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Destinations · Asia · united arab emirates · Abu Dhabi · Insider's view ·

Insider: Guntra Lipska

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Insider: Guntra Lipska

Three things that embody the feeling of Abu Dhabi

A walk along the Corniche – Corniche Road is Abu Dhabi’s main promenade, stretching along the water’s edge in the western part of the city. It’s full of parks, bicycle paths, and all sorts of places to rest and relax. The Corniche is the heart of Abu Dhabi, and locals come here to enjoy the beautiful weather, sea, and sun. But the Corniche also instils a great sense of peace and calm in people. I’ve done everything along this road, from training for a triathlon to going on dates and just taking simple walks.

Saadiyat Island – Here you always feel like you’re in nature, not the city. Even though the city is right next door. The sound of the sea, the sand... It’s no wonder Saadiyat Island means ‘Island of Happiness’.

Camping in the desert – Dune bashing, or driving deep into the desert with a 4x4 vehicle, is one of the greatest experiences you can have in Abu Dhabi. Here in the city, the light pollution doesn’t let you see the stars at night, but out in the desert the whole sky suddenly opens up. It’s so beautiful and peaceful. And it also makes you think about stories like Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. Of course, it’s best if you have personal connections in the area who ‘dune bash’ and can thus avoid the official tours into the desert. Usually at least ten cars head into the desert at a time. In any case, it’s never fewer than four, because it’s prohibited to go into the desert alone. It’s very easy to lose your way in the sand.

Singing Christmas carols in the desert has become quite popular in recent years. The event usually takes place in the middle of December, when about 400 people gather in the desert and everybody sings Christmas songs together. It’s a strange but wonderful feeling to be in a country with a different national religion, but here you are celebrating Christmas with people from all around the world: Europeans, Filipinos, Arabs, Australians... It’s a fantastic feeling of belonging, and also of tolerance.

Desert culture is still one of the most authentic characteristics of Abu Dhabi. Even though the Bedouins no longer live in the desert or dive for pearls, they continue to regularly organise cultural events. If you ever have the chance to listen to their stories, definitely do so! All of the indigenous inhabitants are descended from the Bedouins, and often when you see older men here, you can immediately recognise their Bedouin roots. It’s that elusive touch of the desert, which is passed down from generation to generation.

Guntra Lipska, Director of Communications
Shangri-La Hotel and Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

 

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