While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are common stopover destinations, there is so much more on offer than just the inside of an airport. A clash of old world and new, Dubai and Abu Dhabi provide the ultimate United Arab Emirates experience for travellers. Explore the region’s ancient Arabian culture and untouched quarters or discover the ultra-modern and lavish mega structures. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Arabian experience or something out of this world – Dubai and Abu Dhabi have something to offer everyone. A personal travel manager can help you book an eye opening Arabian experience.
Dubai: where the impossible is made possible
Since the discovery of oil in the late 1960s, Dubai has undergone a dramatic transformation from a small fishing and pearl diving region to one of the most expensive, luxurious and affluent cities in the Middle East.
Described as a “modern day gold rush,” Dubai’s transition into a booming first world economy has been spectacular. A shift away from its reliance on oil towards tourism, real estate, aviation and financial services has seen the region undergo a rapid transformation. To appeal to tourists, the region has built several state-of-the-art mega structures including the only seven-star hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab (unofficial rating) and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa which stands at 828 metres high.
If that doesn’t impress you, visit Dubai’s man-made islands – The Palm Jumeirah and The World. Dubai is the only place on earth where you can live on a man-made palm tree in the middle of the ocean or travel around “the world” in an hour. These architectural phenomena are sure to impress.
If you’re looking for an old world experience make sure to visit the Bastakia quarter. It is one of the few areas of Dubai, which has remained relatively untouched since the region’s transition into the modern world. Walk around the district’s narrow lanes, visit local galleries and cafes before taking a tour of the local area on a water taxi. As such a spread out city, taxis are the best form of transport in Dubai – like any country, taxi drivers can share a world of information on the city too!
Abu Dhabi: from fishing village to booming cosmopolitan metropolis
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the center of government and home to the financial sector. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi has revolutionised its economy to become a truly cosmopolitan city.
While both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have undergone a rapid urbanisation, Abu Dhabi still offers a more traditional Arabian experience for travellers. While in Abu Dhabi travellers can visit one of the largest mosques in the world – The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque’s 82 domes, 1,000 columns and 24 carat gold plated chandeliers are sure to leave you lost for words. Don’t forget to look up; the mosque has the largest chandeliers in the world -10 meters in diameter and 15 meters in height.
While Abu Dhabi is renowned as a shopping and luxury lifestyle hub, it also has it’s fair share of interactive experiences. A trip to the Falcon Hospital is sure to provide an experience that will be hard to match anywhere else. The hospital provides care to falcons from simple procedures to falcon-saving surgery. Visitors can hold the birds and learn about their hunting capabilities from the experts. Travellers can also compare passport stamps with the falcons – each bird has its own passport to travel!
Travellers can also explore the Empty Quarter (Rub al Khali), which is the world’s largest sand desert. If you’re seeking adventure, organise to quad bike, buggy or 4WD through the dunes. If you want a truly unforgettable experience spend the night camping in the desert and see the night sky explode with stars. Feel like something a bit more modern? Check out Ferrari World, Emirates Palace, Yas Vicery Hotel, Capital Gate or the Etihad Towers.
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