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Abu Dhabi

Travel Guide Middle East United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi

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Introduction

camino de abu dhabi

camino de abu dhabi

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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.

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Sights and Activities

  • Corniche - The coastal road has been developed as a beautiful walkway and the Corniche of the 1990s has expanded to a grandiose level today but still remains one of the favourite spots for residents to unwind.
  • Emirates Palace Hotel is a grandiose establishment that is a must-see for visitors, if only for its vanity.
  • Futaisi Island - This island is owned by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and visitors are allowed only by invitation. It is a lovely private island with accommodation facilities for visitors, great food, safari rides amongst the dunes and the orchards as well as with access to a pool merging with the sea. A great experience if one is lucky enough to be invited.
  • Al Ain camel market is a great local place for catching a glimpse of the vanishing Bedouin culture.
  • Abu Dhabi Ice rink is located at the Zayed Sports City and is one of the most popular hangout places for schoolgoers. A very interesting experience indeed to skate on ice in the middle of the desert.
  • Hili Fun city - a kid's and the kid in the adult's wonderland with exciting rides and games.
  • Iranian souk - While Dubai is the mall paradise of the United Arab Emirates and for those looking to spend big, Abu Dhabi's Iranian souk is the paradise for bargain hunter and the one interested in traditional souks.
  • Ferrari World is a newly opened theme park on Yas Island. It is the world's largest indoor theme park and claims the world's fastest roller-coaster ride. Naturally enough the cars on this roller-coaster are Ferraris. General admission tickets are AED 225, which is equivalent to US$61.

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Events and Festivals

Red Bull Air Race in February and the Abu Dhabi/Etihad Formula One race in November.

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Weather

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.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max23.8 °C24.6 °C28.6 °C33.4 °C38.4 °C39.6 °C42 °C41.5 °C40.1 °C35.8 °C30.6 °C25.7 °C
Avg Min11.8 °C13.2 °C15.8 °C19.1 °C22.8 °C24.8 °C27.6 °C28.7 °C25.6 °C21.8 °C17.5 °C14.1 °C
Rain Days0.83.53.91.40000.1000.22.1

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Getting There

By Plane

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.

By Train

There are no trains within the United Arab Emirates.

By Car

Excellent roads lead in all directions, which are northeast to Dubai, west towards the border with Saudi Arabia and south to several oasis in the desert.

By Bus

Buses link Abu Dhabi with the main cities and emirates, including Al Ain and Dubai.

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Getting Around

By Car

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.

By Public Transport

Cheap, but crowded and unreliable buses. Get a cab instead.

By Foot

The city is compact and pedestrian-friendly, but in the summermonths the heat and humidity will have you hailing an airconditioned cab within minutes.

By Bike

Not recommended unless well out of the city. Even then the erratic driving habits here will put you at risk.

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Eat

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.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Al Diar Dana HotelP.O. Box 47300 Tourist Club Areahotel-
Al Diar Mina HotelP.O. Box 44421Hotel-
Al Diar Palm HotelP.O. Box 2406Hotel-
Al Manzel Hotel ApartmentsZayed the 1st StreetApartment-
Kingsgate HotelTourist Club AreaApartment-
Vision Hotel ApartmentsTourist Club Area Old Mazda RoadApartment-
Ramee Guestline Hotel Apartments 1Hamdan Street Behind Al Salama Hospital Tourist Club AreaApartment-
Howard Johnson Diplomat HotelShk. Khalifa StreetHotel-
Ramee Hotel Apartments Abu DhabiMurror Street Next to Abu Dhabi Bus TerminalApartment-
Ramee Royal Hotel ApartmentsMuroor Road Opposite Mamoura (Mubadala)Apartment-
Euro Hotel ApartmentsMuroor Road Abu DhabiApartment-
Ramee Garden Hotel ApartmentsAirport Road Abu DhabiApartment-
Oaks Liwa Executive SuitesMeena Street Tourist ClubArea Abu DhabiHotel-
Mirfa HotelAl Marfa City, Western RegionHotel-
Liwa HotelLiwa St, Liwa OasisHotel-

Mid-Range

  • Golden Tulip Dalma Suites, formerly Dalma Center, offers self-catering suites and is on a central location in Sheikh Hamdan street close to the Iranian souk.

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 24.476431
  • Longitude: 54.370510

On Travellerspoint

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This is version 24. Last edited at 7:38 on Jul 7, 14 by Utrecht. 50 articles link to this page.

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