Abu Dhabi

By Matthew Anderson

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a district of constantly evolving modernity always pushing the boundaries of innovation, viewing the immense skyline of this city is like taking a trip into the future!
 

 

Best time to visit

Abu Dhabi is a subtropical desert, with pleasantly warm winters, and scorchingly hot summers. So when it comes to the best time to visit, getting the most sun isn’t a concern. What you will be looking for is the times when tourism is at its lowest.

The best time to visit is the shoulder seasons between April to May, and September to October. The weather is hot but not unbearable (around 25-35°C), this is also just after the peak season, meaning hotel rates will be reasonable and crowds will be minimal. For the best possible discounts and next to no other tourists, Summer will be your time to go, but be aware that temperatures hit extreme levels (Above 40°C) at this time making it very difficult to bare being outside for extended periods of time.

 

 

Local Cuisine

Emirati cuisine follows similar trends to other Middle Eastern dining experiences. Rice, fish and meat (mainly lamb/mutton) are staples of many dishes. Here is some of the must try dishes that can be found in Abu Dhabi.

 

Khuzi – A staple dish of the United Arab Emirates, usually served during special occasions but you can find it in most restaurants. Khuzi (also known as Ghuzi) consists of roasted lamb/mutton and spicy rice topped with raisins, vegetables and nuts with the addition of generous amount of spices. Khuzi is a melting pot of flavours - sweet, spicy and everything inbetween.

 

 

Shwarma – You may have had some sort of shwarma before, but nothing compares to the authentic taste of this Middle Eastern dish. Well-marinated meat, layered on a vertical rotisserie and slow-roasted for days. This delicacy often found as street food for a nice change of pace from sit down restaurant meals, however you can still get it nicely prepared in most restaurants.

 

 

Balaleet – A sweet and savoury dessert/breakfast dish made up of an egg topping with sweetened Vermicelli pasta underneath. A wide assortment of ingredients are used to sweeten the spaghetti, including but not limited to: cinnamon, sugar, nuts, saffron, rose water and pistachios.

 

 

Thereed – This is another dish plentiful with spices; a lamb, mutton or chicken-based stew with vegetables.

It is also commonly the first dish that is consumed when breaking the Ramadan fasting, so worth the wait!

 

 

Luqaimat – Finally, we have the most popular dessert in the UAE. Deep fried crunchy dough balls covered in date syrup and topped with sesame seeds. A great dish to share after a meal.

 

 

Sights and Highlights

Finding something to do, especially in the booming city centre of Abu Dhabi is no difficult task. This city boasts some of the most amazing architecture in the world, no expense is spared when creating these amazing monuments. A fine example is the Louvre Abu Dhabi ‘mega museum’ - just from a glance of the exterior, the building looks straight out of a sci-fi blockbuster. Inside is where you’ll find the true marvel though. Unlike other museums, Louvre Abu Dhabi doesn’t segregate its galleries by separate artists or countries, but rather the time frame in which they were made. Breaking the tradition of telling individual stories of artists the museum tells a story of humanity through time, from 7000 B.C to 20th century greats such as Pablo Picasso. It’s an interesting take and definitely worth a visit!

 

 

Technology is at the forefront of Emirati culture; their virtual reality experiences have come a long way in the past few years and full blown arcade style buildings have opened, purely dedicated to VR experiences. Many can be found throughout the city centre, offering fun for the whole family from sport simulators to adventure games!

 

 

For something more traditional, take a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Being the largest mosque in the country not many buildings compare to this spectacularly stunning place of worship: More than eighty marble domes, floral designs embedded with precious gems and over 90,000 tonnes of marble – we could go on, but its true beauty is much better observed in person. It is one of the only Mosques in the country open to tourists, except for Fridays  allowing worshippers to use the structure.

 

 

Interesting facts

  • In 2015 Abu Dhabi produced over 92,000 tonnes worth of dates.
  • The Capital Gate Building leans 14 degrees further than the leaning tower of Pisa, making it the furthest leaning building in the world.
  • The police force in Abu Dhabi are supplied with luxury sports cars as their patrol vehicles, the catalogue ranges from Lamborghini and Ferrari to the Nissan GTR!
  • There is an entire theme park devoted to the brand of Ferrari, its safe to say automobile junkies will have a good time in the UAE!

 

 

If you’re ready to race away to Abu Dhabi, call Inspire on 0161 440 6735 to book your luxury stay.