Travel Magazine

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

By Marinacng @MarinaCng
Abu Dhabi is the biggest of the seven Emirates, and currently the richest as well.  It is now going through its construction and development boom.  A lot of it built on reclaimed land, it is the capital city of the UAE.  Even though I had visited Abu Dhabi in one of my first trips to the Emirates about a decade ago, I didn't remember much, so I cannot make a comparison between Abu Dhabi then and now as I could with Dubai.  It is a fact that there has been a lot of development there too though.  Many impressive architectural projects are now being developed by world class architects such as Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Frank Ghery between others.
UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi
Entering Abu Dhabi, we meet the Capital Gate, an 160 meter tall building that is particular because of its 18 degree incline and its entry into the Guinness World record book as the world's furthest leaning man made tower, and even beating the incline of the tower of Pisa in Italy.

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

Capital Gate

Abu Dhabi's largest mosque is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque.  It hosts the world's largest carpet and chandelier.
UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

One of the most luxurious hotels in Abu Dhabi is the Emirates Palace, and it is worth a visit because of its traditionally influenced architecture, as well as the "golden cappuccino" that is served in one of the cafes in the main lounge.

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

Golden Cappuccino

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

The dome at the hotel's entrance

The developments that are now taking place include the performing arts center, the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

Model of Zaha Hadid's performing arts center

Recently, Abu Dhabi has also opened a Formula 1 circuit at the Yas island.  To go with it, they created Ferrari World, a Ferrari theme park that hosts the world's fastest roller coaster that accelerates from 0 to 240 km/h in 5 seconds.  These were the "slowest" five seconds of my life, but definitely worth a try!

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

Outside the Ferrari World

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

Formula Rossa-The world's fastest coaster

Abu Dhabi is still at the beginning of its development, and still has a lot to give as it is now trying to reach the level of development in Dubai.  My guess is that in ten years, it will have reached it and will be a totally different place, time will show!

UAE: A Whole New World- Abu Dhabi

Zaha Hadid's Sheikh Zayed Bridge


A friend recently asked me what I think it would be like to live in one of the Emirates.  I believe that it would be an interesting experience as it is the combination of two different world: the western and the middle eastern.  There is a mix of many nationalities as many people from Europe and generally the west move there because the big role the Emirates play in the business world.  This doesn't mean that the way of life is like living in Europe.  There are many things in the local way of life to adjust to, as the people there are very proud of their culture and beliefs, and do their best for them not to be altered by the foreign ones people moving in bring with them.


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