Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and of the largest emirate within the cooperation, the emirate Abu Dhabi. It's a very modern city and therefore has few historical places of interest. Abu Dhabi is, however, a shopping paradise and there are excellent sandy beaches nearby the city. Many tourists also undertake journeys through the desert.
Abu Dhabi City has approximately one million inhabitants, including many foreigners from for example India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and African countries. They are here to work for the immensely rich oil sheiks.
The city is located in the western part of the United Arab Emirates, on an island in the Persian Gulf. Three bridges connect the heart of the city with the mainland where the suburbs are located.
Oil, oil, oil, that's what Abu Dhabi's economy is about. Abu Dhabi has by far the largest oil reserves of the United Arab Emirates. Those rich oil reserves have also enabled the country to focus on other economical activities, for example building enormous shopping centers and other large projects, as well as tourism.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is situated 32 kilometers east of the city center. The airport is easily reachable by rental car. From the city three roads lead to the airport: Khaleej Al Arabi (road number 30), Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Street (road number 2) and Salam Street (road number 8).
Recently, the city has invested a lot of money in expanding public transport. Abu Dhabi now has an extensive bus network, with extremely modern busses. There are also many taxis, whose drivers always originate from a (far) foreign country.
Driving in Abu Dhabi is not for those who are afraid of chaotic and sometimes simply reckless driving. Although a lot has been invested in the infrastructure and there are therefore large, wide roads, traffic in and around the city is extremely busy. It can also be difficult to find a parking place for your rental car. In the city center you have to pay for street parking; parking in the garage of a shopping center is usually free.
Abu Dhabi has a large choice of hotels, but don't expect to find a cheap hotel room. The vast majority of the hotels fall in the luxury or extreme luxury category. Hotels in Abu Dhabi used to be half the price of those in the larger Dubai, but that's no longer the case.
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