x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Latest invaders are business travellers

Europe's oil capital is more used to welcoming business travellers than tourists.

The Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeen.
The Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeen.

It is fair to say that Aberdeen is unlikely to appear on any of the world's top holiday destination lists.

Tucked away in the chilly north-east corner of Scotland, Europe's oil capital is more used to welcoming business travellers than tourists.

But there is still plenty to see in and around the city for executives with a few hours or days to spare.

Footdee, the old fishing village, is worth a walk around. Situated at the mouth of the harbour and organised into squares, its tiny terraced houses have changed little in more than 200 years.

A 10-minute drive from there will take you to the University of Aberdeen campus in Old Aberdeen, which features some of the city's finest architecture.

Anyone with an afternoon to spare should visit the cliff-top fortress Dunnottar Castle, near Aberdeen. It played host to both Sir William Wallace and Mary, Queen of Scots, but most famously held out against Oliver Cromwell's army for eight months, saving the Scottish crown jewels from destruction.

If you find yourself with a free day, take a trip out to Royal Deeside, where you will find quaint old villages such as Braemar, near Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish home.

Executives love to play golf, and the city and surrounding area has no shortage of top courses.

Founded in 1780, Royal Aberdeen is the sixth-oldest golf club in the world and will this year host the Walker Cup, in which the best US amateurs take on those from the UK and Ireland. A short drive from Aberdeen, workers are helping to create the US tycoon Donald Trump's £750 million (Dh4.42 billion) golf resort, which predictably he promises will be the "world's greatest".

The project was nearly bunkered after local councillors rejected the scheme, but the Scottish government promptly called in the application and later approved the plans.

The course is due to open next year, but the complex featuring luxury villas and a five-star hotel has been postponed because of the financial crisis.