Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, is a wonderful mix of new and old world charm. With a large number of malls of international standards and places offering a glimpse of the rich culture and tradition of the region, Abu Dhabi is a popular destination for both residents and tourists.
The Emirate is famous for the various cultural scenes and activities it offers. From world famous mosques to museums and art galleries, the Emirate has a lot to offer for those who like to explore the culture of the region.
Let us have a look at few ways to explore the culture of Abu Dhabi:
Visit to Museums of Cultural significance
The best way to explore the culture of a region is through its museums. Abu Dhabi has a lot of museums that provide a glimpse of the region and its history.
- Louvre Abu Dhabi: Located on Saadiyat Island, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a universal museum that throws light on the culture from different parts of the world. The museum was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel and is well known for its peculiar architectural style consisting of a vast silver dome with unique metal stars. The museum consists of 23 galleries that display prehistoric artifacts and contemporary artwork. In addition to these galleries, the museum also has a children’s museum, boutique gift shop, and a restaurant.
- Qasr Al Muwaiji: Qasr Al Muwaiji is the birthplace of the president of UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Located in the oasis of Al Ain, the museum has various exhibits that tell the story of the palace and its inhabitants. The building of Qasr Al Muwaiji is an attraction in itself with its impressive courtyard and old-world charm. Families can visit the museum throughout the year. A guided tour is also available on request.
Visit to places of National significance
- The Founder’s Memorial: The Founder’s memorial is established as a tribute to the founder of UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This memorial throws light on the influence of His Highness in the growth of UAE. The main attraction of the memorial is a three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed which is an artwork by the famous artist Ralph Helmick. Called the constellation, this artwork associates Sheikh Zayed as a guiding light in the growth of UAE. The memorial also provides state of the art multimedia experience featuring the lives and contributions of Sheikh Zayed.
- Wahat Al Karama: What Al Karama is a martyr’s memorial that is built in honor of the brave Emirati’s who sacrificed their lives for the country. Both residents and tourists can visit the place and pay homage to the brave soldiers of the country. The highlight of the memorial is the 31 aluminum clad tablets that are constructed leaning on one another that symbolizes the unity and mutual support of the citizens of the country. The tablets are inscribed with poems written by the great leaders of UAE.Other major attractions of Wahat Al Karama includes The Pavillion of Honour that contains the names, rank, location, and date of birth of the great heroes of the country and Memorial Plaza, which is a circular place providing a clear view of the Memorial Plaza and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Visit To Fort
- Al Jahili Fort: Located in Al Ain close to the Al Ain castle museum, the Al Jahili fort was erected in 1891 to protect the city and its palm groves. The fort is square with a rectangular watchtower and three round watchtowers. The fort also has the residence of the local governor which is beautified with landscaped gardens. The residence has been recently renovated and has a permanent exhibition space with black and white photographs by traveler Wilfred Thesiger and also a temporary exhibition space on the west side for visitors.
Visit To Souk
- Souq Al Qattara: The Souq Al Qattara is a traditional marketplace that throws light on the culture and tradition of this region. The Souk is located on the palm-lined road linking Al Ain’s Al Qattara and Al Jimi Oases. The Souk has been established with the aim to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s heritage and tradition. As part of this, a traditional handicraft market takes place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday promoting the traditional handicraft of the region. The Souk is linked to the famous Al Qattara fort that has modern exhibits, cafes, and workshops.
- Al Ain Camel Market: Located to the east of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, Al Ain Camel Market provides an opportunity for the visitors to see the camels up close and observe how the local traders are trading camels.Visitors have an opportunity to walk around the pens and take photographs. Entry to the market is free, and group tours can be organized at a nominal fee.
Visit To Heritage Center
- Heritage Village: The Heritage Village is a traditional oasis village that is reconstructed to provide the visitors an experience of the Emirate’s past. The major attractions of the center include a display of Bedouin style of life including their tent and Falaj irrigation system followed by them. The heritage village also has a live demonstration of various traditional skills like metalwork, pottery, weaving, and spinning. The village also has a spice shop where you can buy dry herbs and handmade soaps.
Heritage Theme Park: The Heritage theme park is located at Al Ain Sportsplex and is established with to provide a glimpse into the Emirati lifestyle.
The theme park includes a popular marketplace, traditional café, and two theaters where the visitors can enjoy art show and concerts.
A visit to Abu Dhabi is incomplete without a stopover at any of these cultural destinations. These places of cultural significance not only helps you in enriching your knowledge about the region but lets you experience the Emirati culture and tradition in the real sense.