As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, both a city and an emirate, has been quietly working towards a 2030 plan without the fanfare of its neighbouring emirate of Dubai. But now is the time to take notice. Tradition underpins the trajectory of Abu Dhabi with an adherence to customs and a focus on culture, ecological innovations and luxurious style.
That’s not to say there are no standout sites in Abu Dhabi. Comprised of 70 percent desert and a surprising 200 islands, the emirate showcases its best attributes to great effect. The brilliant white marble façade of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is only eclipsed by its opulent interior laden with precious stones, gilded embellishments and chandeliers, while Saadiyat Island is set to be the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates boasting satellite sites of world-class museums and galleries including a Guggenheim Museum and the highly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi which is set to open its doors in 2016.
Yas Island is Abu Dhabi’s entertainment precinct populated with futuristic structures such as the Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, theme parks and concert arenas plus stunning golf courses, beaches and upmarket nightlife options. Also looking to the future by conserving the present, Sir Bani Yas Island is an eco wildlife haven where over 10,000 free roaming animals such as cheetahs, ostriches, giraffes, gazelles and oryx thrive in the prosperous emirate.