abu dhabi• 8 comments •
We had visited Dubai last year (where we got engaged!), and it has a lot more to offer in terms of tourist attractions than Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has ambitious plans to become the "cultural capital" of the middle east. With satellite branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim set to open in the next few years, they just might succeed. Whereas Dubai's economy is based primarily on trade and tourism, Abu Dhabi is oil rich and recently had to provide Dubai with a financial bailout. Right now it seems that Abu Dhabi is better suited as a business destination, rather than a tourist destination. The on-going rivalry with Dubai will ensure that the tourism infrastructure will be quickly developed though, so that they aren't left behind.
After visiting Ski Dubai, we thought that the skating rink at the Marina Mall would be quite the sight. We were sadly disappointed, as it was comically pathetic:
Our jet lag may have kept us from researching all of our options as tourists, but it didn't seem like there was any obvious sights or activities apart from visiting the Emirates Palace Hotel:
Our primary goal during our short stay in Abu Dhabi was just to relax before taking on South Africa. The city provided us with warm weather and plenty of camel racing on TV. We're looking forward to going back, one day, when all of their plans come to fruition.