Travel

There’s more to Abu Dhabi than meets the eye

November 24, 2015

If you’re next halal friendly destination includes travelling to Abu Dhabi, then you may be wondering which tourist attractions and activities are among some of the best and most popular places to visit. Of course, you have the wonderful Sheikh Zayed Mosque which should be on everyone’s visit list as well as abundant shopping options. However Abu Dhabi is full of activities and educational activities that you’ll happily enjoy participating in. From an energetic day out, to a nice relaxing stroll through Abu Dhabi’s museums, whatever it is, the below will surely inspire you to find the hidden gems in this Emirate.

 

Saadiyat Island- Home to the Hawksbill Turtles

hawsbill-turtles-0003Saadiyat Island, Arabic for ‘Happiness Island’ is a large low lying island just 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The island is currently partly under construction and is to be developed into a commercial, residential, and leisure project which is expected to be completed by 2020, however you can visit Saadiyat’s beautiful white sandy beach on your next visit. Saadiyat Island has become the home of an endangered species that will give you more reasons to visit the beautiful island beforehand.

Animal lovers will definitely want to visit Saadiyat Island after the critically endangered Hawksbill turtles have taken to the island to hatch their baby turtles. Certain areas including hotels have been taking measures to ensure the safety of the endangered turtles, and are doing all they can to ensure the creatures can safely and successfully watch over their eggs before the precious baby turtles are ready to come out. 80 hawksbill turtles were born this year, and visitors who are staying nearby can witness the precious moment from afar. Though safety measures have been made to ensure the endangered animals can continue hatching their eggs in a safe environment, just the thought of knowing Abu Dhabi is doing all they can to protect these animals is another reason why visiting the island is extra special.

 

The Women’s Craft Centre

12_Women_Handicraft_CentreThough the Woman’s Craft Centre may sound like’s it’s only intended for women, the centre is actually full of various arts and crafts that any traveller, male or female, would find interesting. The government run centre is home to the local women of Abu Dhabi that have the talented and amazing skills to craft, weave, embroider and demonstrate the traditional time honoured skills that are so famous to their region. From basketry to embroidery, to silver thread needlework and textile weaving, the Woman’s Craft Centre offers tourist the chance to witness firsthand the beautiful traditional craft skills the women of Abu Dubai poses. Visitors are also allowed to purchase items that are on display, and you can even request personalised items such as shawls, slippers, bags, carpets, trays and baskets for a small extra fee.

 

Liwa Oasis

desert-001Liwa Oasis is the historical home of the Nahyan family, the leaders of Abu Dhabi emirate and the UAE. It was historically, and remains to this day, a date-palm cultivating region for various friendly tribes. Despite finding yourself in the middle of the dessert, visitors will be surprised at the cultivated palm forests that colour up the sandy dessert.

If you want to get away from the city and enjoy the natural deserts that surround the beautiful city, then the Liwa Oasis is the place to visit! Famous for its date farming, and home to one of the largest sand domes in the world just on its outskirts, Liwa Oasis is definitely the perfect place for your ‘great escape.’ Made up of only 50 small villages spread about, the beautiful oasis is also home to top class hotels that can offer you the perfect camping under the stars escapade. Sand surfing, camel trekking and riding dune buddies is also available at the Liwa Oasis, plus various festivals take place yearly at the beautiful oasis.

 

Qasr Al-Hosn

The Qasr Al- Hosn Palace, also known as the ‘Old Fort’ or the ‘White Fort,’ is the oldest building still standing in Abu Dhabi. Known as Abu Dhabi’s symbolic birthplace, the beautiful stone building is the emirate’s first permanent structure, which was home to the emirate’s ruling family, the Al Nayhan family.

Though the palace wasn’t built until 1793, the Qasr al Hosn’s life began in the early 1760’s as a coral and sea stone watchtower. As the years went by, the tower was transformed into a fort, and later on into a museum, which it still is today. The fort’s walls sparkle beautifully in the sun due to the seashells reflective effect, making the beautiful white stoned building an amazing site. Nowadays visitors can enjoy the palace’s beautiful grounds and its many notable features, inside is also a museum of traditional artifacts and historical photographs. The Qasr al Hosn is also home to the ‘Centre of Documentation and Research’ which holds various collections of documents on the heritage and history of the UEA and the Golf Region. There are also natural history sections which include animal life in the desert, and a historical section with displays of Abu Dhabi’s history.

 

Heritage Village

4_Heritage_Village_ShopsThe Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi is an authentic replica of a Bedouin’s campsite. Going back hundreds of years ago, different tribes would set up temporary camps for them and their fellow followers. Nowadays the Heritage Village gives a real glimpse of what the Emirate life used to be like for people on a daily basis before the oil boom. Tourists get to witness and gather an idea of how life was way back before the city became as rich and luxurious as it now is. With traditional aspects of the desert way of life, visitors will be amazed at the villages open museum that includes campfires with coffee pots, and goat’s hair tents. Workshops and craftsmen are also available at the historical village and visitors can witness, and even try out the different traditional skills the male workers would engage in such as metal work and pottery.

 

Ferrari World

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s largest indoor theme park situated on Yas Island, on the North Eastern side of Abu Dhabi’s mainland. The island itself is actually one of the United Arab Emirates largest and greatest leisure destinations that offer their guest a wide range of activities, accommodation, and the Yas Marina Circuit which also hosts the famous Formula One Grand Prix.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the world’s first Ferrari-themed park. Built in 2010 based on the legendary Ferrari Story, Ferrari World offers their guests a once in a life time adventure full of celebration and inspiration. The amazing theme park offers a variety of attractions and rides, with different thrills and journeys suitable for every member of the family. Top of the class cuisines are available at the theme park’s various restaurants, and a variety of shops for your souvenirs and take homes are available for those that want more than just memories of the world’s largest theme park.

 

No matter where you decide to go, Abu Dhabi definitely has something to fit your liking. The city is made of many tourist attractions and activities that will leave you blown away by the beautiful scenery and historic stories behind the different destinations. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or an educational trip, Abu Dhabi will provide you with a holiday experience you’ll never forget.

 

 

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