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Why fly to Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is all grown up, the city is no longer Dubai's kid sister, she's grown into her own. The city is a mix of New York meets Morocco. The skyscrapers are shiny and new, while the old mosques and fishing villages stand as though nothing has changed in the last 50 years.
But oh boy has it.
The city is made up of a group of small islands surrounding the mainland where the skyscrapers have sprouted. Oil is the city's life blood now, although before the discovery of the liquid gold Abu Dhabi was a little port, a fishing village.
The largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates is located in Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is enormous, if it wasn't a religious building it would be the perfect size to host a professional football game.
The mosque is beautifully ornate both inside and out and visitors are welcome just remember to cover yourself respectfully or you won't be allowed in (if you're not sure if your outfit makes the pass just ask the hotel staff).
The city has some lovely planned green spaces. You can head to the Mushrif Khalifa Gardens for a walk and enjoy the cool shade the trees provide.
Get blinged up or watch how locals bling it up at the Abu Dhabi Mall. The shopping center is a luxury shop on top of luxury shop fantasy for those who fantasize about these things. Besides Gucci and Prada, you can also enjoy a nice lunch and people watch with a latte.
The islands are also home to soft white beaches and perfect for swimming and sailing. Dozens of hotels and resorts offer accommodation or you can always book a day or two on a resort site and spend the rest of your time on the mainland city (which gives you a greater opportunity to explore the city).
Whether it's an ultra-relaxing beach vacation you're looking for, or slick city shopping and cutting some sand in the dunes, Abu Dhabi is a desert vacation wonderland.
Abu Dhabi Weather
Abu Dhabi is hot, but surely that is no surprise since it is desert region. The summer are not just hot, they are sauna-esque with temperatures hitting the mid 40s. The winter temperatures resemble what summers feel like in New York, numbers are usually in the mid 20s.
When to fly to Abu Dhabi
Temperatures in Abu Dhabi are much more bearable after the main summer months has passed so that is when the tourists flood in. A particularly busy time to visit the city is December as well as March. During those months flight tickets are fairly high.
The summer heat makes the city a bit of a red zone for most people and tourist numbers drop during the hottest months, which is when the flight prices also take a dive. If you don''t mind seeing the inside of Abu Dhabi or are planning on staying waterside at a resort, the summer could be a good time to visit the city while saving some bucks on flight travel.
Getting into Abu Dhabi
Your flight will arrive at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is located approximately 40 minutes outside of the city center. There are buses that can get you downtown or you can take a taxi.
Getting around Abu Dhabi
Most visitors to Abu Dhabi tend to use the inexpensive taxi service or hire a driver. There is a bus service in the city, but it really isn't very convenient if you are a tourist. Plus, touristic destinations are grouped together so if you plan well, once you get to a particular area you can just walk from one venue to another.
- Want a date? Head to date central located near the Iranian Market. The lovely old souk itself is a great place to go to pick up souvenirs and gifts and steep in the real culture of the city pre-skyscraper fame.
- Plan a day trip outside of the city center where the desert dunes are to do something supremely unique - sand skiing, it is really a surreal experience. Get a little more surreal and skid out on the dunes in a jeep.
- If you want to put pedal-to-the-smokin-metal and make cars fly, Abu Dhabi is the place to do it. The Yas Marina Circuit allows riders to go full tilt on its course. The circuit is also where the annual Grand Prix race takes place.
- Interestingly enough, although real old villages do exist on some of the islands, the city has created Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. The village is a lovely stone and uber sanitized version of what an old village would look like, worth a visit to see the artist's interpretation.
- If you want to get a great view of the whole city, head to the observation deck at the luxurious sky-scraping Etihad Towers.
- Compare flights to Abu Dhabi from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
Abu Dhabi Tourism More information at