Abu Dhabi and Dubai Blue skies, nothing but blue skies. That could well be the weather report for the United Arab Emirates.
Settled in 1760 by the Baniyas Tribe, Abu Dhabi offers a rare contrast of the ancient, modern and futuristic. Dubai, on the other hand, offers a rare view of life pushed to extremes. Can you imagine yourself skiing in the desert heat or holidaying on man-made islands in the stream?
Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are now hubs for rival Australian airlines so we can expect Australian traffic to increase dramatically to these destinations in 2013.
Melissa Thomson from Virgin Australia says: ‘‘ Abu Dhabi is an ideal destination for those seeking affordable luxury and a unique Arabian cultural experience. The emirate boasts ancient forts and historic sites – several of which have been listed as official Unesco World Heritage Sites – along with architectural marvels such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Emirates Palace.
‘‘ There are also plenty of thrills for adventure-seekers, from the world’s fastest roller-coaster at Ferrari World, to the Formula One racetrack, to cruising the massive sand dunes of the Empty Quarter desert, to learning about the ancient sport of falconry.’’
Doc Holiday’s Anthony Dennis says: ‘‘ Love it or hate it, Dubai will undoubtedly be one of the hottest destinations for 2013 due to the simple fact that hundreds of thousands of Qantas passengers will passing through or stopping off there.
‘‘ This is a direct result, of course, of the recent announcement of the Qantas-Emirates alliance (pending government regulatory approval) which will see Singapore as the main hub on the Kangaroo Route abandoned in favour of Dubai.’’