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Updated by Fritzjames Stephen on May 19, 2015
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Places to Visit for Cultural Experiences in Abu Dhabi – discover Abu Dhabi’s culture

Abu Dhabi has a series of culturally significant places to visit that offer glimpses into its pre Islamic and early Islamic past and the unique combination of styles that make many of its modern monuments outstanding.

1

Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque

Different Middle Eastern architectural styles have been combined successfully to make this spectacular structure. Minarets rising 107 meters, 82 big and small domes, a thousand columns, a huge marble mosaic courtyard and a stunning interior with the world's largest hand knotted carpet, 24 carat gilded chandeliers with millions of Swarovski crystals and a large interior space to accommodate 40,000 worshipers are all worthy of being oohed and aahed over.

2

Al Bateen Shipyard

A visit here will educate visitors on the fundamentals of traditional boat building when they see craftsmen using traditional techniques to put together dhows of various sizes.

3

Ancient Forts

The 200 year old Qasr al Hosn Palace built in the late 18th century makes it the oldest building in Abu Dhabi.
Al Jahili fort in Al Ain was built in 1891 to protect the city and its palm groves. It is now a museum.

4

Heritage Village

On a spit along the Corniche, this recreation of a traditional Emirati oasis village showcases the pre oil boom lifestyle of the desert people. Goat's hair tents, wooden and palm frond houses, 'barasti' houses with wind towers, an old style mosque, camels and goats in thatched sheds recreates a Bedouin encampment. Camel and horse riding displays, falconry, demonstrations of traditional weaving, pottery making, brass beating, glass blowing and henna painting add interest. The museum building on the premises has a collection of photos of Abu Dhabi before the oil boom, ancient artifacts among which are diving equipment, a working aflaj irrigation system and replicas of pearling boats and dhows.

5

Dhow Harbor

On the tip of Abu Dhabi Island it is busy throughout the day with traditional boats returning and leaving on trading and fishing trips. Shop at the fish market and the Iranian souk, taste Middle Eastern fare at dockside restaurants or take off on a dinner cruise.

6

Aflaj Irrigation System

he irrigation system is based on vertical shafts and gently sloping tunnels dug to access and direct underground water sources to irrigate date palm plantations and other crops. See the 200 year old system in action in Al Ain oasis.

7

The archaeological Dig at Sir Bani Yas

Take a walking tour to see archaeological remains on the eastern side of the island that include piles of rock attributed to the late Stone Age, remains of a Nestorian monastery and church dated to the 6th or 7th centuries and remains of pre Islamic houses. An early Islamic mosque and an extensive settlement have been found on the north coast of the island. Stay at Desert Island Resort by Anantara, a luxurious beach resort Abu Dhabi to enjoy access to nature and wild life, beaches, diving destinations and sporting activities.