Abu Dhabi is the largest of the United Arab Emirates.
- 1 Abu Dhabi (Arabic: أبو ظبي) – The eponymous capital.
- 2 Al Ain (Arabic: العين) – Oasis in the desert, the second-largest city.
- 1 Liwa Oasis (Arabic: واحة ليوا)
- 2 Yas Island – Home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, near Abu Dhabi city.
- 3 Sir Bani Yas Island (Arabic: صير بنى ياس)
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates and the capital of the UAE. It occupies an area of 67,000 km2. Its long coastline, the shallow waters of the Southern Gulf, extending from the base of the Qatar Peninsula in the west to the border of the emirate of Dubai on the north east, was once the world's best waters for pearling. When the pearling industry declined, oil discovery in the offshore oilfields of the Southern Gulf revived the economy of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi was also the first emirate to export oil from the Umm Shaif offshore field in 1962. On the land, it stretches south to the oases of Liwa where some of the world's largest sand dunes can be found and east to the ancient oasis of Al Ain. This makes Abu Dhabi the largest as well as the most populated of all the emirates.
Both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain have international airports, although Abu Dhabi's is by far the larger and better-connected of the two. Coming in via neighboring Dubai is also a viable option: it's 170 km from Dubai to Abu Dhabi city and 100 km to Al Ain.
Taxis are the preferred method of travel. They are cheap and have been replaced with a national service. fares start from approx USD1.50 and can take you from one side of the city to the other for less than USD10.
- Desert Safari trips are an exhilarating experience. You must book ahead, but this can often be done as late as the day before, by your hotel receptionist. The whole event normally starts late afternoon. You will be collected directly from your hotel. The trips vary slightly but normally you arrive back to your hotel in the evening around 22:00. Most packages include an exhilarating drive over the dunes by an experienced driver in a 4x4 vehicle, a short camel ride, delicious Arabic buffet and Belly Dancer. Note that the belly dancer is normally included only if there are enough of you in your party so enquire at the time of booking.
Non-Muslims are permitted to bring up to 4 litres of alcohol into Abu Dhabi. Alcohol is also available in hotel bars, but bringing any of it home requires a liquor license.