If, like many others, you are thinking of moving to the United Arab Emirates or, more specifically, Abu Dhabi there is a lot for you to look forward to in this exciting city that is internationally renowned for breathtaking scenery and masterpieces of architecture. There are very few places in the world that rival Abu Dhabi for diversity where traditional Arab culture meets state of the art luxurious living. In this guide we take a quick look at a selected few highlights that Abu Dhabi has to offer visitors and new residents.
Gourmet Abu Dhabi is an annual culinary festival that invites the finest chefs in the world to establish the emirates as a leading global gastronomy destination. This year's event begins in style at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel with a glamorous gala opening featuring a selection of the masterchefs that will be making appearances in the festival. Over the following two weeks there will be culinary demonstrations, chateaux dinners and themed gourmet events with multi-Michelin starred chefs and internationally recognised patissiers and bakers across more than 20 of the city's finest hotels and restaurants.
The 82 snow-white domes of the Grand Mosque that was conceived by Sheikh Zayed himself and completed in 2007 after 11 years of construction is one of the world's must-see sights and a stunning achievement in architecture. There are so many unique and special features of the mosque, it must be visited to be believed. For example it houses the third largest chandelier in the world, 96 marble-clad, mother of pearl inlaid columns that populate the main prayer hall and the world's largest carpet (at 5,627m2). The Grand Mosque can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers and is open for visitors to freely walk around (except at prayer times).
With its awe-inspiring landscapes and a selection of no fewer than six diverse golf courses to chose from, Abu Dhabi is a firm favourite and destination of choice for golfers worldwide. Ranging from the Abu Dhabi Golf Club which is an oasis of tranquillity carved from the desert to the challenging Al Ghazal sand course, there is more than enough to satisfy golf enthusiasts either visiting or moving to Abu Dhabi. As well as being host to the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that recently attracted the world's top four players, six of the world's top ten, three current holders of Major titles and 14-time Major winner, Tiger Woods.
Literally translated to 'the place of enlightenment' Manarat Al Saadiyat is a vast visitor centre that often hosts world-class art and cultural events. Spanning 15,400 square metres Manarat Al Saadiyat holds three gallery spaces, the beautiful Fanr Restaurant and a 250 seat theatre. In the next 3 years it will also be a neighbour to the, currently under construction, Zayed National Museum and ground-breaking branches of the Guggenheim and Louvre.
The World Trade Centre in Abu Dhabi is one of the most impressive in the 330 strong collection of World Trade Centres worldwide and stands proudly in the heart of the city. WTC Abu Dhabi houses state of the art facilities in a mix of offices, residences, a hotel, a mall and the historic 12 acre single-storey market. WTC Abu Dhabi is widely regarded as being a cultural hub that is a magnet for local residents, visitors and expats moving to Abu Dhabi.
This one is for the adrenaline chasers. The latest water sport craze has come to Abu Dhabi. JetLev Flying is essentially being propelled out of the water at around 80kph upto a height of 15m by a jet pack.
The arrival, and popularity, of JetLev Flying does very well to prove the diversity of activities on offer in Abu Dhabi, from gentle and picturesque golf courses and world famous cuisine to jet propelled water sports and concerts from some of the biggest names in music including The Rolling Stones (21st February), Justin Timberlake (23rd May) and Black Sabbath (29th May).
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