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Dubai and Abu Dhabi, trying to figure it out

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Okay, so here's the deal.... I arrive in Dubai on May 15 by cruise ship. I figure I may as well stay a few days since the likelihood of returning there is quite slim. Then I was thinking that Abu Dhabi was interesting sounding so may as well check that out as well and that's when my eyes start glazing over.

I am not interested in a big fancy hotel unless I get the deal of the century so do I make a bid on Priceline? Which area would be best for sightseeing. I don't care about the beach or laying around in the sun since I will do plenty of that on the cruise I was thinking I should rent a car after a few days and drive to Abu Dhabi. Is a one way rental possible or just too prohibitive costwise? I will have to fly home (Florida) using miles, either American or US Air partner and want to stopover in London for a few days. Are Dubai and Abu Dhabi considered equally easy to fly from or would it just be better to drive back to Dubai and fly from there?

Any input is welcome. It's all new to me. I am traveling solo.
Thanks for reading this. I hope it is coherent.

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