No matter what preconceived notions first time visitors may have, Abu Dhabi tends to defy expectations. It is not a typical desert destination- it may be dry and warm but one can still find some vegetation around, especially date palms which can be found along many roads. The infrastructure is amazing, the roads are well built and one can find modern high rise buildings all over the place. The emirate has plenty of excellent malls and a surprising amount of attractions for tourists to visit.
The Al Maqtaa Fort is around two hundred years old and can be seen next to the Al Maqtaa Bridge, which connects Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland. The modern bridge alongside the historic fort provides a nice contrast that is mirrored throughout the emirate. The Al Maqtaa Fort was built to act as a watchtower. Guards who manned the fort would watch out for invading bandits and sound the siren if necessary. While it is no longer used for that purpose, tourists should still take care when taking photos as the area is part of a military zone. All damage the fort has faced over time has been repaired and the inside has been renovated to contain an information centre to help visitors. Tourists who want to learn more about the emirate’s colourful history should try dropping by.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is another excellent place to visit. Featuring a whopping eighty two domes, chandeliers gilded with 24 carat gold and the world’s largest carpet, it is definitely a sight that should not be missed. The best time to visit is during the evening. Those who arrive at around 4.30pm can take the Sunset Tour which starts at 5pm.
With a multitude of attractions and busy calendar full of events, it is no wonder that the United Arab Emirates is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Those who want a hotel Abu Dhabi UAE so that they can enjoy everything the capital has to offer can try a place like the Grand Millennium Al Wahda. The Abu Dhabi hotel is a mere thirty minute drive from the airport and is situated right next to the famous Al Wahda mall.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.