Abu Dhabi Ranked in the “Top 10 Cities to Travel in 2010”
For a period of a decade or so, Dubai continuously overshadowed its neighboring estates by attracting the bigger chunk of tourists and visitors from all over the world. Such was the magnetism and charisma, that the majority of people who visit UAE didn’t even know the names of other estates, let alone visiting them. Slowly but surely other estates are catching up one by one, and not surprisingly Abu Dhabi is the first one to get there. Recently, the famous travel information portal lonely planet has compiled a list of top ten cities to travel in 2010 and it’s name is included in the list. What’s there that makes Abu Dhabi appear in the list with the likes of Kyoto, Lecce, Charleston, Vancouver or Singapore? Let’s take a look.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of United Arab Emirates (and you thought it was Dubai… Eh?) With all of its oil reserves and a visionary ruler like Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it is rapidly developing a world class infrastructure to promote tourism. It includes huge developments like Sadiyaat Island, Al Sowwah Island, Yas Island, highways, museums, hotels, parks, zoos, and shopping malls. Following in the footsteps of Dubai (while learning from its mistakes) it has employed a more careful approach. Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (established in 2004) has set their sights on attracting more than 3 million visitors annually by 2015. The goal doesn’t seem far fetched, given the kind of finances they’ve got.
Abu Dhabi has got plenty to offer to the tourists arriving at this vibrant city, from first rate golf courses to skiing facility, from ice skating to scuba diving. It is famous for its cultural activities; you’ll find all sorts of events including art exhibitions, traditional music and folk dances. Emirates Palace, Beach Rotana Hotel and Hilton Baynunah are some of the most famous hotels. Abu Dhabi has just hosted Formula One Grand Prix, and the 5.5 km long track is set to host many more. ADTA is planning to build up to 17,000 new hotel rooms before the end of 2015. Other noteworthy projects include the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport (which is already the second busiest airport of UAE), Khalifa City, Mussafah, Corniche and City Center. At the moment, tourists may or may not agree with the lonely planet ratings, but if everything goes according to the plan, Abu Dhabi is going to be one of the world’s top tourist locations by 2015.