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Abu Dhabi holidays

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Why go to Abu Dhabi

The UAE's understated capital has long been overshadowed by Dubai, its flashier and more flamboyant neighbour. Now, though, Abu Dhabi holidays are increasingly in demand. With a Manhattan-esque skyline that's constantly in flux, a constellation of newly-opened international art galleries and a proliferation of all-inclusive Abu Dhabi deals to tempt visitors, the largest emirate is slowly spreading its petals to the world.

What Abu Dhabi lacks in the way of historic landmarks, it more than makes up for in knock-out modern architecture.

The two real must-see buildings on any Abu Dhabi holiday are the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the unbelievably luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel - stay here on an affordable Abu Dhabi package deal to enjoy the yoga classes, champagne bar and caviar-based spa treatments.

Other feats of 21st-century engineering include the Capital Gate Building, which leans four times more than the Tower of Pisa, and pioneering zero-carbon development Masdar City.

History and heritage

Behind Abu Dhabi's high-rise facade is a traditional culture that's still very much alive. One essential stop on your Abu Dhabi holiday is the Heritage Village, a reconstructed oasis village where craftsmen labour in traditional workshops and people trade goats for dates in the reconstructed souk.

For a more authentic experience, lose yourself in the Mina Zayed Fish Souk near the main port and watch fishermen haggling over their catch, or take your pick of the freshest and cheapest Abu Dhabi produce at the nearby Al Mina Fruit and Vegetable Souk.

Sunlit sands

Those endless butterscotch beaches are the highlights of any Abu Dhabi holiday. A marine promenade called the Corniche stretches for six kilometres along the coast, linking some of the more central beaches and all-inclusive Abu Dhabi hotels.

Off the coast you'll find a smattering of sand-fringed islands - Nurai, Lulu and Al Maya are all secluded spots worth checking out, while Saadiyat combines beautiful beaches with a brand-new booming Cultural District. For a sand-themed adrenaline shot, take a 4x4 trip into the rolling desert dunes that surround Abu Dhabi.

Travel Information




Emirati Arab Dirham (AED)

Average flight time(from London)

7 hrs 15 mins

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*ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licence) is a financial protection scheme for package holidays: It provides support to consumers in the event their holiday provider collapses. Booking with an ATOL holder ensures that you won't be left out of pocket and you won't be left stranded abroad. All package holidays compared using TravelSupermarket are protected by ATOL.

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) offers similar cover for packages booked with its members. However, while ATOL predominantly covers flight-based packages, ABTA covers non-flight based holidays (such as rail and cruise) and linked travel arrangements. If you are unsure whether or not your trip is covered by ABTA, check with your provider.

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