THE CHARISMATIC CAPITAL
Business Traveller India|December 2021 - January 2022
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, appeals to all kinds of travellers with its diverse tourism offerings
AKANKSHA MAKER
Towering skyscrapers, a turquoise sea, bustling markets and a ray of positivity — welcome to Abu Dhabi. The capital and second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s rapid urbanisation in the past few decades has given it the stature of one of the most powerful and futuristic metropolises of the world. Sitting in the centre of the globe, Abu Dhabi is easily accessible from almost all key hubs — European, Asian, African, American or Australian. And now that the UAE is open to all vaccinated travellers without quarantine, the emirate has become the “go to” destination for families, leisure and business travellers alike. Credit goes to Abu Dhabi’s Go Safe certification programme that was announced back in 2020. A strategy to revive the tourism sector post the pandemic, the Go Safe Certification enforces global standards of safety and cleanliness at hotels, attractions, and venues across the emirate.

“Abu Dhabi is setting a new standard for best practices in tourism, following the high praise that the UAE has received for the proactive approach through which the government has addressed the current situation. As we look forward to reviving tourism in the capital, we aim to not only meet, but to exceed all existing international benchmarks through a strategy that promotes consumer safety in every step of the way; from the moment they land at our airports to their eventual departure. The launch of Go Safe goes hand-in-hand with the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government to combat the spread of diseases, which include widespread testing, city-wide sanitation, social distancing, and enhancing healthcare services,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing, Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, during the launch of the initiative.

Abu Dhabi - Yas Island became the first hotel to be certified under the emirate’s Go Safe certification programme. Today, most of the city’s establishments including hotels, malls, museums, theme parks, entertainment spots, family attractions and restaurants have received this label. With 90 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s population being vaccinated and rigorous hygiene standards being followed across the city, the emirate is not only safe but also an exciting destination to visit right now.

Even though the city has metamorphosed into a modern hub, its ancient roots and history are well preserved in its character and tourism. Abu Dhabi will surely mesmerise you with its architecture and draw you in with its antiquity. Its entertainment venues, nature-oriented destinations and luxurious beaches will spoil you for choice.

WHAT TO SEE

Whether you’re interested in history, looking for that adrenaline rush or just wanting to kick back and relax in a luxurious hotel, chances are that you’ll find what you’re looking for in Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain

To delve into past, drive about an hour and a half away from the city and visit the ancient tombs in Al Ain which have been qualified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The capital's garden city and one of the world's oldest permanently inhabited settlements, Al Ain is sequestered with old-world forts, archaeological parks with artefacts, quaint camel markets, historic palaces, an equestrian, shooting and golf club, and bustling souks (markets) that retail traditional Emirati products. The Al Ain Oasis is a must-see for nature lovers. Families can also visit the Al Ain Zoo that’s home to 4,000 animals for a fun-filled day. Here you can enjoy giraffe feeding, camel riding and also let your inner child out at an inviting petting zoo.

The National Aquarium

Opened in November, Abu Dhabi’s newest attraction — the National Aquarium — is home to 46,000 species of 300 different species across ten zones. The aquarium presents a range of dynamic experiences for the visitors, featuring awe-inspiring biodiversity. Vibrant and rare fish, along with hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, birds and reptiles entice visitors. The main attraction of the aquarium is the reticulated snake, which is considered to be the largest living snake in the world.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

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