With its year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, and mystical setting, Abu Dhabi is a prime vacation destination for anyone interested in an exotic vacation to the Middle East. This region serves as the federal capital and center of the government in the United Arab Emirates and is the largest city of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It’s also one of the most modern regions in the Middle East and caters to luxury travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation in one of the wealthiest regions of the Middle East. Abu Dhabi city is home to the majestic Emirates Palace, one of the most opulent hotels in the world. The hotel is located on 1.3 kilometres of pristine beach and is a sight to behold. This part of the United Arab Emirates continues to attract all types of travelers looking for modern-day conveniences and an exotic vacation. Whether you’re interested in shopping, dining, or exploring some architectural landmarks, you’ll find a wealth of things to do and unique places to explore in and around the city.
The history of Abu Dhabi dates back to 3rd millennium BCE when small civilizations populated the area around the mountain of Hafeet. The first known tribes and families that settled in the area were members of the Bani Yas Bedouin tribe. They made the area around the Persian Gulf their home in the 16th century upon the discovery of fresh water. One subsection of this family was the Al Nahyan Family, and family members from later generations make up the rulers of Abu Dhabi in the present day.
Abu Dhabi has its roots in the pearl industry and was once the best location for pearls. Pearl divers often dived up to thirty times per day in the Persian Gulf and were able to earn a decent living just from their diving ventures. During the 19th century, Abu Dhabi entered into a treaty with Great Britain. The British were most interested in protecting the trade route to India from pirates and named this area the “Pirate Coast”. Piracy was successfully suppressed in this region and the British maintained their influence in Abu Dhabi as interest in oil throughout the Persian Gulf grew.
The first oil discoveries in the area happened during the 1930s and soon the economy boomed. Abu Dhabi Marine Areas was a joint venture between the British Petroleum (BP) company and Total. In 1958, they struck oil in the Umm Shaif field and more wells were discovered soon after. Oil drilling became a major industry in this region and still fuels much of the economy.
Today, Abu Dhabi is one of the most upscale vacation destinations in the UAE and is quickly becoming a popular vacation spot for celebrities, well-heeled travelers, and anyone interested in experiencing the opulent lifestyle. If you are planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates, be sure to spend a good amount of time exploring the beauty and mystery of Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Weather and Best Time to Visit
The climate in Abu Dhabi is best described as hot and arid. It is primarily desert country and the city of Abu Dhabi is located on an island so you’ll experience some coastal winds from time to time. The hottest and humid months run from June through September, with average highs hovering around the mid-90s. November through March are typically much cooler and you might even experience some fog in the mornings. Average highs during these months hover around the mid-80s to low-90s. Average lows year round rarely dip below the low-50s to mid-60s so you can enjoy comfortable temperatures any time of year.
Experience Abu Dhabi
Most first-time visitors take the complimentary guided tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques and a premier architectural landmark. You’ll find an array of shopping destinations around this city as well as textile markets that sell handmade goods and wares. Drive along the state-of-the-art highway to explore destinations like Yas Islands and Saadiyat. Saadiyat is home to one of the world’s premier cultural institutions including the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Louvre, and the Zayed National Museum.
To the east lies the “Oasis City” of Al Ain. This is the perfect city to enjoy a relaxing vacation and explore the heritage heartland. It sits under the shadow of Jebel Hafeet and is the emirate’s tallest peak at 1,340 metres tall. You can also make a short drive up the highway to enjoy the views from the Mercure Hotel. You’ll find several natural attractions, museums, and golf courses around Al Ain. When you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Arabian Wildlife Park, home to some of the world’s last remaining white lions and tigers.
If you head to the Western region of Abu Dhabi, you’ll find miles of desertscape and unspoiled beaches. Stay at the famous Jebel Dhanna hotel for the ultimate five-star experience, explore the islands on a boat tour, or visit some of the architectural sites like the Qasr Al Sarab.
The easiest way to get around Abu Dhabi is by taxi or by renting a car. There is a lot of traffic in the main city areas but the roads are fairly easy to navigate. Still, foreigners may find it too dangerous to drive with locals and may just prefer to hire a chauffeur or jump in a taxi. Taxis are relatively inexpensive and more convenient than a bus. Still, you can find several bus stations and convenient routes criss-crossing throughout the city. Abu Dhabi isn’t a very pedestrian-friendly city and it can be very uncomfortable to travel on foot during the summer months when the heat and humidity index is at an all time high.
Abu Dhabi and several other cities around the United Arab Emirates play host to several popular events and festivals throughout the year. Whether it’s your first time in the city or a return visit, you’ll be treated to a wealth of things to do and breathtaking sites to explore throughout your visit.
When you're looking for an exotic vacation experience, head to the bustling city of Dubai. The city is surrounded by desert territory and also boasts miles of golden sandy beaches. Home to numerous historical and cultural landmarks, Dubai is the perfect destination for safaris, nature hikes, shopping and enjoying regional cuisine.