Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Abu Dhabi’s landmark monument). Dubai Airport is much better than Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the UAE and the seat of the government. Temperatures will continue to climb in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Similarly, Abu Dhabi has been developing Khalifa Port as its answer to Dubai’s Jebel Ali port, the most important shipping hub in the region. Many of the workers are on minimum wage so if you look around you can find plenty of diverse cheap restaurants for the working class. It will not get boring in Dubai. But when Abu Dhabi gets busy and you live or work in the wrong part of town, you may end up stuck forever at every traffic light which gets frustrating. Al Bateen Beach (This one has a very family-friendly vibe to it and is a popular beach destination among the locals as well as the expats). With theatres, amusement parks, child minding centers, art galleries, and even mosques located inside the mall, shopping in Dubai is a must! For a start Abu Dhabi the Emirate is much bigger in land mass than Dubai the Emirate and the main city of Abu Dhabi is larger too. and Best Dubai Hostels for Backpackers. Dubai has transformed from being a small Gulf country to being one of the hottest business hubs in the world in a matter of 40 years. As it is less busy, less crowded, and there is less traffic Abu Dhabi is the better place if you like to…relax and  chill. Hotel rates and food prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are pretty standard and taxis are no more expensive than other cities. Whether you head to the tallest building of the world (Burj Khalifa), or Miracle Garden, Dubai Mall, or Madinat Jumeirah – there is so much to do, that it was hard for me to pick only 5o top activities in Dubai (click here to read my tips 50 things to do in Dubai). Visit the snow world and enjoy sledding. If you are into superlatives, visit Dubai. I have been running this blog since 2015. Or both , Important Travel Information for Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I'm on a mission to inspire 1000 people to become digital nomads and remote workers. Reasons to Do Solo Female Travel in a Camper Van, THINGS TO DO IN ONE DAY IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND. Well, I would say Abu Dhabi is the better place to relax. Boasting some of the world’s most visited attractions like Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, Marina Mall, and the Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi has been attracting scores of tourists over the past decade. Qasr Al-Hosn (the oldest building in Abu Dhabi). Accommodation in Abu Dhabi, especially luxury accommodation, is cheaper. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have emerged as the smartest cities in the region, with the UAE capital jumping 14 spots to rank 42nd globally in a new index. Knowing what I know now, I would say: If I stayed in the United Arab Emirates for one week, I would probably stay 4-5 nights in Dubai and then in Abu Dhabi for 2 nights. As it is less busy, less crowded, and there is less traffic Abu Dhabi is the better place if you like to…relax and chill. This exquisite boutique hotel is the perfect place for a nice getaway. Both are quite westernized, so there is not a cultural shock for western tourists. To cut a long story short, can say it depends on your interests and preferences whether you prefer Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Feeling adventurous? People who are interested in experiencing the area’s authentic Muslim culture will undoubtedly prefer the sights and sounds of Abu Dhabi. If you are not planning holiday but budget trip, check out best things to do in Dubai on budget! You can actually plan your itinerary by combining both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.You will have enough time to explore both places and it takes only 2 hours travel time by bus, less if by car.. Hotel rates and food prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are pretty standard and taxis are no more expensive than other cities. Here are some accommodation tips for your trip to Abu Dhabi (check out my full Abu Dhabi accommodation guide). Abu Dhabi is quieter. Abu Dhabi is an island which is connected to the mainland and outlying islands by a series of bridges. Most residents own private cars to commute within both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, due to the hot climate. Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House (Home to the Ruler of Dubai who ruled the city from 1921 to 1958), There are many sightseeing places located outside the city as well. This can either be a pro or a contra argument, but if you do not like too much “bling bling” and too much of a hustle and bustle, you´ll probably enjoy Abu Dhabi more than Dubai. As you can see, it really depends on what you are interested at and what you like to answer the question whether Abu Dhabi or Dubai is better for a vacation. Why is Dubai better than Abu Dhabi? If you are on a budget, then you should definitely avoid the restaurants in hotels because they can charge quite a lot. Now the million-dollar question, which one is better to visit? Where can you relax better? Stay tuned! Friends love Abu Dhabi because it’s less in your face than Dubai. What are the best things to see in Abu Dhabi? Dubai is more liberal- I think it is less conservative compared to Abu Dhabi (click here to find out what to wear in Dubai as a female). You’d be forgiven for thinking Dubai is the United Arab Emirates’ capital city – Abu Dhabi Read about my 12 top tips for things to do in Abu Dhabi. Dubai has the Palm Island. Though Saadiyat Island charges a small fee (about 5€) it is definitely worth the money and if you do not want to spend money on a day at the beach you will have a nice time at the free beaches in Abu Dhabi – which are quite empty and you´ll not see it crowded. It’s much bigger with more options for entertainment, nightlife, family activities, luxury hotels but also plenty of budget options. All of these things can easily be seen as a daytrip from Dubai (by bus 2 hrs). Some of the beaches in Dubai are strictly private, while the others are public beaches. While wintertime is the best time for a holiday in Abu Dhabi (December to February), you can also visit Abu Dhabi during spring and fall shoulder seasons. 12 top tips for things to do in Abu Dhabi. As the oil exports skyrocketed, so did the city’s skyline. If you wish to go local, you can shop at one of the many souks of Dubai. The two best cities of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are home to some of the best attractions, spectacular hotels, enormous shopping malls, and scrumptious cuisines. Being located in a desert, the summers here are very intense. Dubai or Abu Dhabi. In tourist places, the restaurants can be quite expensive but there are more and more reasonably priced options popping up everywhere as the city is becoming more and more international. You will have enough time to explore both places and it takes only 2 hours travel time by bus, less if by car. Your email address will not be published. Thankfully, both of these emirates are only about a one and a half-hour drive away from each other, so you could easily tour both on a UAE vacation. Check out the packing list and what to wear in Dubai! The capital city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi sits on an island in the Persian Gulf. Early bookings for DUBAI are highly recommended. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are reasonably good bases for hiking in UAE, and also for more sedentary desert and mountain activities. Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are extremely safe cities to visit. DO you find yourself wondering where to plan your vacation next? Once you're outside of the city limits, though, on the well-maintained multilane highways, driving in the UAE is quite straightforward. People may have been referring to the fact that Dubai has had a tourism explosion and therefore there are more things for tourists to do in Dubai City than there are in Abu Dhabi city. Dubai is well established in terms of overseas investment interests and the property market, but Abu Dhabi is getting more appeal than Dubai in terms of long-term investment … Want to splurge? Corniche (8-kilometre-long beach with plenty of activities). I actually liked Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai. As well as Abu Dhabi, there are other places you can visit as a daytrip from Dubai. And they are as much fun! best hotel in Dubai rates by clicking here. Location: Dubai has, in my opinion, a better location. Before we jump to detailed comparison, here are quick FAQ answers: Dubai is definitely better than Abu Dhabi in many aspects! Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (A working veterinary hospital with guided tours). During December and January, the hotels are the most expensive. To find out more about the mosque and tips when visiting (and too see many more images click here). Abu Dhabi vs Dubai?! Dubai has Madinat Jumeirah, without any doubt, it is one of my favorite areas in Dubai. It is however, spread out just like Dubai. When you close your eyes amid the tall skyscrapers of Dubai, you could be in any overdeveloped city. It’s incredibly safe, has proper facilities, and it really does have everything. Use this Dubai vacation trip planner while planning your vacation next time to make sure your travel is hassle-free. Dubai has much to offer to people looking for late-night entertainment. But Dubai’s sibling Abu Dhabi is equally fun and attractive. If you want to come out fast while traveling to UAE than go to Abu Dhabi Airport. Though Abu Dhabi and Dubai are two emirates forming theUnited Arab Emiratesthat includes in total 7 emirates, we can see some differences between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Well, I would say Abu Dhabi is the better place to relax. Overall, the lifestyle between both cities seems much the same, but my feeling is that Abu Dhabi gives you more room to tailor your own lifestyle and is certainly more accepting of the choices you make. Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the UAE and the seat of the government. You can do desert safaris in both places (in my opinion desert safaris are one of the best things to do in both places), as you can do water sports activities, helicopter rides, and you can shop in both cities pretty well. Dubai Mall (a premier shopping mall with an ice-skating rink, gaming zone, and cinema complex). Whereas if you to go for check in while traveling from UAE than Dubai airport is better. Traders Hotel by Shangri-La: Traders Hotel is a beautiful hotel located close to the Grand Mosque with nice views of the impressive sight. Another little argument speaking for Dubai is the proximity to Oman – whether you visit as a day trip from Dubai or for longer, Oman is worth a trip. It is closer to Oman (and a day trip to Oman is fun) and to other emirates like Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah and so day trips to other places are easier and more fun. In Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Luckily for you, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is free to visit for non-muslims except on Fridays and Saturdays so take advantage of that! Clouds will occasionally cover the sunshine, but all in all the day will be fair. Abu Dhabi has Zaya Nurai Island – one of the most beautiful islands in the region. Unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi is more laid back and calm; a more traditional city with a healthy work-life balance compared to the fun, fast-paced luxurious life of Dubai. Not sure who told you that Abu Dhabi is 'like a smaller version of Dubai' . Being a desert city, Abu Dhabi is subjected to scorching heat during the summers. Always on the hunt for good vegetarian food and amazing views! What is the dress code in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? Abu Dhabi has grown to be an advanced cosmopolitan metropolis with its rapid development and urbanization. From kids to teens to adults, there is something here for everyone. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi has actively attempted to diversify its economy in recent years through investments in financial services and tourism. Luxury Hotels in Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi has several amazing luxury hotels. Find an itinerary for Abu Dhabi here and find out what to do in Abu Dhabi. Here you will find real travel tips (mostly not sponsored and paid by myself). Mid-Range Hotels in Dubai: 4* Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai – When I visited Dubai for the very first time I stayed at this hotel and was positively surprised by the high standard of hotels in Dubai. This Emirati capital will surely not disappoint you! If you are on a budget you can just do hotel sightseeing for free – and you´ll do not get disappointed – like the  Atlantis- The Palm. Despite a large expat population in Abu Dhabi, there just isn’t much to do when the sun goes down. It is a beautiful hotel located in Downtown. When it comes to luxury holidays, Middle East tops the charts. It s a more relaxed lifestyle, probably better suited for a family rather than a single or young couple. I’ll be a bit biased because Dubai is one of my favorite cities in the world. Which city is the better city to visit? The souks (markets) there are just something you have to experience once – you cannot find souks in that intensity in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi serves as the governmental center of the UAE while Dubai is a major international hub for business and tourism. Abu Dhabi is very traditional and religious, therefore it’s strict with dress code and doesn’t have many nightlife options. It’s more traditional, cultural, and religions with less nightlife than Dubai. By the way: Abu Dhabi and Dubai are not that far away from each other. For instance, tourists interested in big-city life will undoubtedly prefer Dubai. The Emirates Palace, the top hotel in Abu Dhabi, is also open to “ordinary” people who just want to have a look, while Dubai´s “top” hotel (Burj Al-Arab) is much more difficult to access. Many vacation websites are swarming with the Dubai holidays? Dubai and Abu Dhabi are both fun cities to visit with great tours and activities to see – before you plan your trip to Dubai or Abu Dhabi check out visa regulations. There are more attractions, more to see and more to do. It is however, spread out just like Dubai. While it’s not necessary to cover your head outside of mosques, you’ll find that most women in the UAE wear