The capital and second-largest city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi offers a taste of tradition amidst modern luxury with its cultural landmarks, sprawling theme parks and tall towers. Set on an island, the sun-soaked city also boasts miles of scenic coastline which melts into the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Often overshadowed by glitzy Dubai, Abu Dhabi has no shortage of activities – from laid-back to action-packed. For a thrilling experience, you can ride the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World or zip down colourful, labyrinthine slides at Yas Waterworld. Once you’ve had your fill of theme parks, head to the waterfront Corniche, featuring white-sand beaches and a palm-lined promenade dotted with upscale restaurants, manicured gardens and lavish hotels.
A trip to Abu Dhabi is incomplete without a visit to its stellar attraction – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This impressive monument shines on the outside as well as the inside, with gleaming domes of white marble topping the structure, and a massive Swarovski-studded chandelier illuminating the interior. Also worth a visit is Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest building in the city, originally built as a watchtower. Art enthusiasts can head to The Louvre Abu Dhabi, one of the finest examples of art and architecture spanning cultures, continents and civilisations. Its impressive collection of art from all over the world is housed in a futuristic floating dome featuring a stunning interplay of light and shade.