A land where great fortunes turned into rich art, opulent structures, buzzing islands, and signature high-rises, Abu Dhabi mesmerises you every time. Here’s taking a look at the best of this Emirate. By Jyoti Verma

Rejoice the Beauty in Stone

 

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Come to Abu Dhabi to find architecture at its best–grand buildings famous for design, functionality, and appeal. Begin with the spectacular and sublime Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque–one of the few mosques in the region open to non-Muslims. Take a guided tour of the mosque to experience the beauty of marble courtyards laden with flowers and crystal date palms, stunning hand-made carpets, and magnificent chandeliers. If you still want more, head to the Emirates Palace hotel, or take a break at Le Café with Palace Cappuccino—a superior blend of aromatic coffee sprinkled with real 24-carat gold flakes!

SayYas to Entertainment

 

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Spend the second day at Yas Island and come back for more. There’s thrill, amusement, shopping, and food! A place recommended by TIME in its 2018 list of the World’s Greatest Places is Warner Bros, a theme park that opened on the island this July. Spread across 38 acres, the park is a relief from the region’s often scorching heat. Its attractions are themed into six zones, such as Gotham and Metropolis, featuring superheroes, and Dynamite Gulch and Cartoon Junction, starring animated favourites. Besides a marina, beach, mall and F1 circuit, the island has Ferrari World–the only-Ferrari-themed park in the world!

RELATED: This Is What The World’s First Warner Bros Indoor Theme Park Actually Looks Like

Celebrate camel, calligraphy, coffee

 

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The three celebrated Emirati motifs are everywhere in Abu Dhabi. A stuff of legends, the Arabian hospitality begins with dates and traditional Arabic coffee (ghahwa), kept at the entrance of every building, and served with warmth and generosity. Another overriding theme is Arabic calligraphy. You cannot miss it, as these complex patterns with equally attractive Arabesque designs and symbols of faith take pride of place in the region.

 

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Move on to meet camel herders and falconers to know more about the land’s heritage and sports. If you have time, visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. The world’s first and largest hospital dedicated to the UAE’s national bird. It treats 6,000 birds each year. Try your hand at falconry, an important part of the nation’s culture.

Witness the art of the world

 

 

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Opened last year, Louvre Abu Dhabi is located in a Jean Nouvel-designed building. Described as a museum city floating in the sea, the structure is a sight to behold. The first of the three museums to open in Saadiyat Island, Louvre Abu Dhabi took more than a decade and millions of dollars to make. There are 23 galleries, one temporary exhibition space, a 1,200-seater auditorium, and a two-storey children’s museum, and a rich repository of artworks covering human history, exchange, and experience over centuries. Once you are done with the brilliant showcase of art, head to the museum’s café across the courtyard, under the ‘rain of light’ from the dome above. Designed by Nouvel again, this café looks out over the waters of the Arabian Gulf. Enjoy the views with delicious food–from simple quinoa salad to braised baby chicken and Umm Ali–in one of Abu Dhabi’s busiest cafes.

Related: 20 Super-Luxe Experiences You’ll Find Only in the Middle East

Live the Bedouin life

 

 

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While it is always a good idea to stay indoors in Abu Dhabi, nothing beats the real experience of dealing with a desert. Explore Abu Dhabi’s awe-inspiring dunes, authentic Emirati lifestyle, dance, and food at the Arabian Nights Village. The destination has an oasis pool offering desert views in the day and shooting stars in the night; camel and quad bike rides, a restaurant, and comfortable rooms.

The UAE’s Garden City is famed for two museums, a palace, and Al Jahili Fort. Stop at the oasis to see falaj (water channels) and the bustling camel market to see where it all began.