Tourists looking for a short city break will find Abu Dhabi in the UAE has plenty of attractive benefits, especially during the winter. Abu Dhabi is a 7-hour flight from UK, and offers a safe, clean environment that is a world apart from grey skies and gloomy cities closer to home.
Visitors will be surprised to find that English is widely spoken in this Arabic metropolis. Public transport is, cheap, clean and efficient and the choice of top-notch dining options is unparalleled. With its lack of tolerance for drunken loutish beehaviour, Abu Dhabi is ideal for discerning travellers looking to enjoy a relaxing city break in an upscale environment.
Things to Do in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi offers a refreshing change of culture. It has a well-balanced mix of historic architecture and glitzy new hotels without losing its individual character. It’s hard to believe you are in the desert when you see the mesmerizing dancing fountains on the Burj Al Khalifa lake!
A more cultural side of the UAE can be found at the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village where local life is demonstrated in a reconstructed village setting with traditional homes, wells and Bedouin tents set out for visitors to explore. Visit the historic White Fort and admire the city views from the Hatta Watchtower. Reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s position as a global city, the new Louvre Museum is currently under construction on Saadiyat Island.
Beaches and Watersports in Abu Dhabi
As well as having a range of museums, forts, mosques and other attractions, Abu Dhabi has some of the best beaches in the UAE. The many offshore islands along the Gulf coast provide miles of soft golden sand. Watersports abound along this beautiful coast and who wouldn’t want to jet ski around the islands or stroll along the beautiful Corniche waterfront promenade?
If you prefer a more relaxing trip on the water, enjoy a sunset cruise aboard an old dhow or join a leisurely cruise around the coast with a buffet dinner onboard.
With a predominantly dry and sunny climate, Abu Dhabi is tailor-made for sun worshippers and beach lovers with some added attractions to enjoy once the sun goes down. Temperatures from November to April are around 25°C (77°F) in the day although a light jacket may be needed in the evening.
Shopping Malls and Souks
Shopping is one of the strengths of the Middle East and Abu Dhabi is no exception. It has several large shopping malls offering many top brands and familiar names from Tiffany & Co. to H&M. If these seem a little mundane, head to the Old Souk and sharpen your bartering skills haggling over a teapot or a carpet. It’s a wonderful place to find local foodstuff, cheap home goods and bargain souvenirs.
The Middle East is a great place to purchase gold jewellery, the latest electronics and gorgeous textiles. You can even pick up duty-free bargains, including alcohol, in the Abu Dhabi airport before you leave for home.