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Pigeon Beach English Harbour Shirley Heights Nelson Dockyard Half Moon Bay Betty's Hope WINTER 2010I sea& iI39 A ntigua has transformed itself from a poverty- stricken island of sugar plantations to a bustling holiday hub, but the rolling landscapes are still dotted with memories of its past - the stone towers that were once sugar mills. Catch a glimpse of that era in its heyday at Betty's Hope. This site was the first sugar plantation on the island, and today you can visit the ruins and the original windmills. T here is plenty of big- game fishing off shore, where wahoo, tuna and marlin abound. M any of the beaches have calm waters that make them great for snorkelling and the reefs that fringe Antigua are home to brilliantly coloured fish. T he restored Georgian naval dockyard is at the centre of the Nelson's Dockyard National Park, which has become the world's most visible symbol of England's powerful navy in the West Indies. Nelson commandedthe British navy in the Leeward Islands from 1784 to 1787 and made his headquarters at English Harbour, which became home to the British fleet. The colonial naval buildings remain as they were then. Today, nature trails with coastal views abound in Nelson's Dockyard National Park. For the best panoramic views, take the walk from English Harbour to Shirley Heights, beginning at Galleon Beach. A bracadabra's in English Harbour is always jumping. Serving fresh seafood early on, the night becomes a dance party as live jazz, reggae and often car-nival costumes take over. The nearby Admiral's Inn is a quieter affair, with great daiquiris and local steel bands at the weekend. The Life Bar is also a favourite haunt of yachting crowd, whilst the pub Mainbrace, at the Copper and Lumber Store, serves fish and chips and, on some evenings, they have a jazz band. S hirley Heights jump- up is the place to be on Sunday afternoons. The session begins with a barbecue at 4pm and continues with reggae, steel- pans and lots of dancing. Arrive early for sundowners and enjoy the sunset over English Harbour. islandlife ISLAND SNAPSHOT antigua

40Isea& iIWINTER 2010 W ith a pleasing twist of fate, Abu Dhabi has, in a sense, come full circle. Originally a hub of the pearl industry, it is now the jewel of the Middle East - being the largest of the seven emirates and the most important cultural city in the UAE. It is to its credit that amid such acclaim, and while embracing enormous change, it still remains faithful to its roots. Traditional wooden dhows used for pearl fishing still line the harbour; only now they front a somewhat incongruous Manhattan- like skyline. But therein lies this city's charm - it is a place where anything is possible. Pillow talk The Abu Dhabi Emirates Palacestakes the heady claim of being one of the leading five- star hotels in the city, reassuring news for its investors as it is rumoured its build cost was a staggering US$ 4billion. It is not without competition, though. The new Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Berirecently opened ( sister to the existing, sumptuous Shangri- La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri), and a further 29 hotels with 7,000 rooms are planned for the Saadiyat Island development over the next few years. But for now it is Yas Hotelon Yas Island that is claiming the headlines. It has an 18- hole championship golf course and views of the Yas Marina and Yacht Club, a Crown Prince Court comprising 12 rooms, and a Ruler's Court with two presidential suites and 28 bedrooms. Further afield, the five- star resort Qasr Al Sarab opened only weeks ago in the Liwa desert. Opt for its royal villas. Eat, drink, dance Nightlife in Abu Dhabi is a cocktail of your own creation. You can take a stroll in a park, watch a rock band, dance in a nightclub, take in a concert, art exhibition or show, or hit the gaming centres and late- night shopping malls. Almost all pubs, nightclubs and bars are located inside the five- star hotels. EAT. Food ranges from Arabic to Far- Eastern, European, Latin and Continental. Buffets abound around the Breakwater, Sheikh Zayed Street, Corniche Road and Tourist Club area, where Abu Dhabi is an intriguing oasis of disparity, where east meets west and past meets present, making it one of the most dynamic cities on the globe ByKate Rigby abu dhabi ? Emirate of interest Opposite page: Shangri- La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri Below: Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri