Abu Dhabi Overview

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates and was also the largest of the former Trucial States. Abu Dhabi is also a city of the same name within the Emirate that is the capital of the country, in north central UAE. The city lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. An estimated 1,000,000 people lived there in 2000, with about an 80% expatriate population. The Emirate has approximately 70% of the country's entire wealth. Al Ain is Abu Dhabi's second largest urban area with a population of 348,000 (2003 census estimate) and is located 150 kilometres inland.

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  • The Saadiyat Island project off the coast of Abu Dhabi will, upon completion in 2013, include the world's largest Guggenheim Museum covering an total area of 320,000 square feet.
     
  • Bu Tinah Island, part of Abu Dhabi’s largest protected area, is home to countless unique coral reefs, untouched mangroves, and also the highest density of dugongs in the world.
     
  • Before Oil, Abu Dhabi worked in the pearl business and traded with others, with the Persian Gulf being one of the best locations for pearls. Pearl divers dove for one to one-and-a-half minutes breath-holding, and would have dived up to thirty times per day.

  • The largest man made port at Jebel Ali
  • The Grand Mosque (the third largest mosque in the world)
  • Union Square - features six different symbols of Arabian hospitality & history

  • Discover the Corniche for a great seafood and beach time
  • Dress appropriately; for women, if visiting a mosque, a scarf will be handy
  • Learn about Abu Dhabi’s culture by visiting its various museums
  • Enjoy a family day in the world’s largest indoor theme park The Ferrari World
     

ETIHAD AIRWAYS
A daily service from London Heathrow and Manchester to Abu Dhabi. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in, choose your seat and print your boarding card.

General Facilities include:
  • In-flight entertainment – E-BOX a personal seat-back TV (enjoy the latest movies, TV shows, music and interactive games) in all classes.
  • Recharge your laptop or mobile phone, or connect your personal devices to the system, in all classes.
  • Dining - choose from regionally inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients and free drinks in all classes.
Travel Classes:
Coral Economy Class – seat pitch approx. 33”; luggage allowance 23kgs (28kgs for Etihad Guest members); lumbar support.

Pearl Business Class – seat pitch approx. 73”; luggage allowance 30kgs; flat beds with in-built massage; complimentary chauffeur service in London Heathrow, Manchester and Abu Dhabi (mileage restrictions apply); also enjoy Etihad lounges.

Diamond First Class – seat pitch approx. 82”; luggage allowance 40kgs; in addition to the features of Pearl Business, Diamond First passengers can enjoy personal Diamond First suites with sliding privacy door; personal 23” TV screen; and personal concierge.

BRITISH AIRWAYS
A daily service from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi with complimentary food and drinks. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in, choose your seat and print your boarding card. Available up to 24 hours before your flight or at a check-in kiosk at the airport terminal, print the boarding pass and drop bags at the Fast Bag Drop desks.

Travel Classes:
Euro Traveller & World Traveller (Economy Class)
- seat pitch approx. 31”; luggage allowance 23kgs (1 bag). World Traveller Y class can take 2 bags. Gold and Silver Executive Club members can carry an additional checked bag up to 32kgs as part of their free allowance. Entertainment’s Audio and Video system (choose from over 200 entertainment options is available for World Traveller passengers).

World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy Class)
- seat pitch approx. 38”; luggage allowance 23kgs (2 bags). It is a private dedicated cabin with a maximum of six rows. Entertainment’s Audio and Video system (choose from over 200 entertainment options).

Club Europe (Business Class) – seat that converts into a 6ft fully flat bed; luggage allowance 32kgs (3 bags). Enjoy personal space in a separate, spacious cabin. Relax before your flight in one of BA lounges; enjoy complimentary hot/cold snacks and refreshments. Use separate check-in area and Fast Track security at London Heathrow. A member of the British Airways Executive Club can take advantage of 50% more Avios when flying Club Europe. Gold and Silver members can also boost their Avios with an additional Tier bonus.

Language: The official language of Abu Dhabi is Arabic. However, English is widely spoken and understood.
 
Currency: The official currency is the UAE dirham (Dh), which is fully convertible and pegged to the US dollar. One dirham is divided into 100 fils; $US, Euros, £GB & Credit cards are widely accepted.
 
Time Difference: +4 hrs GMT
 
Flying Time: 7 hours
 
Tourist Board: http://www.abudhabitourism.ae
 
Visa Requirements: No visa required prior to enter Abu Dhabi for UK passport holders. Visit visa will be received at the airport, upon arrival. Initial entry is granted for a maximum of one month. UAE Consulate in London – Tel. +442078088307.
 
Passport: A valid 10 year passport is required with a minimum 6 months remaining on your passport from the date of return to the UK and an available empty page.
 
Security: For the latest information visit the foreign office website at www.fco.gov.uk and select ‘Country Advice’.
 
Voltage: 220/240v 
 
Religion: Islam is the main religion in Abu Dhabi, however the practice of other religions is permitted in this country. 
 
Health: Hepatitis A and B/Typhoid /Tetanus vaccinations are recommended before arriving to Abu Dhabi. Check with your Doctor for latest information.
 
Water: Bottled water is recommended.
 
2012 Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year’s Day
4 Feb Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet)
17 Jun Leilat al-Meiraj (Ascension of the Prophet)
20 Jul Ramadan expected to begin (29/30 days)
19 Aug Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
25 Oct Arafat (Haj) Day
26 Oct Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
15 Nov Islamic New Year
2/3 Dec UAE National Day (2 days)
 
During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region.