The emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and its capital city of the same name, are the ideal destination for those seeking a vacation that combines adventure, history and culture with breathtaking views of the sky and sea.
In recent decades, the city has seen unparalleled economical development thanks to the exploitation of oil and natural gas, which has made it one of the richest areas in the world. However, its origins date back thousands of years.
Legend has it that a gazelle revealed a spring of water near to where the first nomadic tribes settled, sheltered from the inhospitable climate of the desert, upon which now stands the modern city of Abu Dhabi, whose name translates as "father of the gazelle."
BETWEEN THE PAST AND FUTURE
For tourists seeking the most exotic spots, the perfect trip will undoubtedly be the route that travels through the desert to reach the Liwa oasis. Between the silent expanses of sand and dunes that surround the trails, your gaze will be captivated by the seemingly endless distance until you reach the settlements of Liwa, in the heart of the Arabian peninsula, the undisputed home of date palm cultivation.
Returning to the capital, Indiana Jones enthusiasts will have the opportunity to explore one of the archaeological wonders of the area, the cultural sites of Al-Ain, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
In the city, you can admire the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the religious center of the Middle East and a majestic architectural masterpiece. The entire complex occupies more than 22,000 square meters and it can accommodate approximately 40,000 worshipers. The internal areas are decorated with the purest white marble from Italy and Greece and the courtyards are paved with 17,000 square meters of mosaic tiles.
A PASSION FOR FOUR WHEELS
In the capital of the United Arab Emirates, car and speed enthusiasts will find their dream come true: a theme park dedicated to Ferrari. The entire structure, under a roof measuring 200,000 square meters, inspired by the sinuous lines of the Italian cars, combines the history of the automobile manufacturer with the sheer excitement of the attractions, such as the roller coaster that simulates the experience of racing the Maranello cars at 240 kilometers per hour.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has several dedicated shopping areas and one of which, named "Past and Presents", pays tribute to the glorious adventure of the founder, Enzo, with a replica of the first garage where the Prancing Horse took its first steps. It also has various dining options, naturally dedicated to Italian cuisine.
Since 2009, Yas, the artificial island where the theme park is located, has been the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, part of the Formula One world championship. An unmissable event that usually takes place in November and gives fans of motor racing the opportunity to experience the excitement of the race and the entertainment of Ferrari World at the same time.
CITY OF THE FUTURE
In 2006, the Masdar City project was initiated — a city planned near to Abu Dhabi which will be powered entirely by sustainable energy, with zero impact on the environment. 2015 will see the completion of the first stage which plans the construction of a university campus, commercial enterprises and residential complexes. In Masdar City, only electric cars and transportation will be used, with car parks on the outskirts of the area where traditional cars can be parked.
Don't miss the opportunity to visit magnificent Abu Dhabi! Book your visit now!
© Andrea La Corte
© Leonid Yaitsky