Abu Dhabi

Modern-day Abu Dhabi is a little less Lawrence of Arabia and a little more The Fast and the Furious, but as much as Emiratis appreciate their exotic cars, luxury accessories, and caviar, they still hold on to the heritage that ties them to the sands, the sea, and the oases of the Arabian Peninsula. It doesn't take long for travelers who spend time in Abu Dhabi to begin to see the depth and richness of cultural tradition in the young country of UAE.

Holidays are marked by large celebrations and feasts. During Ramadan, mini-celebrations are held at sunset, when Muslims begin eating iftar, the meal that breaks the day's fast. For National Day in December, the town paints itself red, green, black, and white—the colors of the flag. Most of the public holidays, such as Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, and Eid Al Adha, follow the Islamic lunar calendar. This shifts backwards in respect to the Gregorian calendar, so be sure to check what festivities might occur during your stay.