Set amid arid deserts and rolling sand dunes, Al Gharbia covers over two-thirds of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It backs onto the dazzling Arabian Gulf, home to golden beaches, lush islands and luxury beach resorts.
Things to do in Abu Dhabi
Fed by natural underground springs, Liwa is a large oasis. It sits on the cusp of the Empty Quarter, the world's largest continuous sand desert. The mighty Tel Moreeb rises almost 300 metres high and is one of the tallest sand dunes on the planet. The best way to explore the Empty Quarter is on a 4WD or quad bike tour.
Built from mud bricks and straw, the Liwa Forts are around 300 years old. Walk around the ancient strongholds and learn about how Liwa's tribes defended themselves. The Liwa Forts are particularly beautiful at sunset when they acquire a golden glow.
On the far western coast of Al Gharbia is Sir Bani Yas Island. It was founded by Sheikh Zayed and is dominated by the Arabian Wildlife Park. Nature walks are a great way to spot gazelles, eagles, flamingos, dolphins, dugongs and rare Arabian oryx.
One of Al Gharbia's top attractions is the Emirates National Auto Museum. Inside you'll find a huge collection of over 200 cars including rugged off-road vehicles, American classics and the world's largest truck. Fans of “Top Gear” may recognise some cars that were featured on the TV show.
Getting around Abu Dhabi
The best way to explore Al Gharbia is with a rental car or by hiring a private driver. Liwa is around 250 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, with the drive taking approximately 2.5 hours. Local buses also make the trip and depart from Mezairaa Bus Station.