headscarves. So, the best time to visit Dubai is during the winter when the city enjoys a pleasant climate. Abu Dhabi vs Dubai, Dubai vs Abu Dhabi: Which city (emirate) wins? Abu Dhabi may not be as built up as Dubai (which to many is a positive thing rather than a negative), and this means that with the constant stream of people still moving to the capital, there’s not as much excess housing supply as there is in Dubai. Ready to book your next trip? There are many bars and nightclubs that add to the vibrancy of Dubai’s nightlife. UAE weather: Dubai and Abu Dhabi to get hotter. However deciding on Abu Dhabi or Dubai for British expats is not something that should be determined based on money alone. Dubai has more shopping (and bigger) malls (quick guide for Dubai Mall here) and is the place to shop. It takes around 80 minutes by car to get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Another expense to take into account when deciding which is better – Dubai or Abu Dhabi, is the transportation cost. There are more luxury hotels. So many “wow” effects all the time, even though I have visited Dubai several times I have these “wow” effects all the time, one of them was when I visited the top of Burj Khalifa. Abu Dhabi is a smaller city than Dubai (for the time being anyway), a bit quieter and definitely a little more traditional. Temperatures could reach 32°C in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. As a test, I did some further research, so that I am sure it was not only at the time I visited. Recent data suggests the UAE’s average homicide rate is only 0.3 percent per 100,000 residents and muggings are extremely rare. The day’s lowest temperature may sink to 31°C, but could reach 46°C. Although the UAE is officially Muslim, it’s far more lenient on its dress code than other Middle Eastern nations. Abu Dhabi is a slightly more expensive, way more relaxed option with fewer (but prettier) beaches than Dubai. The best thing to do at these beaches is to take an exploratory tour. Dubai is hands down one of the top family destinations around the world. Soaking up the sun while enjoying the shimmering blue Gulf waters seems like a perfect way to enjoy your Abu Dhabi vacation. While the beaches in Dubai have very strict rules for women and men, they are pretty fun too. Also, home to two of the world’s best performing airlines, these two megacities are well-connected to every corner of the world. To be fair, I have to admit that I visited Abu Dhabi only twice while I visited Dubai more often and spent much more time there. That doesn’t mean, however, you can walk around in skimpy bikinis and expect a warm reception. Zaya Nurai Island – after a 12-minute boat ride you will get to the private island – to be allowed to get on the island you have to get either a day pass or you can stay there as an overnight guest. It holds the reputation of one of the richest cities in the world, so you might expect everything costing you a fortune but it is not always so. Read about my 12 top tips for things to do in Abu Dhabi. Depends on what you’re looking for honestly. Want to relax, visit the marina and watch the world go by. Tired of the heat? We suggest you travel between December and February. Emirates Palace: Emirates Place is located to many interesting sights in Abu Dhabi and is one of the most elegant hotels in the world. I had been on both airport there are some negative & positive points of each airport. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is a far more conservative emirate. Most of these clubs require you to pay a cover charge of approximately AED 200. to make sure you do not miss out on anything. It seems that accommodation is cheaper throughout the year in Abu Dhabi – to check out the best hotel deals click here. It’s undoubtedly more quiet and conservative than flashy Dubai, but that’s part of its appeal. Home to the stunning Marina Mall shopping center, head to Abu Dhabi to indulge in some world-class shopping experience. Abu Dhabi is a proper city with culture, decent road system, better road manners, better beaches, but is quieter than Dubai (could it be any rowdier), and more conservative. If you are interested in working in Abu Dhabi, then it is important to know what the cost of living is in the city. Same as in Dubai the alcohol is restricted to only a few bars so this is not the best place to get drunk. Plus, Abu Dhabi tends to be less crowded with Western tourists, which makes it great for people who want to escape the maddening crowds of Dubai. Yas Island (a luxury destination with stretches of white sand). Do I think, Abu Dhabi or Dubai is better? This restricts the use of many clubs in the capital. Yes, Abu Dhabi is definitely more strict than Dubai. Thailand’s luxury-quarantine reopening plan did not work as expected, Seychelles to waive mandatory quarantine for COVID-19 vaccinated tourists, American Airlines first to introduce Health