Explore the desert from Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

While you might think Abu Dhabi sprung up out of nowhere along with Dubai in the late 20th century, in actual fact, settlements where the city currently stands date back thousands of years. Abu Dhabi received its current name, meaning Father of Deer, more than 300 years ago. Legend has it that there were a few of the deer known locally as “dhabi” in the area, and an old man used to chase them, and that is how the settlement got its name.



Of course, a large amount of Abu Dhabi’s success is attributed to petrodollars, but that has not stopped it turning into a diverse cultural centre staging international renowned sporting events. The highlight of the year’s calendar is almost certainly the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix, due to open on 21st November at Yas Marina Circuit.


The Emirate has its own internationally recognised golf tournament, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship which was won by Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal in January, and also the Volvo Ocean Race which is due to start in December.


While you can live a packed social life in the capital, no stay in Abu Dhabi is complete without experiencing something of the magic of one of the world’s great wildernesses, which is on your doorstep. The Empty Quarter is one of the enigmatic, fascinating aspects of life in the UAE, and Abu Dhabi in particular. It is the largest sand desert in the world, covering a huge amount of land of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman.


While even today, failed trips across the quarter can end in death, it is a much romanticised natural resource admired for the bewitching beauty of its shifting sand dunes. There are few more glorious sights on earth than the sepia tones of a desert sunset, and the Empty Quarter is one of the great places in the UAE to see them.


People travel from all over the UAE, and the world, to spend time taking in the desolate majesty of the desert from the four star Tilal Liwa Hotel, which is on the edge of the quarter. Although, for residents and visitors alike, the experience is not complete without sleeping under a canopy of stars during an Empty Quarter camping trip.


Rents in Abu Dhabi are climbing but you can still find a one bedroom apartment for rent on Al Reem Island for AED 78,000, rising to AED 135,000 for spacious units in Al Raha Beach. For larger properties, rents are low in Hydra Village, AED 80,000 for a two bed townhouse and AED 90,000 for a three bed 1,850 sq. ft. property.


Four bed apartments in Al Muneera start from AED 200,000 while four bed villas in Al Zaab start from
AED 280,000.


To find out more about properties for lease or sale in Abu Dhabi, call +971 2 556 4122.

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