Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Tullys Travel
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Abu Dhabi

Information & Facts

Activities

Abu Dhabi's fascinating, centuries-old story is a rich tapestry of epic adventure and incredible fortitude, covering the resilience of the Bedouins (nomadic Arab people), and the capital's impressive development. Not only have the people of Abu Dhabi been instrumental in its transformation, the creatures living here − from horses and camels to Salukis (desert hunting dogs) and falcons - have played their part too. There are a number of cultural and heritage tours on offer, giving you deeper insight into the emirate's customs and traditions, with each one adapted to all types of travellers, from families and friends to solo adventurers and larger groups.

Climate

The UAE maintains a desert climate. It is warm and sunny in the winter and during the summer, it is hot and humid. It is generally cooler in the eastern mountains.

Eating Out

There are endless choices of dining options in Abu Dhabi, and visitors are always bewildered by the sheer volume and diversity of F&B outlets across the emirate. Cuisines from around the world mingle in Abu Dhabi with restaurants offering a vibrant and varied mix of international flavors and impressive culinary standards. Hotel outlets serve alcohol and these are complemented by many superb unlicensed outlets across the emirate. Non-Muslims can consume pork in certain restaurants – any dishes using pork ingredients will be prepared separately from non-pork dishes and are clearly marked on the menu.

Average dining in popular hotel restaurants ranges between AED100 / US $27 to AED200 / US $55 per person, excluding beverages. Many fine dining and high-end restaurants may add a service charge (usually around 10%) and a tourism levy of 6% to your bill. These charges are often included in the menu prices and the menu will denote when they are. You may choose to reward your waiter directly with a tip – the usual 10-15%.

Getting Around

Getting around Abu Dhabi is easy and taxis are reasonably priced and plentiful and can be flagged down at the roadside or booked by phone through the TransAD hotline 600 535353. Street taxis are easily recognised. They are either silver with a yellow roof sign (newer taxis) or white and gold with a green roof sign (older taxis). Both old and new taxis are metered, yet many of the old taxis may negotiate the fare in advance. A tip is not expected but always welcome. If you want to explore the emirate, your travel agency can organise tours that include transportation to and from the places you would like to visit. Renting a car is also an option for those wanting to travel a lot. To hire any vehicle you will need a passport copy, credit card and a valid driving licence from your home country, or a valid international driving licence. Otherwise, the bus network that plies the emirate is very efficient. In the capital, modern air-conditioned buses operate round-the-clock. The service is easy to use, with passengers hopping in and out of any bus by placing a one dirham coin in the collection box next to the driver. There are also buses travelling to Al Ain and other parts of the emirate, which can be taken from Abu Dhabi’s Central Bus Station on Murour Road.

Kids Attractions

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is a waterpark with Emirati heritage at its heart. The Lost Pearl is the central theme, following the story of a young Emirati girl on a quest to find a legendary pearl. Sitting atop Jebel Dhana, the park’s towering centrepiece, sits an enormous pearl, bringing The Lost Pearl theme to life visually.

Spanning 15 football pitches, this amazing full-day park experience brings you and your family exhilarating water-based activities across a range of thrill levels. With over 40 rides, slides and attractions – five of which are one-of-a-kind – you’re sure to make lifelong memories here. 

Try the world-first, largest hydromagnetic-powered, 238-metre long, six-person tornado waterslide, Dawwamma, or check out three-metre-high waves on Bubble’s Barrel, which boasts the world’s largest surfable sheet wave for flow boards and bodyboards. The Bandit Bomber, a 550-metre coaster, showcases onboard water and laser effects, with riders shooting jets of water at targets, dropping water bombs and triggering special effects. Passersby below them, meanwhile, can also get in on the action, spraying riders with water as they pass. All that activity should work up an appetite, and you’ll find various restaurants on-site, as well as a souk (market) and pearl-diving exhibits. Entry to the park is AED 250 for adults and AED 230 for children.KidZania is an award-winning children's edutainment concept, located on the ground floor of Yas Mall. An impressive and interactive mini-city, this vibrant spot combines playful activities with education, using an innovative approach to make learning fun. The venue boasts a 55, 000-square-foot scaled replica of a real city and is packed with over 40 role-playing activities for children and teenagers aged 4 to 16, encouraging them to learn about working, jobs, money and the real world, all while developing true-to-life skills that can’t be learned in the classroom. 

 

Wadi Adventure is a fantastic family-friendly adventure park that sits at the base of the majestic and history-rich Jebel Hafit mountain, Abu Dhabi’s tallest peak, about an hour and a half away from the city in Al Ain

Home to the Middle East’s first man-made white water rafting channels, measuring 1, 100 metres in length and perfect for rafting and kayaking, Wadi Adventure also has a surfing wall, wakeboarding facilities, swimming pool and splash pool. Action fans will love the park’s exhilarating aerial adventure course that includes an 18-obstacle, two-level airpark, 1, 200-metre long zip line, vertical climb line and 14-metre high giant swing. 

This venue is also a great option for team building and corporate events, with the Summit Events Centre providing a versatile space for meetings and even birthday parties. Sports professionals from around the world regularly visit the park, which also provides training programmes and complete packages including accommodation and airport transfers. 

Day entry costs AED 65 for adults (above 1.2 metres tall), and AED 45 for children.

 

Language

The official language of the UAE is Arabic.  English is widely spoken. All road and traffic signs and signs on commercial outlets are in Arabic and English.

Money

The currency is the dirham, which is shortened to AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils. The dirham has been pegged to the US dollar for since 1997, meaning the exchange rate never changes. One US dollar is worth AED3.67.

Restaurants

There are endless choices of dining options in Abu Dhabi, and visitors are always bewildered by the sheer volume and diversity of F&B outlets across the emirate. Cuisines from around the world mingle in Abu Dhabi with restaurants offering a vibrant and varied mix of international flavors and impressive culinary standards. Hotel outlets serve alcohol and these are complemented by many superb unlicensed outlets across the emirate. Non-Muslims can consume pork in certain restaurants – any dishes using pork ingredients will be prepared separately from non-pork dishes and are clearly marked on the menu.

Tipping is not expected, but is commonly practised in the emirate. Gratuities to staff at hotels and restaurants are at your discretion. Many fine dining and high-end restaurants may add a service charge (usually around 10%) and a tourism levy of 6% to your bill. These charges are often included in the menu prices and the menu will denote when they are. That being said, if you are very happy with the service, it is not expected but quite common to leave a tip on top of the already included (16%) fees & service charges. If these charges are not included, then you may like to add a 10-15% tip to the total bill.

Shopping

If you are looking for gold jewellery and/or exotic Persian carpets and other handicrafts, Abu Dhabi’s souks might offer you the best deal (so long you have good negotiating skills). For shoppers of luxury items, the absence of sales tax or any other type of taxes is an excellent incentive to buy. We also suggest you try the local dates products (fresh, baked or preserved), which are simply irresistible.

Time

The UAE is 4 hours ahead of GMT

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