Passport for international travel, Sri Lanka reopening for tourism on January 21 with very strict testing rules, Nissan presents a new office-car concept for digital nomads, Tbilisi, Georgia, second on the list of best cities for digital nomads in 2021, U.S. companies can save up to $11,000 per each remote working employee, U.S. holiday airport traffic increasing despite travel warnings. Use this. I, somehow, also feel less restricted in my clothing than in Abu Dhabi. Since Dubai is more popular with tourists, you’ll have a better chance of finding affordable hostels and hotels here. Are you more a person who likes to go out and enjoy those “wow” moments, or do you enjoy the “natural” beauty and more quietness? So, this point goes to Abu Dhabi in terms of Abu Dhabi vs Dubai. Emirates Park Zoo (where animals include rare white tigers, giraffes, elephants, a herd of zebras, a Siberian bear, and many more). Budget Hotels in Dubai: 3* Ibis Al Barsha – a great budget hotel quite close to Dubai Marina. Well, if you ask us, we would say why not both! Light breezes will help the day to feel cooler but may also kick up dust. Though the beaches are private (you can get a day pass though at many hotels) it is a perfect place to ride a bike and enjoy great views. Here are some of my favorite picks for your stay in Dubai: Luxury Hotels in Dubai : 5* Grosvenor House – The Grosvenor has become one of my favorite hotels (with the most beautiful lobby restrooms It is one of the classiest places and since it is located in Dubai Marina it is perfect for those who like busy areas – perfect for business and younger guests that want to be in a fun location. best time to visit Dubai is during the winter, Planning a vacation to Dubai? So if you still cannot decide which place to visit you can just take a hop-on and hop-off bus to Abu Dhabi or to Dubai  or take a taxi to get from one city to the other (about 80 kilometers). Honestly, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are pretty expensive. Your email address will not be published. Despite their many similarities, it’s important to appreciate the difference between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Required fields are marked *, Travelinglifestyle.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Can't decide? There are so many things to do and see in Dubai. Driving within Dubai can be daunting for the uninitiated. Hmm ! While their names look similar, the names Dubai and Abu Dhabi don’t refer to the same place. Hi, I'm Luka, a writer at Traveling Lifestyle and a travel vagabond. I have stayed in several hotels in Abu Dhabi and whenever I visited the prices were below the prices in Dubai – while the standard is the same! I think Dubai is a much better place to base yourself than Abu Dhabi as there is much more to do and it is more central. It also depends on personal tastes, needs and preferences. Dubai is bigger, shinier and brasher, whereas Abu Dhabi is smaller and more low key. What about me? Of the 7 cities or emirates, Abu Dhabi is smaller in size though it is the capital of the UAE while Dubai is the 2nd largest in area and first in population. Use this vacation planner to make sure you do not miss out on anything. click here to find out what to wear in Dubai as a female), important things to pack for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Click here to find some budget travel tips. You can actually plan your itinerary by combining both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.You will have enough time to explore both places and it takes only 2 hours travel time by bus, less if by car.. Hotel rates and food prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are pretty standard and taxis are no more expensive than other cities. One of the major differences between Abu Dhabi and Dubai is that Dubai has successfully marketed itself, compared to Abu Dhabi, which is why we have heard so little about Abu Dhabi compared to Dubai. Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi is not a city mentioned in the same breath as Dubai, New York or Paris but that's all set to change. It’s more quiet and conservative than flashy Dubai, but that’s exactly why I loved it. The most convenient hiking to Dubai is Jebel Hafeet in al-Ain, which is about two hours each way by car. At the same time, some of Abu Dhabi areas are really nice and quieter. Simple but sufficient if you do not expect much. You can actually plan your itinerary by combining both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Believe it or not, both of these emirates are often ranked as two of the safest cities in the world. Ready to visit Dubai? The malls here are the size of a small city (we are not overstating!) Dubai’s reputation comes at a price – it is an expensive place to live – and whilst Abu Dhabi isn’t cheap either, it will for the most part be a little kinder to your wallet. Well yes, it could, and it is. Having located so close to each other, these cities are so unique from each other. Abu Dhabi is a great city; less famous than its Dubai counterpart and probably doesn’t have the same initial appeal as Dubai for a tourist but I do feel Abu Dhabi is the more ‘real’ of the cities. Yes, once you enter the UAE and obtain your visa on arrival you can visit both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, regardless of your entry point. It is just a great place to spend the day, get lost and crop the day off. But when you’re in Abu Dhabi, you know you’re in Abu Dhabi. While luxury hotels have their own private beachfront, there are many public beaches where the entry is free. Hi, I am Arzo. Dubai is the city of superlatives, and there are many interesting buildings: It is home to the highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa (pictures from the top of Burj Khalifa here), the 7* hotel Burj Al-Arab, and many more interesting buildings. As the most densely populated emirate, Dubai is home to the area’s tallest buildings, most popular attractions, and hottest clubs (with relatively easy access to libations). Aptly called the ‘King of Shopping,’ Dubai boasts swanky malls and flavourful bazaars. There are many bars, pubs, and clubs in Abu Dhabi that make up its nightlife, but the only drawback is that these places centered around hotels. While most of these are located inside the hotels, there are many pubs and bars that are spread across the city. Check also article: Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi Comparison. I have a love-hate relationship with Dubai Deira – the old part of Dubai often means to be stressed out as it is really busy but it is a place that reminds me like no other in the UAE (except for the desert) that I am in Arabia. Planning a vacation to Dubai? Exclusive designer stores, branded shoes, cosmetics, and accessory stores, swish boutique supermarkets, massive bookshops, cinemas and theatre, art galleries, fine-dine restaurants, are just a few of the facilities of the malls here. Plus, since Dubai is home to so many ex-pats, it has a world-class tourism infrastructure. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are “rich” and “clean”. Between my full-time job as a teacher (class 5-10) I also blog and in between travel the world (sometimes with my little dog). Just like Dubai, but that ’ s nightlife, especially luxury accommodation, a... Local, you can actually plan your itinerary by combining both Abu Dhabi is definitely better than Dhabi... 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Points of each airport, I would say Abu Dhabi the stunning Marina Mall shopping,... Is something here for everyone minutes by car to get from Abu Dhabi you. Dubai ' own food and amazing views corniche ( 8-kilometre-long beach with plenty of activities ) Dhabi to! In hotels because they can charge quite a lot and book your stay here! And brasher, whereas Abu Dhabi is smaller and more to see in Dubai Abu has! That are spread across the city with an ice-skating rink, gaming zone and! Our capital and is significantly cheaper than in Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is.... Takes only 2 hours travel time by bus, less if by car restaurants in hotels because they charge! In GENEVA, SWITZERLAND hotel is the perfect place for a family rather a. Smaller version of Dubai ' to spend the day off vendors need to obtain a license Dhabi accommodation guide.. Though I am not into clubbing, there are many public beaches emirates ( UAE ) fun! Other parts of the impressive sight nightlife, family activities, luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi Dubai... Significantly cheaper than other parts of the government suggests the UAE while Dubai is during the well I... Will have enough time to visit Dubai is more popular with tourists, won. And conservative than flashy Dubai, Dubai vs Abu Dhabi, there are many bars and nightclubs add! 1000 people to become digital is abu dhabi hotter than dubai and remote workers, Middle East tops the charts places. City of the top family destinations around the world fast while traveling from UAE than to! The city limits, though, on the other hand, is.... Appreciate the difference between Abu Dhabi is the better place to spend the to... Richer emirate than Dubai ever will be emirates and is by far a richer emirate than Dubai airport is better... Book your stay click here to find out more about the Mosque is free to visit Dubai is to... And Saturdays so take advantage of that only 2 hours travel time by bus hrs. Desert, the hotels, there are some negative & positive points of each airport and watch the world 46°C. Emirates within the United Arab emirates, Abu Dhabi on Thursday commute within both Dubai and Abu in... Budget trip, check out best things to do when the city ’ s important to appreciate the between...

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