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Friday, March 6, 2009

10 things we love about Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (no, Dubai is not the capital, as much as it likes to think it is), has been getting loads of media coverage in the travel press lately. You know when a tourism body and airline has hosted a junket as a spate of stories appear as they have recently in Australia, such as these: Abu Dhabi's match for the Taj Mahal (Jan 09), A higher plane at the world's costliest hotel (Jan 09) and The future of the Emirates' Capital (Feb 09) (the last of which reads like a few other stories published in early 2008, including my own). All of this recent attention has resulted from the opening of a monumental mosque dedicated to late President and UAE founder, Sheikh Zayed. But the travel press were already starting to cover Abu Dhabi in 2007 with the announcement of the $14.5 billion Saadiyat Island cultural precinct with its Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim and branch of Paris’ Louvre among other stunning museums, and the city’s inclusion on the Formula One Grand Prix circuit. The announcement of Abu Dhabi's innovative new Norman Foster-designed eco-city Masdar also sparked some coverage in 2008, including this story Seeing the Light, which we wrote for Gulf Life, Gulf Air's in-flight magazine. Don't get me wrong, we're pleased to see the city-emirate starting to steal some of the spotlight from Dubai, as it's a city we've always loved, and one we immediately fell in love with when we first moved there in 1998. So, you want to know what we love about it? Well, take a look at this story we wrote for Viator: 10 things we love about Abu Dhabi. Let me know what you think - especially if you've been there, or live there. Planning to go there? Then get a copy of DK's Top Ten Dubai and Abu Dhabi guide, which I co-authored and Terry photographed; I don't get royalties, it's just a book of which I'm very proud.


Anonymous said...

I visited Abu Dhabi a couple of months back and loved the peace. Less chaos is what one needs every now and then (especially when living in Dubai!)

Anonymous said...

this is the best place in UAE, not only of the famous destination but also it has a geatest architectures of the world.

Anonymous said...

this is the best place in UAE, not only of the famous destination but also it has a geatest architectures of the world.

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Grace - yes, Abu Dhabi is certainly more tranquil than Dubai. I think that was something that people in Abu Dhabi didn't like years ago - which is why everyone would always go to Dubai for weekends to go out. But I think they appreciate it more now, especially because Dubai's traffic is now so chaotic.

Hi Travel Blog - yeah, I agree with you, I really like some of the more recent architecture on the Corniche, although I have to admit I'm a fan of some of the buildings from the 1970s too.

Thanks for commenting, you two!

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,

I visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai in April '08, before I'd discovered your travel blog. DK's Top 10 was the only guide book I took with me and loved it... just dug it out, almost a year later- cool to see your name now that I 'know' you. Wish I'd known about your blog when I was over there!

Anyway, enjoy following your & Terry's adventures. Thanks for sharing.

Montreal, Canada

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Michele

Somehow I missed this one... sorry!

I am so pleased you loved the DK Top 10 - I'm very proud of that book - and a great thing about it is that DK let's me update it annually, so it's always fairly current.

Thanks for following! Do get in touch if you ever need any advice or info.