Now known as one of the richest cities in the world, it’s hard to believe that Abu Dhabi was once just a humble fishing village sitting on the edge of the Arabian Gulf.
That all changed with the discovery of oil, with the capital of the UAE then undergoing a radical transformation to become the glittering city that it is today.
It isn’t regarded as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the Emirates for nothing – something you’ll be able to experience first hand if you book a trip to Abu Dhabi for your annual HOT Holiday in the sun.
One thing you certainly won’t need to worry about during a break in Abu Dhabi is the weather – with high temperatures and plenty of sun throughout the year and little in the way of rain.
Modern day Abu Dhabi offers something for visitors of all ages, with plenty to do for couples, families and lone travellers alike.
Those who have a desire to explore the history and culture of Abu Dhabi will enjoy the opportunity to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is one of the largest mosques to be found anywhere in the world.
The Qasr al-Hosn Palace and the impressive Heritage Village are also worth considering if you want to learn more about traditional life in Abu Dhabi – and see what life was like before the oil boom arrived.
Should you prefer to simply relax during a holiday, then the area around the Corniche will tick many of the boxes.
Running for some 8km along the waterfront, the Corniche is home to a range of different cafes and restaurants as well as children’s play areas and Corniche Beach – arguably the best to be found in Abu Dhabi.
The Blue Flag rated beach sits alongside calm waters for those who want to take a dip and cool off, whilst there are plenty of lifeguards on hand to ensure everyone remains safe at all times.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
There are few sites as dramatic as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque when taking a trip to Abu Dhabi, with the mosque being one of the biggest of its type in the world. More than 40,000 people can fit into the mosque for worship, with the dramatic building featuring more than 1,000 columns, gold gilded chandeliers and a number of reflective pools that only serve to enhance the beauty of the stunning building.
Abu Dhabi is home to the original Ferrari World Theme Park, and is a great place to go for a fun-filled day as a family. The park features a huge array of different rides based around the iconic Ferrari brand, including state of the art simulators, electric go-karts and one of the fastest rollercoasters in the world.
The Yas Waterworld park is a huge waterpark located on Yas Island and features more than 40 different rides to suit visitors of all ages, from splash parks and lazy rivers through to high-speed flumes and a rollercoaster.
Observation Desk at 300
Head for the Etihad Towers and you can enjoy some of the best views of Abu Dhabi with a trip to the Observation Desk at 300. As the name suggests, the viewing point sits 300 metres into the air and you can enjoy a range of refreshments whilst marveling at the views outside the window.
The Heritage Village provides a fascinating insight into what life used to be like in Abu Dhabi, with the attraction having been created as a reconstruction of a traditional oasis village. You’ll even be able to see craftsman at work showing off their skills.
The oldest building in Abu Dhabi, the Qasr al-Hosn dates back to the 1760s when it was built as a watchtower, which was then expanded to become the residence of the ruler. Nowadays, it is home to a special exhibition that tells the story of Abu Dhabi and the people who live there.
Yas Marina Circuit
Opened in 2009, the Yas Marina Circuit is home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and is known to be one of the most stunning venues on the Formula One calendar. Used throughout the year for various events, the circuit also offers a range of different driving experiences as well as special guided tours of the facility.
Al Jahili Fort
Head inland from Abu Dhabi and you can pay a visit to the famous Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain. The picturesque fort is one of the most historic buildings in the Emirates and dates back to the late 1800s when it was build to help defend the city. It was also the residence of the local governor and sits amidst impressively landscaped gardens.