Jutting out into the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is the ultra-modern and sparkling clean capital of the United Arab Emirates. With 1.5 million residents, it is the second-largest urban area in the Emirates, after Dubai, which lies 87 miles to the northeast. Geographically, Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates, taking up roughly 80 percent of the country’s landmass. Nearly two-thirds of the UAE’s economic activity takes place here, with the majority of tourist attractions dotted along a handful of islands just a stone’s throw from the mainland.
According to global crime indexes, Abu Dhabi is also the world’s safest city, a title it’s held for three years running. This honor stems from its penchant for luxury, expensive lifestyles, and squeaky-clean reputations. For tourists, this makes the UAE capital an increasingly desirable vacation spot. From the extravagant to the austere, here is how you can experience some of Abu Dhabi’s cultural highlights and culinary delights.