I landed at Abu Dhabi from Hong Kong to catch my my connecting flight to London...and I was met with the sight of the China Daily being give for FREE to all passengers. China's global dominance and presence is clearly being felt. At major international airports of cities such as Paris, London, Frankfurt etc. it's not uncommon/surprising to come across large billboard adverts showcasing Chinese banks/airlines and even 'Invest in China' adverts.
If you had a few spare BILLIONS of dollars, then what would you do? The Emiratis have decided to invest heavily in infrastructure...including the airport. The airport is now undergoing a AED 25 billion (US$6.8 billion) expansion and is the hub for Etihad Airways.
Once you get airborne, you realize that most of Abu Dhabi city is located on an island itself, but it has many suburbs on the mainland. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s land surface measures 67,340 square kilometres, which is equivalent to about 88% of the UAE’s total land area. Only less than 29% of the emirate is inhabited, with the remaining vast expanses covered mainly by desert and arid land.
The airport is located near the coast, and like most of the Middle East, the coastal areas contain pockets of wetland and mangrove colonies. Abu Dhabi's dozen or so islands, mostly small and uninhabited like the ones pictured, have been designated as sanctuaries for wildlife. The rest of the desert is laying on an oil bed!
Opened in November 2010, and designed by Benoy Architects, Ferrari World is a theme park located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Located under a 200,000 m2 (2,152,782 sq ft) roof, making it the largest indoor amusement park in the world, the park is home of the world's fastest roller coaster (where else?!), the Ferrari Rossa which has a top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph).
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