If you are arriving and departing the Abu Dhabi International Airport, you will happen to see a new Airport Control Tower that is shape like a Crescent (the Islamic Symbol). This 110 meter high (358 feet) control tower that became the main tower for aircraft operation starting in 2010 and is classified as one of the 15 unique airport structures around the world.
so if you have a powerful optical zoom camera, you can take pictures of the Control Tower from the comfort of your plane seat (if seated in a window seat facing the tower) and also video too (I used an olympus with 48X optical zoom.
Phone: +971 2 505 5555
- Arts and Culture
if you want to see abu dhabi from high up, head to burj marina inside the marina mall, and then take the elevator to the first stop: the coffee shop. the stop higher up is a restaurant. People there, at cafe colombiano, are very nice and don't mind letting you look around and taking pictures... at night it is very suggestive!
one advantage of having a private tour is that you can ask your tour guide slash driver to cruise around Abu Dhabi area, including the Corniche, Marina, Downtown areas and you can make stops at areas you want and you can have extra time to go around if you are willing to pay an extra AED 120 per hour extra if you exceeded your 10 hour limit, which we did hence we had lots of photos of our day tour to ferrari world, yas island and Abu Dhabi City coming from Dubai. Unfortunately, half a day in abudf dhabi is not enough to see the sights and shop around (we spent the other half day at ferrari world and yas island).
- Road Trip
- Luxury Travel
Liwa is an oasis area in the Abu Dhabi. It sits right on the edge of the Rub Al Khali (empty quarter), the largest sand desert in the world (ie. there is more sand in this desert than any other). A number of small towns and villages make up the Liwa area. Farms back right up against towering dunes hundreds of meters high. The sand varies in color from golden to red and changes rapidly during sunrise, sunset, and the specific area. There is a substantial palace in the area and a very nice 4 star hotel, the Liwa Oasis Hotel. The highways to and from the city of Abu Dhabi (about 2.5 hours away) are in excellent condition though there is usually construction near Abu Dhabi.
Try to Visit Tal Mer'eb (usually written as Merheb Dune) where the high sand dune slipfaces are used for skiing, biking and four wheel driving.
The area is perfect for dunes safari but very dull in entertainment options.
- Skiing and Boarding
Jebel Hafeet is the physical border between UAE and Oman.This mountain lies in Al Ain area and rises 1240m.Take the way up to the mountain till the end where you will find a parking lot.From there the view is amazing!If the weather is clear you can see all the desert on your feet :)
I was unlucky cause I went there after a sand stormy day but in anyway I really enjoyed the view and I noticed also the egyptian vultures that are flying often in that area!
The Island is certainly unique and is an interest to both tourists and scientists alike.
The well-kept stables house purebred Arabian Horses that are available for touring around the island. Children and adults who have never ridden before, but who would like to discover the pleasure of riding an Arabian horse or a camel can also be taken for rides.
Covering an area of around 50 Sq Kilometers, only a small area has been developed. The rest of the Island remains quiet and undisturbed, creating a very effective wildlife sanctuary.
Discover the Island on Bicycles or take a mini-bus tour around the Island to see Gazelles running free, Ospreys nesting on outbreaks of rocks and Hidden Lagoons in the mangroves. As you explore the Island you will soon start to spot an abundance of Gazelles running and jumping across the flats or in and out of the mangrove clusters. This particular variety is endemic to the Island and is left to breed in peace.
Another major attraction on the Island is an authentic Arabian fort built out of traditional materials such as mud bricks. The fort provides a unique setting for banquets and parties.
The true treasure of Futaisi Island is its untouched nature. As the entire sea area around the Island is very shallow, boat access is difficult and this has ensured that most of the Island remains quiet and undisturbed, creating a very effective wildlife sanctuary over the greater part of the island.
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (commonly known as Etisalat) is the sole telecommunications provider in the Emirates. They are responsible for telephones, landlines and mobiles, pagers and the Internet. Comprehensive information on services and related charges can be found in the Etisalat telephone directory.
