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Abu Dhabi Travel Guide

Why? The main reason to holiday in Abu Dhabi, capital of the wealthy United Arab Emirates, is to delight in the superb duty free shopping opportunities. Tourists also travel to Abu Dhabi to marvel at the glitz of this incredible modern city in the desert, and explore the fascinating culture of the surrounding Emirates.
When? Weather is not a consideration on an Abu Dhabi holiday because it is hot and sunny all year round. In fact, it may be too hot for some Westerners in the Summer months (June to September); the coolest months (when you may need a jumper in the evenings) are between October and May. If your goal is serious shopping, travel to Abu Dhabi in March for the Shopping Festival.
Who for? An Abu Dhabi holiday is geared for those who enjoy luxury and sophistication, and those who are not afraid to run up a hefty credit card account. The shopping is too good to resist.
More Info: Everything you need to know to prepare for your holiday in Abu Dhabi is contained in our comprehensive Abu Dhabi travel guide, from details of excursions to desert oases to facilities at the airport. Those planning to travel to Abu Dhabi can also consult the travel guide for entry requirements and health and safety information.


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Corniche, Abu Dhabi ©

The brash, bold city of Abu Dhabi is a modern marvel, capital of the wealthy United Arab Emirates and headquarters of the world's richest oil operating companies. The pulsating city, with futuristic skyscrapers and wide tree-lined boulevards, is capitalising on its sophistication, amazing duty-free shopping zone, its luxury hotels and top class transport and communication infrastructure to attract tourists. They come not only for the 'retail therapy' and glitz, but also to explore the fascinating culture of the vast Abu Dhabi Emirate itself (it is the largest of the seven Emirates), with its miles of desert and interesting oases.

The city is almost an island, jutting into the Persian Gulf, with land having been reclaimed from the sea to make way for a long seafront Corniche, lined with lush gardens and gushing fountains. It is a relatively young city, the area having been first settled by nomadic tribesmen in the mid-18th century; it remained little more than a fishing village until oil was discovered in the 1950s, and the financial and trading boom began.

Today the international airport and deep water port bring in visitors from around the world, most clutching credit cards and cash, set on spending as much as possible in the enticing shopping malls and buzzing souk (market). Limousines are a common sight in the congested streets, and restaurants offering the cuisine of many nations do a roaring trade, especially along the waterfront. Shopping fever is at its height during the annual Shopping Festival held in early March. Those taking a break from modern luxury can escape to the desert for a Bedouin feast under the stars, or a camel ride through the dunes.

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