Also known As: Tourist Club, Al Nayan, Al Markahziyah, Al Whada, Al Hosn, Al Dhafrah, Madina Zayed
Landmarks: The Gold Souk, The British Club, Al Marayah, Island, (Formally Sowwah Island), Al Whada Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Cleveland Clinic (on Marayah Island)
Schools: Al Muneera Primary School (in Downtown), GEMS WorldAmerican Academy (in Downtown), Pearl Primary School (in Downtown), Al Bateen Secondary School (in Khalidiya) BSAK – British School Al Khubairat (in Mushrif)
Location: The area runs from the Corniche, through the Tourist Club and along the northern shore past Reem Island up to 15th Street.
Unique Features: Downtown is the oldest and most densely populated part of the city full of hotels and other landmarks. As the central business district it is also the home to the majority of office space in the city.
Accommodation Type: Mostly apartments but some villas as you head east, particularly in the Al Nayan and Al Whada areas.
Abu Dhabi City centre is a vibrant collection of shops, shisha bars, malls, five-star hotels, restaurants and odds and ends. The place thrums with energy of city life countless opportunities to socialise, entertain and dine out. At the Corniche end the Crown Plaza, Royal Meridien and Le Meridien (not to be confused) are the current social hotspots. The impressive Abu Dhabi Mall, Fotouh Al Khair Mall (AKA Marks & Spenser Mall) and Madinat Zayed Mall (with the attached Gold Souk) make up the best of the shopping.
For something a little more local along Hamdan Street, you’ll find the Hamdan Centre (great for bargain hunters) and Liwa Centre (the place to shop for jewellery, make up and perfume). The Central Souk attached to the World Trade Centre Mall (Tallest Building in Abu Dhabi) is laid out like a traditional arabic souk and a perfect shopping hub for local trinkets, art, rugs and souvenirs.
Local Secret: Try the bars and restaurants at Abu Dhabi Marina just between Le Meridien and Abu Dhabi Mall. The place is licensed and contains an amazingly eclectic range of restaurants and clubs.