by Lisa A. Grimaldi | November 01, 2015
Just for fun
 Falconry is a traditional sport in the Gulf. The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is dedicated to restoring these ailing birds of prey to health. Guided tours include a visit to an on-site falcon museum, the examination room and the aviary.

 Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, run by the Emirates Heritage Club, is an open-air museum that showcases traditional daily life in the region prior to the discovery of oil. Among the highlights is a Bedouin camp complete with goat-hair tents.

Visit the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which seats 40,000 people.
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The capital of the United Arab Emirates offers groups a sublime blend of modern style, with a wealth of luxury hotels and a stunning exhibition center, along with traditional settings like the historic Qasr al-Husn fort and the Al Ain camel market.

At the recent World Travel Awards, Abu Dhabi was named the Middle East's leading meeting and conference destination for the third consecutive year -- a distinction the emirate plans to build on by offering groups a number of incentives to hold their events here.

As part of its 2030 Economic Vision -- launched to boost business from industry sectors including energy, aviation, telecommunications and financial services -- the Abu Dhabi government has unveiled the Advantage Abu Dhabi initiative for international conferences and exhibitions. For large association events in the targeted industries, the government offers a range of perks including grants, cost rebates and marketing support.

The destination also makes available a host of incentives, tiered according to the size of the group, to lure corporate events. Among the sponsored offerings: a welcome dinner at a host hotel; traditional entertainment for an evening function; a "Date With the Dunes" desert safari on Abu Dhabi's vast sands, and a round of golf on a championship course. Full details and the criteria for both of the above programs can be found at


Earlier this year, the 355-room Royal Rose Hotel Abu Dhabi opened. The opulent property has three restaurants, a fitness center, a pool and a spa. The hotel also features two ballrooms and four smaller meeting rooms.

Debuting next month is the Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Residences Emirates Pearl. The 47-story property, with its twisting glass tower design, is in the Ras Al Akhdar district. The hotel has 368 guest rooms and 60 serviced guest apartments, as well as four restaurants, a spa, a fitness center and extensive meeting facilities, including a ballroom that accommodates up to 800 people.  

Set to open in 2017 is the 294-room Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort, part of the master-planned resort community of Saadiyat Island. The luxury property will have two signature restaurants, a pool and beach bars.