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  • Last Updated: 13th October 2014

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Abu Dhabi - Lifestyle & culture

Abu Dhabi is vibrant and lively, no matter what your background. In this stunning landscape of old and new, you can experience a whole variety of different opportunities you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Although it may be a luxurious and relaxing land; Abu Dhabi is definitely as buzzing and lively as they come.

Culture

Abu Dhabi has an extensive number of cultural attractions. For an expansive knowledge of history head to the Al Ain National Museum just on the edge of Al Ain Oasis - this showcases the unique heritage and history of this spectacular city. Or visit the Al Ain Palace Museum, the former home of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which has been restored and turned into a museum, housing a large collection of material about him and his family.

The past

Step further back in time and venture toward the Heritage Village where you can marvel at the reconstruction of a traditional oasis village, allowing you to get a rare and unique glimpse into the past lives of those in the Emirates. Or check out a number of pieces of historical architecture throughout Abu Dhabi including the Al Maqtaa Fort, Muraijib Fort and Al Jahili Fort. Finally check out the Heritage Heartland, which is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited settlements and is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The future

For a taste of the new visit the multi-billion dollar cultural zone located on Saadiyat Island. Here you’ll find amazing cultural experiences, such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which displays art, manuscripts and objects of historical, cultural and sociological significance documenting millennia of history from around the world. Alongside this you’ll find the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi., housing contemporary global art and culturally significant pieces, documenting some of the greatest and most important artistic achievement of our time.

Other museums

There are also a number of museums situated here, including the Maritime Museum, which details the long standing relationship between Abu Dhabi and the sea. Then there’s Manarat Al Saadiyat, which translates to ‘the place of enlightenment’. This is an art and culture centre, which was designed to bring the vision of the island to life through ‘The Saadiyat Story’.

Nightlife

Partying in Abu Dhabi may not be something you hear of much, but since the relaxation of the alcohol laws, the party scene in Abu Dhabi has boomed and the nightlife has skyrocketed.

The luxurious hotels that dominate the landscape are an excellent place to enjoy a few drinks. With sleek lounges, often situated on the upper floors, you can enjoy excellent views of the picturesque cityscape at night. With a wide variety of glamorous cocktails on offer, you can sip in style as you listen to a cabaret performance or the sound of a tinkling piano.

Something exciting

If you want a bit more vigour and excitement, then you’re in luck as there’s been an increase in English and Irish pubs in and around the city. With chilled lagers and imported bitter; you can sip a familiar pint whilst watching the latest Premier League fixtures on the plasma screens. Although it’s familiar, sometimes it’s nice to mix what you know with the things you don’t.

For those who enjoy sipping on a few evening drinks and enjoying a holiday chat with friends, a number of hotspots include; The Harvester's Pub at Sands Hotel, The Tavern, The Sheraton Resort & Towers, and Le Meridien’s Gauloises Club.

Hot spots

Then there are spots such as Hemingway's & the Jazz Bar from Hilton, that offers smooth jazz for those who want a quiet and relaxed evening. Those who want more of a party atmosphere can dance the night away in the various discos and clubs, which are every bit as exciting and energetic as those in Dubai. The Hilton complex offers excellent party opportunities at The Tequilana nightclub, which is all kontiki-style beach huts, tropically-coloured shirts and karaoke booths. Whatever night you want, the Hilton complex is a one stop shop for all.

For a more authentic soundscape there are a number of exciting Arabic nightclubs, which cater for a large Western audience. Here you can experience belly dancing, whirling dervishes, and bubbling shisha-pipes; giving you a taste of an Abu Dhabi night out.