Abu Dhabi's Aggrandizement

Impressive additions to Abu Dhabi’s tourism offerings make it a destination on the rise

For a unique dining experience in Abu Dhabi, try Cafe Arabia in Al Mushrif for exceptional food that blends the flavors of the East with the West.
Even though Abu Dhabi, with its deliberate and exponential growth, leads its tourism pitch with the glitzy and the glamourous, there’s far more to this capital of the United Arab Emirates than its Ferrari theme park, massive caviar factory, and lightning fast roller coaster. It may not have earned the same worldwide recognition as Dubai as of yet, but it’s quickly catching up thanks to heavy infrastructure investments and improvements.

One of the 200 islands that make up Abu Dhabi – Saadiyat Island – has become the city’s cultural hub, brimming with cafés, boutiques, and nightlife. Beach clubs that take advantage of the area’s alluring white sands and azure waters are already in abundance, but construction plans for several luxury hotels, island resorts, and iconic institutions exist as well.

Art-lovers are eagerly anticipating the 2014/5 and 2017 openings of Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi respectively. With their famous architects, multi-million dollar construction price tags, and names that precede them, expectations are high. Add in a new performing arts center, a steel-paneled pavilion designed to emulate sand dunes (and earmarked as the venue for the burgeoning Abu Dhabi Art Fair), plus the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, and you’ve got one rapidly-growing skyline that’s bound to be a destination hotspot.

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