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Abu Dhabi in tourism Top 10, whose selling advertising?

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GUGGENHEIM_ABU_DHABI_IMAGE_17_(Medium)Amazingly Abu Dhabi has been ranked in the top ten cities to visit by The Lonely Planet, a normally very rigorous authority in appraising destinations. Perhaps their advertising department is trying to sell something to Abu Dhabi, most people are these days.

Flattery it may be. The truth is more prosaic. Perhaps when the government has finished implementing its tourism development strategy Abu Dhabi will be worth visiting.

Future city

That will take at least five and more likely 10 years. Abu Dhabi is to have the Louvre and Guggenheim (see model above) museums of the Middle East, a centre for the performing arts shaped like an alien spacecraft, and new hotels and eco-resorts. Then you will be able to stay in the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi on Coconut Island which opens in 2011.

Go there today and you can stroll along the corniche which is nice as far as beachfronts without any shops, restaurants and bars go. Then you could visit the Emirates Palace, a very new landmark hotel with acres of marble flooring and gold-leaf. After that you are struggling, perhaps the new Bani Yas Island eco-resort.

In fact, much of downtown Abu Dhabi is very shabby with old mid-rise buildings that look rather neglected. For a taste of the future head to Yas Island, home of the F1 race last weekend, but it remains work-in-progress.

Publishing nonsense

It is of course very hard to sell advertising these days but what is The Lonely Planet doing publishing such nonsense, and something that undermines its status as a source of reliable and independent travel information.

Hardly any wonder then that people turn to Internet websites these days for their travel advice. Independent opinion is worth its weight in gold and should not be compromised by publications out for commercial gain.

How could anybody rank Abu Dhabi above Dubai as a city to visit in the UAE? Dubai has acres of shopping malls, an indoor ski slope, beaches, hotels, restaurants and a myriad of things to see. Certainly this is where the folk from Abu Dhabi head for the weekend!


Written by Peter Cooper

November 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

Posted in Culture, Hotels, Travel

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