In their dark tents, there are some Bedouins who continue to raise their camels on the outskirts of the city, while on the Corniche - a boulevard not dissimilar from La Croisette which stretches along the seafront with its brightly lit motorways - their descendants show off their 4X4s and Ferraris. This is the reality for an Emirate that fearlessly looks towards the future and in which Italian racing cars are just as highly regarded as the Arabian dromedary camel. Unlike in the Old Continent, there is nothing shocking about showing off your wealth here, in fact, quite the contrary! Abu Dhabi’s nouveau riche drive Ferraris and Hummers to shopping centres like Yas Mall, Dalma Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall, where prestigious brands fulfil a wide array of shopping needs. They live it up at Yas Waterworld and pray at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is open to the public outside prayer times and Ramadan. In this place of worship, a real work of art, surrounded by ornamental lakes, thousands of marble flowers decorate the columns and walls, lit by massive crystal chandeliers.
When to go
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, 21 - 24 January 2016
Qasr Al Hosn, heritage and culture Festival, 3 - 13 February 2016
ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, 4 - 5 March 2016
Cityscape Fair, real estate and investment trade fair, 12 - 14 April 2016
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, 27 April - 3 May 2016
Muslim celebrations of Ramadan Abu Dhabi, 6 June to 5 July 2016
Muslim celebrations of Eid Al Fitr, 7 July 2016
Sales and special events in Abu Dhabi Malls, August 2016
Muslim Celebrations of Eid Al Adha, 11 September 2016
Arabex - The Arabian style exhibition, 31 October - 5 November 2016
Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2016, 25 â€“ 27 November 2016
Abu Dhabi Classics, classical concerts/shows, late 2016 to May 2017
Taxi is the best way to travel around Abu Dhabi and renting a car is not recommended for safety reasons. There are hundreds of taxis which can be booked over the phone, hailed on the roadside or found at taxi stations. Metered taxis in Abu Dhabi are comfortable, reasonably priced and safe, and the majority of drivers speak English. You can easily recognise them with their silver color and white or yellow roof sign. The initial charge is 3.50 Dirham (4 Dirham at night time) and then add 1.60 Dirham (1.69 Dirham at night time) for each kilometer. Some additional charges may apply, such as 8 Dirham if you book over the phone.
The impressive Abu Dhabi International Airport has been elected in the last few years as the “Best Airport in the Middle East”. It is located 30 km and about 40 minutes by bus or taxi from Abu Dhabi City. The air-conditioned A1 buses depart every 40 minutes, 24/24h, and it will cost you 4 Dirham for a single ticket. Metered taxis are available and private transfers can be arranged at the airport. By taxi, the journey into Abu Dhabi City will cost you 70 to 80 Dirham.