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Sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi cbb634aec08e 1024x579

As one of the richest cities on earth, Abu Dhabi is the king of bling and an expert at showcasing the sublime. Picture white-domed mosques, candy cane minarets and sweeping romantic deserts; it is the essence of Arabia, from camel racing at dawn to burning-red sand dunes at sunset.

But alongside this storybook slice of the Gulf, the capital of the United Arab Emirates has a more indulgent, contemporary side that is anything but subtle. Combining the biggest and the brashest with the flashiest and the fastest, Abu Dhabi is home to some of the world’s most exciting new adventures. So what if your budget may not stretch as far as a local sheikh’s? Here are some of the city’s perfect spots to live out the millionaire lifestyle for a day.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of Abu Dhabi's must-see sights © Jiti Chadha / 500px

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