Abu Dhabi is rapidly replacing Dubai as the place to visit in the Middle East. Large, modern and full of possibility, the emirate is the perfect gateway into the Arab world. Drawing a fine line between Western and Arab cultures, the emirate offers an authentic Arab experience that is sure to leave visitors wanting more. One can go on a desert safari, visit the camel races, try falconry or dune bashing, take in an F1 race at Yas Island, shop all day at the Marina Shopping Mall or watch a movie at one of the many comfortable theatres found around the emirate. The choices are endless and while doing the rounds visitors should also try to visit the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum.
The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum is a local landmark and a ‘must visit’ destination when in the United Arab Emirates. Alternatively known as the Al Ain Palace Museum, the building is located in Al Ain and documents the life of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a former president, and his relatives. Constructed back in 1937 near the largest oasis in Al Ain, the building served as Sheikh Zayed’s residence until 1966. It was transformed into a museum in 2001 after his demise and was intended to be a true reflection of UAE culture.
Visitors will not find mountains of photographs or complex exhibits; instead each room has been preserved with its original furniture. There is a room decorated with traditional Arab furniture where the Sheikh welcomed local guests and another room with a more western décor used to entertain foreigners. There is also a women’s quarter and a Quran room for prayers. Entrance is free of charge and the museum is open every day except Monday.
The best way to get here is by taxi. Although the city has excellent infrastructure the UAE is a car oriented nation and getting around by public transport can be difficult for first time visitors. Finding accommodation with a central location can also be quite useful. Tourists looking for luxury Abu Dhabi hotels with a convenient location can try the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi city hotel enjoys a central location and offers breathtaking views of the ocean. Whether one is visiting on business or leisure, this is the ideal place to stay.