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Abu Dhabi is the capital city and one of the largest cities in the United Arab Emirates. With a population of almost a million it is famous for its sandy dunes and spellbinding new buildings. It is also a shopping mecca. If you are stopping over while travelling – like I did on my way to Oz in October – 24 hours in the city could give you a decent education in the history and identity of this incredible city. Abu Dhabi is both traditional and current, so make certain to see both parts of the city.
The Abu Dhabi air terminal is an advanced building found only outside of the city. Numerous guests think of it as a vacation spot too!
October through February the best time to visit given that Ramadan is finished and the temperatures are lower.
Read on for the best spots to visit.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This architectural work of art is one the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing twelve tonnes. The mosque’s first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site.
Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty. The striking white and gold colours shining in the sun are transformed at night by a unique lightning system which reflects the phases of the moon.
A leisurely stroll along the Abu Dhabi Corniche is one of the best things to do when you travel to Abu Dhabi. This seaside boardwalk is 4 miles long. The walkways are paved and dotted with benches, gardens and amazing views of the Arabian Gulf.
It is a great spot for an evening walk (when its a bit cooler). The corniche is well-lit and quite safe. You can easily walk from many of the Corniche hotels to Marina Mall and Heritage Village by following the Corniche pathways.
Don’t miss out on a visit to the beaches along the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The free beach is open to anyone.
Abu Dhabi’s pristine Corniche beachfront has been awarded coveted Blue Flag status – the internationally renowned eco-label for beaches and marinas that guarantees clean and safe bathing water.
Emirate’s Palace Hotel Afternoon Tea
There is nothing more befitting than enjoying Afternoon High Tea at a Palace. Indulge your afternoon cravings with a selection of delicious sweets and savoury bites paired with the finest beverages.
Heritage Village and Marina Village
Run by the Emirates Heritage Club, this reconstruction of a traditional oasis village provides an interesting glimpse into the emirate’s past.
Traditional aspects of the desert way of life, including a campfire with coffee pots, a goats’ hair tent, and a falaj irrigation system, are attractively displayed in the open museum.
There are workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills, such as metal work and pottery, while women sit weaving and spinning. The craftsmen are happy to share their skills, and may occasionally give you the chance to try them out.
The little spice shop is a treat – you can get a range of dried herbs, handmade soap and plenty of chatter.
Central Market Souk
On the site of the original commercial district and spanning three levels, this contemporary interpretation of a traditional Abu Dhabi market is connected to the WTC Mall by Khalifa Bridge. The souk has everything from traditional artifacts, henna and spices to jewellery, Arabic perfumes, clothing and accessories.
With a fusion of classic Arabian architecture and modern design, WTC Souk also has public squares, a central atrium with a retractable roof and rooftop gardens.
The Mall at World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi
Featuring the region’s first House of Fraser and several Abu Dhabi firsts – including Karen Millen, BCBG and Missoni, the mall has a wide selection of casual dining options – including Shakespeare & Co and the Asian-themed, American casual restaurant P.F. Chang, an eight-screen cinema and more than 3,000m2 of terraces and landscaped rooftop gardens.Its two central atriums sit under a fully retractable roof.
Smoking is prohibited in Abu Dhabi, yet numerous eateries have smoking rooms.Tipping isn’t normal at eateries as charges are included.Make certain to check the dates of your excursion to check whether it corresponds with Ramadan. Numerous attractions close down for in any event part of the day during Ramadan, so you should plan appropriately.In truth, Abu Dhabi has enough history and attractions that you could spend days discovering! Be that as it may, on the off-chance that you just have time for a one day stopover, it’s justified! 24 hours isn’t sufficient time to see and do everything, but it is sufficient time to see a little wonder and history in this extraordinary city.