If, at the beginning of the year, you get a sudden urge to travel, then do not hesitate and quickly pack your suitcases for Abu Dhabi. This is the perfect destination for relaxation and adventures in January – the average temperatures at this time of the year are around 20-26 degrees and they allow you to bathe in the sunrays during the day while walking around and enjoying the soft breeze at night. Naturally, the great weather is not at all the only reason for you to visit Abu Dhabi. The countless opportunities for shopping as well as the hospitality of local people aren’t any less convincing to do so.
Abu Dhabi up close
Literally translated from Arabic, Abu Dhabi means “father of the gazelle”. This is the biggest of all seven emirates that form up the United Arab Emirates and it is the capital of the country. The city lies 27 metres above sea level on the south-east coast of the Persian Gulf and it is located 130 kilometres away from Dubai. Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly one of the most modern cities in the world with its broad boulevards, enormous skyscrapers and bridges and facilities with cosmic shapes.
The city becomes particularly important in the 1960s, when significant oil supplies were discovered over its territory. Today, it is the headquarters of oil companies and the embassies of the Emirates. This is also where all the business of the United Arab Emirates is concentrated.
Shopping maniacs’ paradise
They call Abu Dhabi a “paradise for shopaholics”. In January, the city becomes even more attractive because of all the season sales that entice with their attractive prices. The legendary shopping malls that you inevitably need to pass by are Yas Mall, Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall and they are all located in the centre of the city. Visit them not so much to update your wardrobe as to dive into the myriad opportunities they offer for having fun, to enjoy the beautiful interior, the sophisticated cafés and restaurants and the impeccable service. These are not just shopping centres, but part of the culture of the United Arab Emirates that every guest of the country should experience.
Obviously, you could go sightseeing in Abu Dhabi any time of the year, but it is only in the winter that you could walk around for hours on end without having to worry about the extreme heat and the merciless sun.
Start off with Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (a true masterpiece of eastern architecture with its white marble, huge hand-woven carpet and numerous towers) and continue with the Al Bahr and Etihad Towers that all boast panoramic platforms for taking extraordinary shots. Don’t miss out on visiting the renowned Louvre Abu Dhabi, the zoo and the breathtaking beauty of the Persian Gulf, either. In the desert, you can ride a camel or go sandboarding. Also, stay tuned for the 6-kilometre-long promenade that the Corniche Road offers with its innumerable fountains and views across the gulf.
Text: Nora Atanasova