If you’ve never been to Abu Dhabi, you’re in for a treat when you arrive. There are so many places to explore, you’ll spend your break hopping from one attraction to the next. To make your getaway a bit more relaxing, we’ve put together a list of the top five sites to visit in the city.
Al Ain Palace Museum
Combining cultural and historical trips is always a favourite among holidaymakers, and if this sounds like you, visit the Al Ain Palace Museum. As soon as you arrive at the sand-coloured palace, you will be blown away by the impressive size and stature of the building.
But it is what you’ll learn about the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – of which Abu Dhabi is the second largest city – that will be truly impressive, as this is the best place to discover more about the founder of UAE Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
He used to live in this building, which was constructed in 1910. Now it has been turned into a museum, so you can visit, explore the grounds and learn about the former president’s history, with Sheikh Zayed taking power of the UAE in 1971.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
If you want to learn about the founder’s life and reign, it makes sense to see where his funeral ceremony took place, and this is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This religious building – aptly named after him – is also where the former president has been buried.
The mosque is among the largest in the world, so even if you’re not too interested in finding out more about Sheikh Zayed on your tailormade holiday in Abu Dhabi, the building is so striking and huge, you will find lots more things to discover than its significance to the ex-leader.
So massive is the mosque, in fact, that it is big enough to house 41,000 people worshipping inside its walls at any one time! And it isn’t just huge but also equally as grand – with 24-carat gold-gilded chandeliers, more than 1,000 columns, 82 domes and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet.
The Heritage Village
Holidaymakers tend to love discovering more about the people and culture of a destination, and this is what the Heritage Village lets you do. This is an outdoor museum located near Breakwater in Abu Dhabi where a traditional oasis village has been reconstructed.
So, going here will enable you to see what life is like for villagers living in the desert, with many aspects of their homes and markets built for tourists to see. You can watch a number of workshops if you want to find out about traditional craft work that takes place in rural communities, from spinning and weaving to pottery.
Al Jahili Fort
This is one of the most popular destinations to visit on a luxury holiday to Abu Dhabi, as it is among the largest forts in the country. It was constructed in the late 19th century and was intended to protect the city.
The building was also the birthplace of the UAE’s founder Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, so it has a huge political significance.
You are allowed to explore the landscaped gardens, as well as the inside of the building, which is home to works by Sir Wilfred Thesiger. This British adventurer – known commonly as Mubarak Bin London – has a permanent exhibition at the site.
Hili Archaeological Gardens
When you visit Abu Dhabi it is worth going on excursions outside the city, and just 10 km away are the Hili Archaeological Gardens. This ancient site has ruins from the Bronze Age, so visitors can see remains from a settlement that dates to between 2500 and 2000 BC.
It was only restored in 1995, and since then many tourists have come from all over the world to see the remnants – including fountains, a children’s play area and a garden – which are thought to be more than 4,000 years old.
We can find fast food chains in most of the world but, in some countries like India, the prohibition against eating beef delayed its landing. Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims do not eat pork so McDonald’s has decided to “reinvent” with new menus and implement for the first time a vegetarian menu.
In the new menu will not be room for meat and while it has the possibility to use fish or chicken, the company decided to try new formulas and company spokesman in India, Rajesh Maini.
“There is a great opportunity to vegetarian restaurants since many Indians are vegetarians . So far, India is a very small market, we only have 271 restaurants in India and around the world, we have about 33 000, ” Maini said.
The first local McDonald’s plans to open will be located in Amritsar, close to the Golden Temple in northern India, and projected a second restaurant in the town of Katra, in Kashmir.
The menu of the restaurants that the chain has in India now offers many vegetarian dishes on their menu. About 50% of the dishes are not prepared meat, although the country’s signature dish is the McAloo Tikki Burger, having a meat filling.
McDonalds wants to gain market share in a society where fast food companies you are “eating” the clientele and it goes racing according to the customs of the Hindus.
This 186 squared meter property has has 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms. Set on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the location of this house and its stunning views, are a great commercial advantage. But, there are many other reasons why this is a good choice to spend a vacation.
To a driving distance of two hours from Manhattan, Montauk is a popular weekend destination. It has one of the most beautiful coastlines of New York, with miles of sandy beaches, six state parks and legendary fishing sites.
This $ 2.4 million home is located beachfront Hither Hills State Park, which also offers routes for cycling, hiking and cross country skiing in winter. It comes fully furnished and has a palladium window that allows you to admire the ocean from the entire area of the room. It also has skylights, a fireplace and hardwood floors.
And something that will be even more attractive to potential buyers: the price was reduced last year at $250,000, a discount of almost 10%.
What makes the Mono Lake in the state of California different from the others is its hyper salinity. The geological conditions in an altitude volcanic area, results to producing a strange landscape and an amazing ecosystem, with images that at times seem unreal. The most striking are the tufa towers emerging from the water.
Mono Lake is located in the county of the same name, in east central California. It is an alkaline lake and it is estimated that about 280 million tons of salt are dissolved in it. The lake was formed about 760,000 years with the eruption of the caldera of Long Valley.
It is believed that current size is the remnant of a much larger lake, so it would indeed be one of the oldest lakes in North America. What we see today is the dying lake landlocked, that is “stuck” in the middle of an area of great activity.
The curious formations that emerge above the water are calcareous tufa columns, an unusual rock formation typical of alkaline lakes that give the hallmark of the lake.
Another peculiarity of the ecosystem of the lake are the flies living on the edge, being the preferred food of migratory birds that makes a stopover at the lake. The waters with its salinity level, have no other life beyond a microscopic plankton.
In the Yasuni in Ecuador, there would be the most biodiverse in the world, a corner of the Amazon that safeguards such as a variety of tree species able to outnumber an entire continent like America.
These “strange” creatures is something that is closely linked to our limited familiarity with the inhabitants of the jungle of Amazon of Ecuador, neither more nor less. Considering the conditions of life there would be nothing strange about the parameters of this place: a very humid climate in a tropical environment, rivers, hot and fertile soil, a garden for the explosion of species in shapes, colors and aspects ever have imagined. It is estimated that there would be for example, 3,100 plant species, added to hundreds of species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, ecosystems are one of the most “competitive” in the world, a battle for life and survival despite lush abundance of the place.
Clearly, this is an amazing and natural spectacle that is found in the National Park of Ecuador, which is an ark of life in the wild. It can be illustrated with this selection of images of species, colors and creatures “strange” in quantity.
The area of the Napo River has an extraordinary beauty, and despite being protected territory by a National Park, it is also located in one of the areas of oil exploitation Amazonian Ecuador. In fact, the book is a biological treasure, located on one of the largest oil reserves in the country (especially in the park boundary), and therefore, is in the eye of the storm in a struggle that is being waged between conservation and energy interests of the country and the oil companies.
There are initiatives like Yasuni-ITT, an innovative project to leave the oil in place in exchange for financial compensation by the international community, so as to ensure the protection of biodiversity.
With all the threats, Yasuní is one of the last great wilderness areas of Ecuador and the world. With a total of 2 ½ million acres, wetlands, marshes, lakes, rivers, jungle is a place that invites respected and visited responsibly, taking care to leave no trace.
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