Abu Dhabi is a city on the rise. Whether it’s skyscrapers or five-star hotels, restaurants by celebrity chefs or the arts, Abu Dhabi is a world-class city. Visitors from all over the world are getting on flights to Abu Dhabi to be part of its growing annual events calendar. From the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi Food Festival and concerts featuring globally-renowned music stars, there’s always something to be found in the UAE’s capital city.
And there’s a lot more to come. Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 is a strategic plan for the sustainable development of the city over the coming decades, focusing on green spaces, active living, workspaces and public transport. In line with this, Abu Dhabi is planning an extensive metro system. And while the emphasis is on steady and sustainable progress, there are plenty of thrilling attractions as well.
Saadiyat Island is set to be a hub of arts and culture, thanks to the development of the Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Then there's the manmade Yas Island, a multipurpose entertainment and leisure complex. Here you’ll find the brilliant waterpark Yas Waterworld, the record-breaking indoor theme park Ferrari World (home of the world’s fastest rollercoaster), Yas Links golf course, Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Beach, as well as luxurious hotels, restaurants and shops.
Meanwhile, the urban hub of Al Maryah Island continues to grow, with a vibrant mix of business and leisure developments such as the towering Rosewood Abu Dhabi, which offers some of the best views of the city.
When it comes to restaurants, food-lovers will be spoilt for choice in Abu Dhabi. Cuisines from around the world – European, Far Eastern, Indian, North American – are represented here, and more and more acclaimed chefs – from Marco Pierre White to Sanjeev Kapoor – are signing up for new projects in the city.
Abu Dhabi also does shopping in a big way. While the likes of Central Market and Souk Qaryat Al Beri evoke the souks of the past, Yas Mall is completely modern. The shopping centre boasts a 20-screen cinema, a Lego concept store, and FunWorks family entertainment centre among its many draws.
Despite all the futuristic architecture and growing cosmopolitan population, there’s always an escape from the hustle and bustle. The architectural marvel that is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque should be near the top of any itinerary. And the desert dunes of the Rub' al-Khali (Empty Quarter) are perfect for camping and dune bashing during the cooler months. Cinephiles should check out the Liwa Desert, whose majestic dunes feature in the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.