Abu Dhabi, the dazzling and quickly developing rich UAE capital has been getting quite a bit of international press as of late. This is not just from its brief and failed affair with Sex and the City 2 but from its determination to become a new world-class cultural destination. Those cultural plans are paying off as the city undergoes a “rebirth” and becomes one of the most sought after travel spots for 2011.
What isn’t tempting about Abu Dhabi’s growing list of exciting developments? Just eleven miles outside of Abu Dhabi Masdar City is being erected to become the city’s first carbon neutral city. For car lovers, Ferrari World, which just opened this month, is another site to see. It’s a two-million-square-foot automobile-themed amusement park which can proudly claim more than 20 rides one of which is the world’s fastest Formula Rossa coaster going up to 149 mph in speed.
Journey just off the coast of Abu Dhabi in the Arabian Gulf to Sir Bani Yas Island where you’ll find the Anantara Desert Islands Resort and Spa, and also an Arabian wildlife reserve. A magical and regal place, the resort has 64 rooms and two luxurious private royal villas and was designed by South African interior designer Andy Langham. Only guests of the resort are allowed to visit the Sir Bani Yas Island which is home to now over 23 species including the Arabian oryx, gazelles and antelope. Enjoy recreational excursions such as island excursions, bird watching, kayaking in the mangrove fields, mountain biking and hiking.
Plan a visit to the Manarat Saadiyat, home to a new contemporary art gallery where Larry Gagosian currently has works on display from his private collection. There is, of course, the Emirates Palace, not a new development but one surely not to miss for its grandiosity and opulence. Abu Dhabi, put it on your travel agenda.