Abu-Dhabi and its countless treasures
Even today we continue our discovery of the capital of the Emirates, Abu-Dhabi.
Let’s start this visit with the Corniche
At over six kilometers long, the Abu Dhabi Corniche is a must-see in its own right. Favorite place for locals to come and cool off or enjoy a picnic in the sand, it is a great place to take a stroll or rest. There are many benches, well-kept parks, playgrounds for children and of course a lot of restaurants.
It’s also a great place to watch the sunset as the heat becomes less oppressive. Turquoise waters and fine sand contrast well with the Abu Dhabi skyline, which seems to stretch out as far as the eye can see. Abu Dhabi now has more than 30 skyscrapers exceeding 100 meters, compared to only 4 in 2008.
The little extra of More Travel: Rent a bike or a scooter to stroll along the ledge, there are many places to stop and this allows you to discover different points of view over the city. Note that it is also possible to take a ride in a Dhow, a traditional boat that allows you to step back to admire the ledge.
The Etihad Towers
Take to the skies to observe the city from the 74th floor of the Etihad Towers. This complex of five towers is primarily a commercial space, but one of these towers has a floor designed for 360-degree observation of the city. The view from up there is worth the detour; at a height of 300 meters, it is possible to see the presidential palace, the Emirates Palace, the corniche or the marina.
The Etihad Towers perfectly represent the luxurious and sophisticated side of Abu Dhabi on the inside, but also the modern side with these glass and steel towers on the outside. Tower number 2 with its 80 floors and 305 meters high is the most imposing of the complex.
Important info: The price of the ticket to go up to the 74th floor of the tower includes one snack per person, do not hesitate to come at lunchtime, for example, to fully enjoy the lounge and its unique panorama.
The Mangroves National Park
This is not necessarily expected when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi and yet the city has a mangrove national park. Stretching over nearly 75 square kilometers, this maritime forest is still a fairly secret place in the UAE capital. The mangrove acts as a natural barrier against pollution, but also against the vagaries of the sea. The city therefore preserves its national park with great interest.
There are several possible ways to discover the mangroves including the boat, the paddle or the canoe-kayak. If you’re lucky, you might also spot different species of birds, including flamingos and herons. It is a rather unusual walk to take in Abu Dhabi to contrast with the artifices of the city. You will feel like taking a real break from nature in your trip with this ecological park, under the protection of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency.
Petit Plus More Travel: If you are a small group for canoeing, the guide will be able to take you to the “bushy mangrove”, a place where the mangrove is so dense that the progression is done without using the paddles, but simply thanks to the branches.
Abu Dhabi souks
The souks are an integral part of Middle Eastern culture with their lively atmosphere, their wide variety of goods and the unique way of buying or selling products. It would be a shame not to take the time to explore at least one of these markets while visiting Abu Dhabi.
Whether you need to buy or not, discovering a local souk is always a highlight. There are more or less all local products: carpets with the Abu Dhabi souk, spices with the Al Aïn souk, fruits and vegetables with the Al Mina souk or even fish with the Mina souk. These visits allow you to discover the local traditions but also to make nice encounters with the Emirati people. Remember to haggle if you buy something, this is the way to go there!
More Travel’s tip: If you like it, try the fish souk. It is possible to choose your piece on the spot and see it directly cooked in small ephemeral restaurants. The must of the fresh!
Abu Dhabi is a destination that denotes current tourism. I really enjoyed being able to experience the mix between modernism and the authenticity of Emirati culture. The city wants to spread out over the world and opens its doors to cultures different from its own. I think it’s great to be able to visit one of the most beautiful mosques in the world, for example, without having to be a Muslim.
This is the beauty of tolerance; allow the mixing of religions without any judgment to ensure that each learns from the other.
There are also plenty of places to just hang out, cool off and enjoy the peace and quiet, which is very important as the heat can quickly get stifling. If you come with your family to enjoy the city’s large theme parks, the prices go up quickly. , and that’s something to think about before you go. On the other hand, if the parks don’t appeal to you, there is still a lot to discover without spending a fortune.
Abu Dhabi is not a destination for a long trip, but during a stopover or for a few days, it is a beautiful city to explore. Very different from Dubai, I recommend going there if the occasion is right!
Still captivated? So stay tuned, from tomorrow we will continue to explore the Emirates…
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