Ten Fascinating Facts About Abu Dhabi

by Anna Watt on 10 April 2015, 16:04PM

1.    The iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque contains the world’s largest handmade carpet, which measures 5,627 square metres, weighs 35 tonnes and took 1,200 women two years to make.


2.    Formula Rossa, in Ferrari World Abu Dhabi on Yas Island, is the world’s fastest rollercoaster, accelerating from 0 to 240kmph in 4.8 seconds. It is exceptionally good fun!


3.    The Arabian oryx was extinct in the wild before four were introduced to Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region in 1977, taken from a zoo in Arizona. Around 450 now share the island with gazelles, giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas, ostriches and other free-roaming animals.


4.    When the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi opens its doors on Saadiyat Island in 2017, it will be the largest Guggenheim museum in the world – about 12 times larger than the Guggenheim New York.


5.    Abu Dhabi’s most iconic hotel, Emirates Palace, cost approximately US$3 billion to build and spans a kilometre from wing to wing. Inside are more than 1,000 chandeliers, the largest weighing 2.5 tonnes.


6.    There are around 200 islands dotted along the coast of Abu Dhabi; some of them offering world-class island resorts like the brand new 32-villa Zaya Nurai Island.


7.    The highest vantage point in the city of Abu Dhabi is found on the 74th floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, at Observation Deck at 300, whose incredible spread of cakes and pastries give a new meaning to the term ‘high tea’.


8.    Friday brunch is an Abu Dhabi institution. One of the biggest and the best is at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. In the last year, Ritz-Carlton brunchers consumed 4,000kg of Wagyu beef, 3,800kg of lobster, 13,200 mojitos, and enough spaghetti to line the road from London to Brighton.


9.    The 5-star Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi on Yas Island is the only hotel in the world to straddle a Formula 1 racetrack.


10.    The Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) is the largest sand desert in the world, made famous by the British explorer Wilfred Thesiger, who crossed it twice in the 1940s. To his Bedouin companions he was known as Mubarak bin London, ‘the blessed one from London’. Arabian Sands, his book about his time in the desert, is considered a classic of modern travel literature.


For more information on Abu Dhabi please visit www.visitabudhabi.ae or click here.

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