Abu Dhabi (which means 'Father of the Gazelle') is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is the largest of the seven emirates. It houses many important government buildings and financial institutions. In recent times, Abu Dhabi has undergone a period of rapid urbanisation and development that has expanded its already well developed public infrastructure. While the emirate is still quite traditional in many ways, a rising immigrant population is slowly changing that. However, for tourists searching for an authentic Arabian experience, Abu Dhabi is still the place to go.
One thing that is bound to surprise first time visitors (and maybe even those who have been here before) is the abundance of greenery. For a city situated in a desert region, one can find an amazing number of parks and gardens. In fact, the density of foliage here rivals those found in cities established in much friendlier climes. Visiting a park is a terrific way to spend a lazy afternoon, and while there are many places to choose from, Khalifa Park is definitely one of the best options.
Opened in 2007, the park is located on Eastern Ring Road, which is close to the airport. The park houses the maritime museum which traces Abu Dhabi's history from pre-historic times to the present. The museum is a 'must visit' if only for the 'Time Tunnel'. The ‘Time Tunnel' is an educational ride, charting the history of the emirate, including the discovery of oil and how it helped steer the development of the city. The ride features suspended vehicles, informative narratives at appropriate moments, and even an aquarium. All in all, the ride provides a memorable family experience.
The lush park is also replete with lakes, canals and fountains, and has amazing facilities including a mini train that goes around the park; an amphitheatre, where concerts and other performances are held and a theme park, filled with rides suitable for both adults and children.
Tourists visiting the UAE looking for Abu Dhabi beach hotels will not be disappointed with Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. Located on Sir Bani Yas Island, it is one of the best luxury Abu Dhabi hotels around, and guests are sure to enjoy their stay here.