From cultural landmarks to theme parks, desert safaris to the finest hotels and restaurants, visitors of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 will be able to enjoy the best the UAE’s capital has to offer.

Abu Dhabi, meaning “father of gazelle”, has a population of over 1.5 million, made up of native Emiratis and expatriates from all around the world. It is home to the UAE’s government and is the hub of the country’s political and economic activities.

The city, like the UAE in general, has come a long way from the desert coastline that relied on the pearl trade in the early part of the 20th century for survival, and thanks to the leadership of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the father of the nation, it now stands shoulder to shoulder with the world’s most prominent cities.

For those looking to engage in Gulf culture, Abu Dhabi offers plenty of opportunities to learn about the UAE’s history through museums, exhibitions and tours. Emirati heritage and daily traditions can also be experienced through visits to the Dhow Harbour, its traditional souks and by taking in the atmosphere of the many historical buildings.

One of Abu Dhabi’s most stunning sights is the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which was completed in 2007 and can host over 40,000 worshippers. This architectural marvel, which features 80 domes, over 1,000 columns, gold-plated chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-woven carpet, welcomes visitors from all religions and countries.

Emirates Palace is one of the world’s most famous hotels with its luxurious rooms, outstanding restaurants and access to the gulf waters.

The 8km Corniche is one of the city’s oldest roads, which has over the last decade been reshaped to feature a pleasing waterfront that includes parks, cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants.

At Heritage Village on the Corniche breakwater, you can step back in time to experience what it was like for the country’s forefathers. Or, feel free to take a trip to the Garden City of Al Ain and visit one of the UAE’s greenest regions and home to the imposing Jebel Hafeet.

December in Abu Dhabi coincides with the most pleasant temperatures of the year, and visitors can enjoy the pristine Saadiyat and Yas public beaches, a spot of luxury at Saadiyat Beach Club or kayak sessions through the natural mangroves. And if you enjoy water activities, you can partake in wake-boarding, surfing, snorkeling and parasailing, or even cruising in a traditional pearling boat.

Visitors to the island can also ride the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, have a splash at Yas Waterworld and tee-off at the region’s only links course.

Shoppers can enjoy the city’s modern malls or the souk-themed shops which offer gold, perfumes, spices, handicrafts and carpets. 

To explore Abu Dhabi’s culinary lifestyle and its unique nightlife, head to The Collection at St Regis, Saadiyat Island Resort or the Galleria at Maryah Island. There you will find some of the most famous fashion brands and world-class chefs, side by side with some of the trendiest night spots in the Middle East.

Whatever your preferences, Abu Dhabi is guaranteed to cater to them all.