Abu Dhabi seems to have completely fallen out of the shade of Dubai, and now it is the region's major cultural, tourist and business center. Its status of the world's oil industry capital is already reflected in its cultural baggage. The Petroleum Exhibition is one of its most prominent, though less traditional sights. Other interesting objects include the Sheikh Zayed's Palace, Heritage Village, the Corniche (beach), the old market (souk), the Al Hisn Fort and the Breakwater Island.
The city's downtown district is stretched along the Corniche, and here you can find the world's most expensive top-rate hotels, such as the luxurious and renowned Emirates Palace Hotel, and VIP-class dining spots. From the hotel, the numerous small sandy islands are readily observable. Today, many of them have been turned into construction sites.
The Saadiyat Island is actually the apotheosis of this full-blown islet transformation. This grand twenty-seven-billion-dollar project is aimed at the formation of a fantastic cultural area with performance centers, museums and art galleries.
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