Abu Dhabi continues to play host to visitors from all over the world, attracted by a culture and environment as yet untainted by public drunkenness and other anti-social behaviours seen in so many other tourist destinations.Located in Southwest Asia on the Arabian Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven Emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, Ajman,Ras Al Khaimah and, Fujairah – that spans approximately 83,600 square kilometers. This area includes an archipelago that extends over the Arabian Gulf for about 5,900 square kilometers. The country has a barren climate. Summers are very dry, stretching from April through the month of September, with temperatures rising to about 48 degrees Centigrade in coastal cities – with accompanying humidity levels reaching as high as 90%. In the southern desert regions,temperatures can climb to 50° Centigrade.
The primary source of the UAE’s rapidly growing tourism sector is the Dubai Emirate,which hosts the world’s tallest hotel. According to the UAE government, Dubai’s tourism revenue exceeds its oil revenue. The emirate’s 302 hotels hosted 6.4 million visitors from India, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, the Philippines, Europe,Australia, and South Africa in 2006. However, according to the UAE government,the emirate’s initial target of 15 million visitors by 2010 will not be met because of airport and hotel construction delays, coupled with delays in obtaining additional aircraft for the major carrier, Emirates. The main attractions for tourists are beaches, nightlife, shopping, and luxurious accommodations. Dubai has grandiose plans for the future—the building of four man-made island structures off the coast(valued at US$3 billion each), which will house more than 100 new hotels, and the US$9.5 billion theme park Dubai land, which will include a cluster of 31 new hotels.
Places to visit
Emirate of Abu Dhabi: The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the largest of the 7 Emirates of the country:its surface area makes up 80% of the country’s surface area. Abu Dhabi also has the largest population of the 7 Emirates.
Abu Dhabi city
The city of Abu Dhabi has long shown little interest in tourism.But things are now changing. And in the United Arab Emirates, when things change, they change very fast. Abu Dhabi is expanding at an impressive rate,and the number of touristic sights & attractions is increasing.
Traffic and Parking in Abu Dhabi: Driving in the UAE is quite an experience and requires patience and self discipline. Abu Dhabi is no exception.Most people drive poorly in Abu Dhabi. Taxis are certainly the worst. Inadvertent &last minute lane changes, failure to use the indicator, braking and unpredictable behaviour are an everyday occurrence.However, since traffic is often congested, driving speeds are self-restricted (the speed limit is 60 km /h normally and therefore cameras flash above 80 km / h), accidents are rarely serious.
Visit the Emirates Palace: Fortunately, you can visit the Emirates Palace. Admission is free, but you will only access lobbies and exhibitions. The gardens, private beach and the rooms, yet beautiful and breathtaking, are reserved for hotel guests.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi: The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan Mosque (more often called Sheikh Zayed Mosque) is the largest mosque in the UAE. Huge and all white, it catches immediately the eyes and the mind of those arriving in Abu Dhabi.
Palm Jumeira Island in Dubai: This is probably one of the most famous projects, with Burj Khalifa Tower and Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates.
How to get there
By plane Dubai airport: The main hub for air transport in the United Arab Emirates is Dubai airport, which is served by several major airlines, most notably Dubai-based Emirates. Direct flights connect Dubai to Durban, Johannesburg,London, Sydney, Melbourne, Karachi, Tehran, Riyadh, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hong Kong,Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, Houston, Milan, Madrid, New York City, Los Angeles,San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, São Paulo and many other major cities in Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America and Africa.
By car: There is road access to the United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia in the south and Oman in the east. All highways in the UAE are in excellent condition,but there is a huge amount of traffic between Sharjah and Dubai, as well as a 4AED charge to cross the Salik toll gate. A prepaid Salik Tag is required for this.