If this is your first trip to oil-rich Abu Dhabi, take a stroll along the sweeping coastal Corniche promenade to be dazzled by shiny skyscrapers and lush gardens. Bargain in the Madinat Zayed Gold Souk, swim in the clear waters off Al Raha Beach and feast on local spicy meat dishes.
The wealthy United Arab Emirates' capital is constantly changing, with dazzlingly new skyscrapers poking through to join the city skyline all the time. Hugging the Arabian Gulf, you'll be drawn to the western coast with its four-mile-long Corniche seafront path. Near the Breakwater, the Heritage Village recreates traditional Bedouin life and gives a glimpse of Abu Dhabi's past. Head to the northern tip, built on reclaimed land, to enjoy a traditional Abu Dhabi shopping experience in the Iranian and Al Meena souk markets. East of the city you'll find the landmark Al Magtaa Fort.
Join locals strolling along the Corniche at sunset, then dip into nearby cafes to feast on local specialities like spicy kofte meatballs or lamb kebab. Get a taste of UAE opulence with afternoon tea at the Emirates Palace hotel, filled with gold and marble. If you fancy a refreshing swim, head to the popular public Al Raha Beach to sunbathe on its golden sands. Or take a boat trip to island-hop and find your own seclusion. Show off your haggling skills at the Iranian Souk and find your favourite carpet at Al Meena Souk or jewellery at Madinat Zayed Gold Souk.
If you like birdwatching, get your binoculars at the ready at Al Wathba Camel Track, east of Abu Dhabi, to get a glimpse of a lappet-faced vulture or oriental skylark. Find out what Abu Dhabi was like before the skyscrapers appeared at Heritage Village, where you can see demonstrations of traditional crafts and falconry. Then see how shipbuilding hasn't changed by watching traditional boats being crafted at Dhow Wharf before they're taken out on fishing trips.
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