You can also visit their website: Emirates where you can find the YELLOW PAGES online to gather any particular information.
For international country rates listing check the Etisalat phone book. Note: Cheap rates for overseas calls operate from 9pm to 7am every weekday and from 2pm to 4pm in certain countries. On Fridays the rates are half the usual ones. A good time to call home.
Tel: 02 633 3111
Fax: 02 634 4432
Fault reporting: 170(English)
Billing Information: 142(English)
Speaking clock: 140(English)
Operator assistance: 100
As for mobile phones, most people in Abu Dhabi seem to own a mobile phone, if not two. Mobiles can be bought from Etisalat, specialized telecommunications shops or from most electronic shops and malls. The application for a mobile phone SIM card is available at any Etisalat service centre. You can also buy a temporary SIM card which enables you to make & receive calls. The process is fairly simple and can be done in an hour. Once you have received the SIM card you are ready to dial. Etisalat has a range of payphones installed at convenient locations throughout the Emirates. To use one of them, simply purchase a phone card available in two denominations- 9 $ & 12$ or you can buy a pre-paid phone card from which you can dial from your home as well. The instructions are given on the card itself.
Telephone & Fax numbers of main Embassies and Consulates in Abu Dhabi:
02 444 8949
02 444 7068
02 443 1392
02 443 1392
02 634 6100
02 443 6691
02 443 4171
02 445 6969
02 632 6600
02 634 5968
02 449 2700
02 444 4685
02 443 5630
02 443 5625
02 443 3963
02 443 5100
02 443 5622
02 449 2100
02 444 7800
02 444 7172
02 627 4636
02 626 9627
Embassies and consulates open from about 08:45 - 13:30. They are closed on Fridays and in most cases on Saturdays, but generally leave an emergency number on their answer machines.
Note: Telephone Code when calling from abroad is 00 971
1. Transit Visa
are valid for fourteen-day from date of issue - you must make your entry within this time, and fourteen days from the date of arrival (i.e. duration of stay). A company, major hotel or government agency can only obtain this visa in the UAE.
The following information should be sent by mail or fax at least 1 week prior to your arrival :
Information needed (transit visa)
Clear and readable Passport Copy (preferably a scanned copy with six months validity)
Copy of Diploma or degree
Advance notice needed
3 working days at least
Transit visas cannot be extended, and the fine of Dhs. 100 is payable for each day exceeding the 14 day period + Dhs 100 exit fees.
For more information call Airport Transit Office: 02 75 75 00
2. Visit Visa
Visit visas are one-month visas. They are good for 60 days, but can be extended a third month without having to leave the country and will cost Dhs 500. A company, major hotel, government agency or an individual with a valid UAE Employment visa can obtain visit visas. It is advisable to enter and leave the U.A.E. from the same airport for administrative work. The time required to obtain a visit visa is normally 4 to 10 days.
EU Citizens, GCC nationals (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia), expatriate residents of GCC (certain nationalities and professions), Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New-Zealand, Canada, U.S.A. can get a 30 day Visit Visa upon arrival at any UAE Airport.
Information needed for visit visa
Name of Mother and Father
Clear and readable Passport Copy (preferably scanned with six months validity)
Copy of Diploma or degree
Copy of Marriage Certificate & Birth Certificates (for wives and children if accompanying you)
Advance notice needed
15 working days at least
Facility to extend visit visa
Visa can be extended
Visas requirement for entering the Emirates vary greatly between different nationalities and regulations should always be checked before travelling. Since the rules sometimes seem to change virtually overnight. Everyone wishing to enter to the UAE must be in possession of a valid visa, except GCC nationals (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia), Expatriate residents of the GCC,(certain nationalities and professions), and British citizens with the right of abode in the UK. British citizens are allowed to stay in the emirates for 60 days (recently increased from 30 days).
In a new ruling, nationals from no fewer than 33 countries in Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim can now enter the UAE without obtaining a visa in advance (EU Countries, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New-Zealand, Canada, U.S.A.). Their passports will be stamped with a Visit Visa as they pass through Immigration on arrival.
