By Akshay Koranne

The rise of Abu Dhabi is a story of rags to riches. It has been phenomenal and inspirational. The transformation has been superb from one of the most miserable desert strips in the world; it has transformed itself into a supercharged society and boasting of being of the wealthiest cities in the world. Oil had played a significant part in this fantastic development till the early 2000s. The metaphoric rise of tourism and cultural heritage in Abu Dhabi since the past decade has been instrumental in the growing importance of UAE in the tourist globe map.

In an international survey conducted in June 2017, Abu Dhabi has been ranked no. 2 in the list of world’s best cities only behind the New York City. It has left significant tourist destinations like London and Paris far behind. Shortly, the rise of tourism in Abu Dhabi is only going to strengthen with latest additions to the list of fabulous landmarks in the city. We have listed some of the top cultural destinations you should visit during your tour to Abu Dhabi.

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Mosque Aub Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

From amazing manicured gardens that are visible from every bridge connecting the Abu Dhabi mainland to the surrounding islands, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the modern architectural structures that have left visitors and tourists in awe at the very sight of it. This Grand Mosque has an incredible capacity to accommodate 50,000 worshippers and one of the few mosques in the region that welcomes non-Muslims as well. The 80 beautiful marble dooms by held aloft by 1000 pillars ably supported by four 107-meter high minarets. A true masterpiece reflecting modern Islamic architecture and design was built using 100,000 tons of pure white Greek and Macedonian marble. One of the most beautiful attractions that you just can’t afford to miss out.

Al Jahili Fort

One of the picturesque historic attractions in Abu Dhabi nestled amidst stunning landscaped gardens. Erected in 1891 for defending the city and protecting the palm groves against foreign invasion, the Fort has also been the former headquarters of the Oman Trucial Scouts that was instrumental in maintaining inter-tribal peace. The local governor also resided in the fort. The fort receives visitors and tourist from all over the globe each year.

Heritage Theme Park

The Heritage Theme Park is a destination in its right. Every Abu Dhabi City Sightseeing Tour features the Heritage Theme Park. It brings the luxurious, elegant and classical flavor of the Emirati culture and diversity together under one roof. This heritage styled theme park gives you a sneak peek into the rich past and a glorious experience of the traditional lifestyle of UAE. The village features a famous market, two theatres, and an ancient café. Enjoy fascinating art shows, and be a part of the fantastic poetry sessions and live concerts.

Emirates Auto Museum

Designed in the shape of a pyramid, this fabulous museum houses more than 200 cars that feature in the widespread collection of HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. Open between 9 am to 6 pm all days of the week. Visitors and tourists can enjoy the fascinating collection of off-road vehicles features classic American cars, the rainbow collection of Sheikh’s Mercedes, and the largest truck in the world. Many of the vehicles have featured in favorite TV shows like Top Gear broadcasted in BBC. Stop over at the Museum on the way to or from Liwa.

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Jebel Hafeet Tombs

Jebel Hafeet Tombs

Placed at the foothill of the imposing Jebel Hafeet Mountain, the Jebel Hafeet Tombs are around 5000 years old and marks the beginning of the Bronze Age in the UAE. During the excavation done in 1959 by Danish archaeologists, there were traces of ceramic vessels and copper artifacts indicating the importance of maritime trade in the Gulf region. The tomb features single-chamber tombs built using local roughly cut stones.

Hili Archaeological Park

Placed on the outskirts of Al Ain on the Dubai highway in a circular form of a diameter ranging up to 12 meters and nearly 4 meters high, the Hili Archaeological Gardens is a beautiful fusion of an archeological site and a lush-green public garden. Popular among both local and tourists alike, this beautiful ancient site highlights and makes the defining historical monuments accessible to the visitors. These fascinating historical monuments were built in the period dating from 2500 BCE to 2000 BCE. The Hili Grand Tomb is the centerpiece of the attraction. Explore the fantastic Umm an-Nar culture through these beautiful archaeological structures.

UAE Currency Museum

Erected in 2013 as part of the UAE Central Bank’s 40th-anniversary celebrations, the UAE Currency Museum placed on the ground floor of the Central Bank’s headquarters. This museum exhibits artifacts like paper notes, gold and silver coins, etc. of the past before the Union of the UAE. Dive deep into the history of currency in the region starting from the introduction of the dirham in 1973 to it being the official national currency along with a series of notes introduced in 1976.

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Emirates Auto Museum

Manarat Al Saadiyat

This visitor center built for enlightening tourists and visitors with fascinating modern & contemporary art galleries, public programs, and various interactive exhibits. The Manarat Al Saadiyat plays host to the famous annually held Abu Dhabi Art Festival. Leading art galleries from all over the world come together under one roof.

Al Qattara Arts Centre

Erected in 2011 in the neighborhood of the traditional Bayt Bin Ati Al-Darmaki and the beautiful date-palm gardens of Qattara Oasis. The wonderfully restored ancient architecture is a perfect platform to gain insight into the art and cultural scenario in the UAE community.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

The largest and the most advanced falcon hospital in the world is at a short distance away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The hospital features falcon display museum coupled with three flying falcon facilities. Guided tours available for tourists and visitors to gain more insight about this award-winning specialist hospital. Engage yourself and browse through the luxurious wards for the birds or try out the pursuits in the lush green gardens.

This revolutionary rise of Abu Dhabi is a testament to the efforts done to modernize this tourist destination. The younger generation has termed it as one of the best cities to work, live, and do business.  Come and enjoy the modern cultural hub of the world.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/

Author: Akshay Koranne k.akshay1805@gmail.com

 

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