< ">While all the focus has been on its neighbor Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the seven city-states that make up the United Arab Emirates, has pursued similar global playground goals, but with more restraint and focus. Which is why when Dubai cried "uncle" to its creditors in late November, everyone looked to Abu Dhabi to help set it straight. This fiscal crisis will give the world the opportunity to see how a gulf state that didn't spend all its money on indoor ski resorts and a palm tree-shaped island can weather a crisis. For travelers -- especially business ones -- it will be the year that defines whether Abu Dhabi will be a flash in the pan or the next serious entrant on the global stage. In our guidebook to the region we said, "Abu Dhabi can seem a little slow and perhaps even a bit boring. But its beaches are just as beautiful, there's less traffic and more greenery, and the character is distinctly Emirati, preserving much of the conservative heritage that its northeastern neighbor has begun to toss off."