Except for British nationals, visas cannot be obtained upon arrival, and we cannot do anything to facilitate entry of persons arriving without proper documentation. Those arriving without visas will be detained at the transit lounge, and deported on the first available flight - usually back to their point of origin.
Note: You must remember that with every visa, if you exceed your legal duration of stay, a fine of Dhs.100 is due for each day of stay + Dhs 100 exit fee (Administration work) after the legal limit. You also must note that Schlumberger has a special officer called PRO (Public Relations Officer) in each product line who will complete all the formalities for you and your family once you have given him the required documents.
There are different types of visa for entering the UAE:
Basically, there are 4 types of visas:
1. Transit visa
2. Visit visa (or Tourist visa)
3. Employment visa
4. Residence visa
In the following sections we hope to familiarize you with what the various visas are, and the necessary procedures to obtain them.
The border town of Al Ain is much visited and is, to all intents and purposes, Abu Dhabi Emirate’s second city. It is a more pleasant place to visit than Abu Dhabi itself, and not for nothing is it known as the Emirate’s “garden city”, being surprisingly lush and thick with green growth, even in its heart. It also boasts more history than the capital; archaeological evidence has dated a settlement here to 3,000BC.
The excellent Al Ain Museum, located next to the old fort, displays the many artefacts discovered in the region. At sites on the periphery of the city such as Al Qattara and Al Hili you can see the archaeological work in progress. Al Hili is particularly noted for its Bronze Age tombs. Meanwhile, Al Ain city centre offers modern shopping and traditional souks and the UAE’s premier theme park.
For the more active minded there’s the opportunity to go dune bashing through the desert in 4WDs, or take a camel safari. Al Ain is three hours by bus from Abu Dhabi.
Dalma Jetty is located at Jebel Dhanna area, near Ruwais. This is where you can catch a boat to Dalma Island. The area around the Dalma Jetty is a kind of bay with a beautiful sea view. You can spend a quiet evening fishing here. The place is peaceful and calm.
Not sure what is there on Dalma Island itself. According to Wikipedia, Dalma is an island approximately 20 miles (32 km) off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The population consists of about 10 thousand inhabitants, most of whom are Iranian Arabs and Qatari who have been granted United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationality. The island has many private farms for the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
I also found a short description on the web: "Delma Island does not look like a desert strip. Rather, it is as if a giant farm has been torn out of a fertile European country and transferred to Abu Dhabi. Visitors to the island are surprised to see cabbage, cauliflower, onion, cucumber, tomato, melon, pepper, parsley, banana and mango growing here. They are even more surprised to see such trees that are alien to the area as apple, pear, strawberry, fig, almond, grape, orange, lemon, olive, kiwi and cedar. "
Ruwais is basically an oil town supplying the wealth of Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) built a nice housing complex with basic amenities like shopping arcade, hospital and market. Just in case you have to be around this area, at least you know where you can get your basic provisions.
Otherwise, there's absolutely nothing of interest in this small and isolated town. Bus services are available connecting Ruwais to Abu Dhabi and nearby town of Gayathi. You can also take a mini-bus (very irregular and unreliable) to the Danat Resort or Dalma Jetty. There's hardly any taxis here but I guess you could always radio one if required.
View of Sir Bani Yas Island from the mainland. Still haven't figured out how to get there yet. Sir Bani Yas is supposed to be a nature/ wildlife sanctuary. But apparently it has been closed to the public for now. This pic is taken near a desalination plant in Shuweihat.
There are a lot of Islands in Abu Dhabi that you can visit. Some by road other by locally built Dhows crossing the sea. On these Islands you can relax and be away from the hustle and bustle f the city. You can witness unbeleivable greenery on these islands and see a lot of flora and fauna.
Some islands have 5 , 4, & 3 star hotels.
You can also do your part for the environment and plant a tree in your name or in the name of your companion. Watch animals like oryxes and gazelles running around.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel