Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a prime example of the “build it and they will come” strategy that is sweeping across the Arabian Peninsula, from Riyadh to Dubai. And the strategy appears to be working. The number of nights booked at Abu Dhabi hotels jumped 25% in the first half of 2013 compared to the same time in 2012, plus passenger arrivals at Abu Dhabi International Airport and revenues for national carrier Etihad Airways were both up 13% in the same time frame.
In the last decade, nearly every global hotel chain has opened four- or five-star hotels in the central business district or on the Corniche, the city’s glittering waterfront. In 10 short years, Etihad Airways has grown to operate 1,300 flights a week to 86 destinations around the world. By late 2017 the enormous Midfield Terminal Complex (currently under construction) will open at Abu Dhabi International Airport, built to handle 20 to 30 million passengers per year. Globally recognized hospitals such as the Cleveland Clinic, and universities such as Paris-Sorbonne and New York University are opening satellite campuses here, too, helping the local economy diversify from its reliance on petroleum.
Where should you stay in Abu Dhabi? Dine? Entertain or spend a free afternoon? Read Chris’s entire BBC post here. But come back to TravelSkills post your comments, observations, tips and advice!
(Chris McGinnis’s post about Abu Dhabi originally appeared on BBC.com)