Street Behind Al Salama Hospital Tourist Club Area||Apartment||-|
|Howard Johnson Diplomat Hotel||Shk. Khalifa Street||Hotel||-|
|Ramee Hotel Apartments Abu Dhabi||Murror Street Next to Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal||Apartment||-|
|Ramee Royal Hotel Apartments||Muroor Road Opposite Mamoura (Mubadala)||Apartment||-|
|Euro Hotel Apartments||Muroor Road Abu Dhabi||Apartment||-|
|Ramee Garden Hotel Apartments||Airport Road Abu Dhabi||Apartment||-|
|Oaks Liwa Executive Suites||Meena Street Tourist ClubArea Abu Dhabi||Hotel||-|
|Mirfa Hotel||Al Marfa City, Western Region||Hotel||-|
|Liwa Hotel||Liwa St, Liwa Oasis||Hotel||-|
Internet cafés are fairly common in the larger cities, and web censorship is at times odd, but rarely obtrusive. Free wifi is rolled out over the country, starting with Abu Dhabi en Dubai in 2014 and 2015, and many places like hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee places have free wifi as well.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country code is 971. Emergency numbers include 999 (police), 998 (ambulance) and 997 (fire), though the general 112 number can be used as well.
The mobile phone network uses the GSM technology and use is widespread. The format for dialing is: +971-#-### ####, where the first "#" designates the area code. Key area codes include Dubai (4), Sharjah (6) and Abu Dhabi (2). Calls to mobile phones use the operator's area codes: (50/56) for Etisalat and (55) for Du.
If you bring your own cellphone, be sure to switch off roaming to avoid high costs, or otherwise purchase a local SIM card from Du or Etisalat. You need your passport with valid visa to purchase the SIM card.
Emirates Post provides services in the country. It's fairly affordable and reliable and many post offices keep long hours from Saturday to Thursday, usually from around 7:30am to 8:00pm or even a little later. Most are closed on Fridays, though some are open for a few hours. If you want to send packages internationally, you might want to use companies like DHL, TNT, FedEx or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and competitively priced. A good alternative is the country's own Empost UAE.
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