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Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi's oil wealth has been wisely utilized to encourage a healthy trade and commerce atmosphere, including those apart from oil industries. State-of-the-art communication services and transport, the presence of all the international luxury hotel chains, rich shopping malls, cultural centers and events have made the emirate a favorite destination for visitor and home to many nationalities. Activities range from shopping in the upmarket shops to haggling in the souk (market), travelling in an air conditioned limousine to riding a camel in the desert, dining in five-star luxury to sampling Bedouin hospitality under the night sky.

White Fort - One of the landmarks of Abu Dhabi, The Al Hosn Palace, commonly known as the White Fort, dates back over 200 years. Home of the former ruling family it is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. The Palace is also home to the Cultural Foundation where many interesting exhibits of traditional artefacts and photographs are displayed. The courtyard and tile work over the main gate are particularly beautiful.

Heritage Village - The village is situated in the middle of Abu Dhabi and is a living exhibition of the lifestyle and traditions of Bedouin and other culture's.

Hili Gardens - Impressive ancient tombs, some more than 4000 years old, is of interest here.

Liwa Oasis - About two hours drive from the city of Abu Dhabi is Liwa, one of the largest oasis in Arabia and a gateway to Rub Al Khali or Empty Quarter. The place makes a refreshing change with freshwater pools and date plantations. It is also home to the Bedu people, known for their hospitality.

Jabel Hafit - Close to Al Ain, is this craggy mountain rising steeply from the surrounding desert. An area noted for its flora and fauna (it is one of the last remaining habitats of the rare Arabian tahr), the mountain can be accessed by excellent roads which wind its way right upto the summit, providing a panaromic view of the Empty Quarter. Also of interest are the numerous caves, sites of archaeological excavations, and Ain Al Fayda, a top health resort located over a natural hot spring.

Al Ain Museum - Location within the confines of Al Jahili fort, the nation's largest museum is divided into ethnological and historical sections. Interesting displays include Bedouin artifacts, archaeological excavations of 2700 BC, 500 BC stone instruments and relics dug up from Fossil Valley.

Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium - The 1969 zoo houses an extremely large and varied collection of wildlife from all over the world. The zoo is also well know for its display of Arabia's indigenous wildlife which includes the spectacular Arabian oryx.

Qattarah Oasis - This small, beautiful sylvan oasis studded with date palms and fruit orchards and located on the edge of Al Ain is noted for its archaeological sites. Some of the ancient relics found here, including beautiful gold jewellery, have been displayed today in the Al Ain museum.

The Cultural Foundation - Located in the Khalidiya Street, the foundation houses a weekly art exhibition, library, theatre auditorium, and lecture rooms. The centre is considered as the cultural heartbeat of the city.

The Corniche - A park-lined coastal boulevard that skirts the city, with a backdrop of modern buildings facing the sea, it is one of the most picturesque sites in Abu Dhabi.


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