The capital of the UAE and the largest emirate, Abu Dhabi is a fusion of luxury retreats and a little Arabian magic. Connected to the mainland with bridges, Abu Dhabi City is an island with towering skyscrapers and magnificent beaches.
Stroll the famous Corniche and visit the designer stores and jewellers, then wander along Dhow Harbour with its wealth of yachts, and take a peek into Abu Dhabi’s past at the Heritage Village. Surrounding Abu Dhabi, are islands like Saadiyat and Yas. Saadiyat Island is vying to be the cultural heart of UAE with its iconic buildings and museums like the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
On Yas Island, you’ll discover the famous Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts the annual Formula One Grand Prix. For thrill-seekers, you’ll find lots of water slides and rides at Yas Waterworld and the Ferrari World amusement park.
On the mainland, discover how the sheikhs live at the Palace Museum in Al Ain. With its lush oasis ripe with greenery, the city of Al Ain offers UNESCO World Heritage sites and animal encounters at Al Ain Zoo and safari. At Al Gharbia, the desert meets the sea, here, you’ll find miles of pretty beaches and the Rub' al Khali desert. Known as the Empty Quarter, this vast desert is perfect for camel rides and 4x4 adventures.
With little rainfall, Abu Dhabi experiences a warm and dry climate. October through to April is a popular time to visit as the temperatures are cooler with less humidity. The weather is also ideal for relaxing on the beach with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius.
June to September are the hottest months with the weather peaking above 40 degrees Celsius. If visiting during Ramadan, it’s polite to avoid eating and drinking in public until sunset, as Muslims fast during daylight hours.
Please note Ramadan 2020 is 23rd April to 23rd May approximately.
You should carry some identification with you at all times and it's also a good idea to keep a photocopy of your passport. A tourist visa is required on arrival. Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports, visas and travel.
Abu Dhabi understands fine dining, and you'll discover some fantastic international cuisine alongside the Middle Eastern flavours typical of the region. However, the cuisine of the UAE incorporates some of the best-loved foods in the world: like hummus, falafel and kebabs, which would make any foodie happy.
Be sure to taste some try a camel burger with its rich, gamey flavour. For dessert, sample some luqaimat (also known as lokma), these little fried balls of dough are infused with rose water and saffron then covered with sticky date syrup.