Fly To Abu Dhabi, UAE
Sitting off the mainland on an island in the Persian Gulf is the Capital City of the United Arab Emirates-Abu Dhabi. Featuring soaring skyscrapers like the Sky Tower, the highest high tea's at The Drawing Room, the largest cluster of cultural buildings of the 21st century-and not forgetting the amazing Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi is one of the most developed cities in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi is great for the outdoors being an island city, Abu Dhabi has an extensive coastline, much of it covered by the city’s corniche, a 6 km long pedestrian boulevard on the water’s edge filled with parks to relax in. But the Emirate (state) of Abu Dhabi is full of excellent desert resorts and oases like Al Ain, making it possible to experience a more natural and authentic Arabian holiday.
Since 2004 the city has taken on a more liberal approach to attract tourists with a number of restrictions being lifted from the purchase of alcohol to land making it a much more attractive prospect and visitors have followed suite.
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Why visit Abu Dhabi?
- Relax at Al Lulu island which is one of many turquoise islands in Abu Dhabi that offer visitors and residents alike a different way of escaping the city!
- Arabian hospitality has been said to be the stuff of legends, so indulge in the lifestyle of an absolute dedication to the highest standards of modern service!
- Enjoy the most unforgettable experience at the 4 x 4 Abu Dhabi Safari that include sunsets, camel rides, sand dunes, henna tattoos, great food, belly dancing performances and more!
This city is known for boasting some of the best weather of any holiday getaway no matter the time of year. However best time to visit Abu Dhabi is from October through April as these are the best times to be outdoors where Abu Dhabi can be fully experienced and explored.
The most popular season for tourists is winter months of December to March, these months are a lot less humid. Be warned that sandstorms do regularly hit the city, usually around May to early July, additionally tourists may witness a little rainfall during this time.
- Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world.
- Abu Dhabi is the second most populous city in UAE.
- The Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi has the world's largest chandelier, weighing more than 9 tonnes.
Abu Dhabi is a city that has everything, it can basically be referred to as a wonderland. But, when it comes to exploring this place there are a few musts which include the world famous Ferrari theme park which is the first one in the world. This theme park is located on Yas Island which has over 20 mind-blowing attractions of its own.
Abu Dhabi is a place that leaves no room for boredom. The easy-going lifestyles and big city appeal is something which attracts many tourists from across the world. It would not be right to visit a city like this and not explore the many shopping areas.
Well, Souk Qaryat is a shopping mall where you can find a range of different traditional Arabian goods, jewellery, tailored clothing and fragrances. Something to be even happier about is that the clothing and jewellery in Abu Dhabi is significantly cheaper and more popular than Dubai.
Throughout the history of the UAE camels have played an integral role in shaping its trade and commerce scenario-so what better way to explore the striking beauty of Abu Dhabi's untouched desert than on the back of a camel which is something that is very popular in this city.
Abu Dhabi should not be under-estimated is has such a lot to offer, so here are a few more things to do when in the city:
- Al Ain Zoo
- Abu Dhabi Mall
- The Landmark
- Al Bahr Towers
- Dalma Mall
- Louvre Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation
- Saadiyat Island
- Qasr al-Hosn
- Yas Waterworld
The food in Abu Dhabi is considered to be a reflection of the UAE's trading heritage being infused with spices and ingredients from throughout Asia and Arabia. Abu Dhabi has numerous dining options and cuisines from around the world.
The restaurants in Abu Dhabi offer a vibrant and varied mix of international flavours and world-class culinary standards. You will find the traditional food with unique and very rich tastes, there are a lot of spices that are used when preparing these meals.
Traditional dishes contain rice, fish and meat as main ingredients. On special occasions like Eid and wedding functions locals use camels to make traditional UAE dishes. But restaurants serve dishes that are made with camel meat all over the year for tourists and visitors. The best dishes in Abu Dhabi include Stuffed Camel, Al Harees, Shawarma, Al Machboos and Hummus.
Being that this is a very Islamic city there are certain restrictions with regards to drinking but hotel outlets do serve alcohol and these are complemented by many superb unlicensed outlets across the emirate. Non-Muslims can also consume pork in certain restaurants, any dishes using pork ingredients will be prepared separately from non-pork dishes and are clearly marked on the menu.
The many restaurants that you should try out include:
- The Terrace on the Corniche
- Koi Restaurant & Lounge
- Byblos Sur Mer
- Chill'o Pool Bar
- BOA Steakhouse
- Brasserie Angelique
- Villa Toscana
- Li Beirut
Abu Dhabi has a very rich culture and heritage that is firmly rooted in Arabia's Islamic traditions. There is a combination of international influencers and a strong commitment to local heritage that is found in this city which is one of the reasons that make it such an interesting place to visit. Islam is not just a religion it is a way of life for many locals, which governs what they wear to what they eat and drink.
Foreigners visiting or staying in this city are free to practice their own religion and the dress code is liberal. Women are able to drive and walk around the city unescorted. The most highly prized virtues are courtesy and hospitality, so anyone and everyone visiting can expected to be charmed by the genuine friendliness of the locals here.
Even though this city is evolving so rapidly it continues to promote traditional cultural and sporting events, such as falconry, camel racing and traditional dhow sailing. Tourists are allowed to take pictures when exploring this city, but it is polite to ask for permission before taking photographs of people and women in particular.
There are so many beautiful and amazing traditions that are at the heart of life in Abu Dhabi, and it truly is a great experience to witness how deeply devoted locals are to the traditional way of life. Mosques were built as a symbol that unites the cultural diversity of the Islamic world so tourists should have the utmost respect around these areas for example, no shoes are allowed in the mosques, people are required to dress very modestly.
Abu Dhabi is a very safe city, it is safe to walk around the city all times of the day and night. UAE generally has a good relationship with western governments, and many tourists from the West visit quite often.
South Africans need a Visa in order to enter UAE.
Leave plenty of time for Visa processing and don’t forget to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps. You can contact the embassy of Abu Dhabi (Telephone: +27 12342 7736) for more information, in addition to visa applications.
THE HIGH COMMISSION OF SOUTH AFRICA IN ABU DHABI
Address: Opposite Mushrif Mall, 25th Street, Villa Number 202
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed St
United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 2 447 3446
Fax:(+971) 2 41 764 00 / (+971) 2 44 732 62
|Item||Cape Town||Johannesburg||Abu Dhabi|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||R 90.00||R 100.00||R 104.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||R 22.00||R 20.00||R 124.79|
|Cappuccino (regular)||R 19.00||R 20.00||R 70.18|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||R 10.00||R 12.00||R 7.03|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||R 35.00||R 35.00||R 41.60|
Food and Beverage: Abu Dhabi International Airport has a range of dining options on offer from fast food and coffee shops to sit down restaurants. Bill Bentley is a fully licensed bar which serves a range of drinks and gourmet burgers. There is also a Burger King, McDonalds, Costa and Caffe Ritazza available.
Exchange currency: There are 16 separate Forex exchange providers at the Abu Dhabi Airport.
Lost luggage: Only luggage which has been lost inside the terminal building should be reported to the airport. Luggage lost between destinations should be reported to the airline you are flying with.
Airport hotel: There is an airport hotel located inside Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Car hire: Choose from Budget, Dollar, Rent a car, Hertz, Thrifty, Payless.
Airport hub:Abu Dhabi International Airport (code AUH) is a hub for Etihad Airlines.
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The information on this page is correct as of March 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.