Whereas Dubai is a destination that is all about pleasure, Abu Dhabi is slowly establishing itself as a cultural alternative. A US$200 million Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, is scheduled to open in 2011 and the city is keen to position itself as elegant and innovative. Lifestyle (Centrepoint, Marina Breakwater, tel: 971 2 681 284; www.lifestylegulf.com ) stocks a good range of accessories and soft furnishings, such as distinctly Eastern cushions in spicy colours and exotic patterns. At the more luxurious end of the market is Q Home Decor (Liwa Centre, Hamdan Street, tel: 971 2 632 8844; www.unique-style.com ). A long curved table in charcoal and chairs finished with light beige upholstery are sleek pieces that manage to look good without compromising on comfort. And just to reassure you that the region's reputation for glamour has not been lost, there is a rich black coffee table topped with a gold-leaf style glaze. All prices are on application. Both of the above showcase a modern Abu Dhabi but the souks are still going strong, with the one in Al Meena being particularly good when it comes to carpets. If you don't have the time to rummage, you may be drawn to The One Planet (tel: 971 2 644 8100; www.theoneplanet.com ). Situated within the Abu Dhabi Mall, it's a one-stop shop for trendy items, with branches throughout the Middle East. Its Z-shaped stool (left; 486.50 dirham/HK$1,000) could double as a night table and the six-drawer cabinet (4,495 dirham) is a modern twist on an old favourite. It would look good teamed with the walnut cubic sofa (3,950 dirham) from Pan Emirates (Abu Dhabi Mall, Tourist Club Area, tel: 971 2 644 4790; www.panemirates.com ), where you'll also find a curved white lamp (119 dirham) that will light up your home in style. Easier ways to add some luxe to your apartment come courtesy of Descamps (Abu Dhabi Mall, tel: 971 2 645 2246; www.descamps.co.uk ). Its quality linens allow you to stay cool or provide warmth when the nights are chilly. The multicoloured blanket in pure wool (far left; 830 dirham) can also be used as a bedspread and the rich purple throw (925 dirham) has enough colour to brighten up the palest of rooms.