Abu Dhabi Élite

Shaped by a combination of international influences and local heritage, Abu Dhabi encompasses a tantalizing synthesis of cosmopolitan sophistication and traditional Arabian charm.


Abu Dhabi’s prosperity is embodied in the abundance of modern skyscrapers, luxury hotels and landscaped parks along its coast.

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A Mix of International Modernity and Arabian Heritage & A Hub for World-Class Culture

Abu Dhabi’s prosperity is embodied in the abundance of modern skyscrapers, luxury hotels and landscaped parks along its coast. Much of Abu Dhabi’s history has spawned from the desert, and numerous ancient forts and historic sites still preserve the city’s rich heritage and cultural roots. As a relatively young city, nomadic tribesmen settled in Abu Dhabi in the mid-18th-century, yet the story of Abu Dhabi’s rapid growth began in the mid 20th century when their economy began to expand exponentially.

From the early 1970s the city thrived under the forward-looking leadership of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who descended from a family that had ruled the Abu Dhabi emirate since the 18th century. The desert oasis of Al Ain is famed as one of the first settlements in the Abu Dhabi area, and once home to the ‘Father of the Nation’ Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, the Al Ain Palace is one of the most culturally and historically significant palaces in Emirates. Now restored as a museum, the Al Ain Palace houses an extensive collection of artefacts, enabling visitors to discover the fascinating history of the ruling family of the UAE.

Abu Dhabi is famed for avant-garde architectural masterpieces and one of the most momentous landmarks of contemporary UAE society is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque commissioned by Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed al Nahyan in 1996. The Mosque aims to commemorate the visionary legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan to achieve positive interaction with other cultures, and the exquisite design features eighty-two white marble domes, dazzling Swarovski crystal chandeliers and the world’s largest and most intricate handcrafted carpet.

With its lavish shopping, thrilling Formula One racing and refined contemporary art fairs, Abu Dhabi has earned a reputation as a hub for world-class culture, sport and leisure. As a burgeoning cultural capital there are many exciting cultural events which take place annually in Abu Dhabi. Presented each October, the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival is the place to engage in diverse culture through the art of cinema and allows you to immerse yourself in recent Arab filmmaking alongside major talents of world cinema. Having grown rapidly since its establishment in 2007, the film festival continues to bring more films, more prestigious awards and more illustrious stars to Abu Dhabi during the ten days of cinema screenings, filmmaking classes and glitzy events.

The Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix is one of the most exciting races on the annual Formula 1 circuit, providing more luxury, exclusivity and hospitality for visitors than ever before. The Yas Marina Racetrack venue has become the centre for motorsport excellence in the Middle East and it is considered one of the most technologically advanced circuits in the world, guaranteeing the most exhilarating racing action. The arts world is flourishing in Abu Dhabi, and the Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island is set to be a cultural magnet for art aficionados as the future home of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The Saadiyat Island development already hosts the prestigious Abu Dhabi Arts Fair held in the UAE Pavilion, providing a prominent platform for modern and contemporary art which showcases an exclusive selection of work by renowned and emerging artists from the world’s most respected art galleries.

Dynamic Nightlife Scene

Abu Dhabi boasts a diverse and dynamic nightlife scene where a range of upmarket bars and clubs provide perfect venues in which to relax or dance the night away. For a more relaxing atmosphere, the Cristal Cigar at the Millennium Hotel with its impressive selection of cigars, champagne and wines, is a comforting retreat from the urban rush of the city. The interior is characterised by an oak-decked lounge, candle-lit ambience and a live pianist, adding to the traditional old-world charm for which it is celebrated.

Zenith is one of the most happening nightclubs in Abu Dhabi, combining an exclusive lounge atmosphere with the latest upbeat music and regular themed event nights. Offering a comprehensive cocktail menu featuring the most subtle and explosive of concoctions, Zenith is a fashionable place to party with Abu Dhabi’s elite.

Eclectic Global Gastronomy

Dining in Abu Dhabi is a highlight of any night out, with traditional Arabic fare complimented by a wide variety of restaurants serving eclectic global gastronomy. Renowned for attracting celebrities and statesman with its vibrant yet exclusive atmosphere, Hakkasan is an upscale Chinese restaurant which elevates modern Cantonese dining to new levels of superiority. The interior space is an interpretation of modern ethnicity, featuring embroidered furniture and marbled Chinese forms that exude oriental opulence.

The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill at the Fairmont Hotel specialises in innovative grill cuisine and classic English fare with an extensive wine collection to accompany each dish. The dramatic interior design of the restaurant which features a back-lit ‘flame’ wall enables diners to enjoy a unique take on flavour combinations in an ultramodern setting.

Legendary Majestic Hospitality

Luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi embody the outstanding beauty and opulence of the city, offering top class modern facilities with legendary hospitality and service. Renowned as a haunt of royalty, the iconic Emirates Palace Hotel perfectly reflects the magnificence of Abu Dhabi and is the epitome of majestic luxury with classical decor and exquisite views. An outstanding venue for hosting international culture shows, music events, business conferences and internal art exhibitions, the Emirates Palace also encompasses world-class spa and sporting facilities, providing an ideal destination for business and leisure travelers. Set within the grounds of the Emirates Palace, the Emirates Palace Marina is an exclusive and welcoming haven for the region’s most luxurious yachts.