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World Travel Guide > Guides > Middle East > United Arab Emirates > Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Weather

35°C

Local time Abu Dhabi

Currency

Getting around Abu Dhabi

Public transport

The Department of Transport (tel: +971 800 88888; http://dot.abudhabi.ae) operates bus services throughout the emirate. The main bus terminal is on East Road near Al Wahda Mall.

You can either pay a single cash fare or buy a weekly or monthly Ojra bus pass. Pay-as-you-go 'Hafilat' smartcards are gradually being introduced.

Taxis

Taxis are regulated by TransAD (The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars). TransAD oversees all the city's taxi companies, all of which are subject to the same regulations and have the same fares. You can book one through their automated reservation system (tel: +971 6005 35353).

It’s possible to book a family taxi, although there are a limited number of these. They are driven by female drivers and are only for the use of women, couples and families (men can travel in them as long as they're accompanied by their family). There is no extra charge, and these can be flagged down too. You’ll recognise them by the white roofs and 'family taxi' sign on top. Tipping taxi drivers to the nearest Dh5-10 is recommended.

Driving

Locals drive fast, aggressively, and often quite recklessly - it's not uncommon to see drivers texting at the wheel for example. Downtown during rush hours (between 1800 and 2100 during the week) is frequently gridlocked, so if you can stay off the roads at these times, do. While driving, bear in mind the farthest left lanes are the fastest-moving (you'll often see people speeding on these) and u-turns are allowed at almost every intersection.

If you're trying to find a space downtown, leave yourself plenty of time to find a spot. Paid parking is managed by Mawaqif - you'll see their ticket machines around most car parks.

Car hire

Avis (tel: +971 2 621 8400; www.avis.com) has branches throughout the city, at the airport and at the major hotels. Other providers include Hertz (tel: +971 2 599 8939; www.hertz.ae) and Thrifty (tel: +971 800 701; www.thriftyuae.com). Chauffeur-driven car hire is also available.

Bicycle hire

Abu Dhabi is not a cyclist-friendly city, although a few people do brave the traffic to get around on two wheels. Cyacle, Al Khalidiya Street (+971 800 292253; www.bikeshare.ae) hires out bikes at various locations along the Corniche (which has a separate bike path) as well as on Yas Island.

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Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi

Recently renovated, this high-end hotel with 202 guest rooms and 74 luxury suites, offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wireless internet access, a fitness centre with sauna and steam room and a squash hall. Le Royal Méridien also has nine restaurants and bars and excellent facilities for business meetings and banquets.

Emirates Palace

Allegedly one of the most expensive hotels ever built, this stunning palace boasts nearly 400 magnificent rooms and suites. Facilities include 10 on-site restaurants, a spa, a swimming pool and a private beach. Even if you can’t stay the night, book an unforgettable afternoon tea at Le Vendome.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

This luxurious 5-star hotel is undoubtedly the most iconic building on Yas Island. Built over a racetrack and with unrivalled access to Yas Marina, its on-site amenities include huge modern rooms, world-class bars, restaurants and a stunning rooftop pool. It’s also the hot ticket during the Formula One season.

St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

This gorgeous resort is far enough from the mainland to feel like a true escape from the city, but still has plenty of on-site entertainment to ensure a pleasant stay. Along with classy, residential-style rooms, 5-star restaurants and glamorous bars, there’s also a lovely spa and stunning private beach.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

Overlooking the Arabian Gulf the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort has 272 guest rooms and suites all luxuriously appointed and offering high-speed Internet access. The 5-star stay has excellent restaurants a business centre and state of the art banqueting and conference facilities. Ask for a room overlooking the sea for the best view.

Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri

Located 15 minutes from the city centre, the magnificent Shangri-La boasts over 200 rooms and suites, plus some of the best restaurants and bars in the city. More palace than city hotel, be sure to ask for a room with a view of the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.