Abu Dhabi literally means ‘Father of gazelle’ and it serves as the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Despite the oil rich emirate’s transformation into a modern metropolis, there are still enough remnants of its history to give visitors a true sense of its age. The Al Maqtaa Fort is one of its most popular monuments. The 200 year old fort is found on the edge of Abu Dhabi island and can be reached by taking the Al Maqtaa bridge. The obvious historicity of the fort makes a startling contrast to the modernity of the bridge. However, this juxtaposition of new and old is quite common in Abu Dhabi, and makes up part of its charm.
During its time, Al Maqtaa Fort served as a watchtower and the primary line of defence against bandits. It has undergone several renovations in time and is still very well preserved. In addition to the fort, tourists interested in the history and origins of Abu Dhabi could also pay a visit to the Heritage Village.
Located in Breakwater, the Heritage Village was designed as a living museum, transporting visitors through time. The exhibits focus mainly on the Bedouin way of life and detail a number of local traditions. The Heritage Village also contains a souvenir shop where visitors can purchase local handicrafts.
Abu Dhabi is a more laid back version of Dubai, more historic and more traditional. Travellers who desire an authentic Arab experience will find it in Abu Dhabi. The emirate has excellent public infrastructure and getting around is easy. Traffic jams are rare and the crowds are minimal. It is also the best place to sample authentic Arab cuisine and tourists will find a plethora of restaurants serving delicious local fare. Due to its rising popularity as a tourist destination, finding good accommodation has also become easy.
If you are looking for Abu Dhabi beach hotels you cannot go wrong with the Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. Located on the green island of Sir Bani Yas, it is among the finest luxury Abu Dhabi hotels and offers a wide range of services to keep guests feeling cared for throughout their stay.