Abu Dhabi is the largest Emirate city of UAE and also the capital of the country. It is here that the Government of UAE sits. All these things make Abu Dhabi an important Emirate although Dubai is more popular as a tourist destination. However, today, Abu Dhabi with its Corniche, mosques, malls and beaches, is also one of the favourite tourist destinations of people around the world. We have presented here some of the interesting things to do in Abu Dhabi.
1.Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque:
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which is also called the Grand Mosque, has been built in the memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the former ruler of Abu Dhabi. The mosque is the largest in the UAE and can hold 40,000 worshipers at one time. The best part is that it is open to non-Muslims and hence is a great way to explore the architecture and culture of the Arabs.
The Grand Mosque with its Macedonian marble, mosaic tiling, glass-work and intricate carvings reflects Islamic architecture through and through while still having a modern look. It has been built by incorporating the elements of Ottoman, Mameluke and Fatamid architecture. Apart from the marvellous architecture of the place, you would be awed by the chandeliers made of Swarovski crystals and also the largest carpet in the world that adorns the interiors of the mosque. Go for a guided tour to understand the story behind the making and construction of the place as well as that of each of the elements. Also, it is important to dress modestly while inside the mosque. For more such peaceful experiences, explore the spiritual mosques of Dubai.
2.The Abu Dhabi Corniche:
As Abu Dhabi is a protruding island on the Persian Gulf, it is a place that has some of the most amazing beaches and a marvellous skyline too. However, the real crowning glory of the place is its Corniche. It is a four mile promenade against the waterways of Abu Dhabi. It is a great place to go for an evening stroll or perhaps to ride a bike. While one on side you can admire the huge skyscrapers and buildings of the city, the other side has a beach, several cafes and restaurants, green picnic spots, etc.Get the Best Of Abu Dhabi City Sightseeing Tour Through Abu Dhabi City Tour
This is one of the best places in Abu Dhabi to spend a relaxing day either with your loved ones or even alone. You can swim in the cool waters, walk on the beach, cycle on the promenade, read a book at one of the cafes while enjoying the delicious Turkish coffee or even sit on the white sand of the beach to view the beautiful sunset. Live music shows and concerts are also organized on the Corniche. This is the one place to visit if you want to spend a peaceful evening.
A true architectural marvel of the city of Abu Dhabi is the Emirates Palace Hotel. Spanning over 100 hectares of land area, the Emirates Palace is fit for royalty. It reflects the grandeur and the opulence of UAE to the T. When you enter the palace gates, you are welcomed by lush gardens and lawns as well as the palatial structure of the hotel. The huge structure and the 114 domes it possesses are enough for you to be in awe of this place. But this is not the end of its grandeur. On the other hand, the interiors are even more grand and luxurious. With plush carpets, crystal chandeliers and gold and pearl elements, it is surely one of the glitteriest places in the world. To get inside this hotel, you would either have to book a room as a guest or visit one of the restaurants. A visit to its cafe for afternoon tea is also a great idea to enjoy the beauty and ambience of the place.
Yes, you read it right! Abu Dhabi has a separate hospital meant especially for falcon, which is the national bird of UAE. There are 200 air-conditioned units for treating birds here. As per reports, over 6000 birds are treated every year in this hospital. Other than falcons, different species of birds are also treated here. Today, this hospital is also operated as a museum where visitors can not only look at falcons and other birds but also learn about them in detail. If you are in awe of this extraordinary and elegant bird, you must surely visit this hospital and museum of falcons.
5.Dune Bashing and Desert Safari:
Just outside the city of Abu Dhabi lies a vast desert with huge sand dunes. This is the place you should go to if you want to experience the ambience of the desert. Several tour companies organize desert safaris that include dune bashing in 4×4 vehicles and camel riding on the sand dunes. Quad biking and sand boarding are two other popular activities that you can take part during the desert safari tour. You also get to watch the glory of the desert during evening time, just before the sun sets. After this, you can enjoy some entertaining activities along with a barbecue dinner in Bedouin style tents in the middle of the desert. If you are a mountain person, Dubai has got you covered with Hatta Mountain Safari.
6.Abu Dhabi Heritage Village:
When visiting a new place, it is important to learn about its history and culture. This would help you to understand more about the people as well as its growth and development. The best place for this in Abu Dhabi is the Heritage Village. Located near a beach area, this place replicates the look and feel of Arabic life before the oil boom. The Abu Dhabi Heritage Village has been designed to replicate the Bedouin encampment and the life of the Arabs in the past. There are displays of traditional daily life objects as well as information on pearl diving and agriculture which were the two main occupations of the region. As this village is near a beach area, it is the perfect place to stroll or just sit after you have looked at all the exhibits.
7.Emirates National Auto Museum:
Imagine a place where more than 200 customized vintage cars are displayed. Wouldn’t that be awesome? However, you do not have to really imagine this as such a place exists in Abu Dhabi. While it is a little away from the city, it is a must visit place if you love cars. This auto museum displays the cars possessed by Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. The cars displayed here are those that were manufactured between 1950 and 1990. The Emirates National Auto Museum is one of a kind and hence should be visited, especially if you love automobiles.
If you follow F1 racing ardently, this is one place you must definitely visit when in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, if you love speed, you would enjoy this place as it possesses some of the fastest roller coasters and rides of the world. Among all the rides, the most prestigious one is the Formula Rossa which runs at the speed of 240 km/per hour. There are several more rides that the adventurist in you would love. So if you want to spend an entire with your adrenaline on high speed, Ferrari World in Abu-Dhabi is the ideal place to go to. If you are up to it, you should also visit the Yas Water World just next to it.
9.Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum:
If you have ever been to Abu Dhabi or anywhere in the UAE, you would know how revered Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is. He was the first President of the UAE, and the person who took efforts to bring the seven emirate cities together to form a country. If you are interested to know about him and his life, the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum is a place you must visit. Located in Al Ain Oasis, the Palace Museum is the former residence of the Sheikh and his family. You would get to know more about the life of the person, who is considered as the father of the nation, while strolling along the gardens, sleeping quarters, courtyards and meeting rooms of the magnificent palace.
Close to Ferrari World on Yas Island is Yas Waterworld, one of the best water parks in the UAE. Apart from its thrilling rides, slides and attractions, one of the best highlights of the park is its Emirati-theme, based on the story of Dana and her journey of retrieving a lost pearl. The park is spread around 15 hectares of area and has over 40 slides, rides and attractions. Yas Waterworld is divided into four zones, which are Exciting Adventures, Adrenaline Rush, Young Fun and Moving & Groving, ensuring that everyone has something fun to enjoy. Some of the slides and rides that you should not miss here include Hamlool’s Humps, Jebel Drop, Dawwama, Sebag, Yehal, Falcon’s Fajal, etc. Also, do not miss the water cinema, where you can see 12 minutes movie, ‘Legend of the Lost Pearl’.
11.Louvre Abu Dhabi:
If you are an art lover, you can experience the magic of Louvre Paris, right at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. This is the most spectacular museum not just in the UAE but also in the whole of Middle East. Located in Saadiyat Island, the contemporary architecture of Louvre Museum, with its beautiful silver dome, would undoubtedly blow your mind. However, there is no comparison to the art pieces that are displayed inside the various galleries of the museum. Al Louvre Abu Dhabi, you would get to see art works from the Neolithic age to the present one. Along with the works of the world-famous artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Chagall, etc. you would also get to see the modern art works of up and coming artists. While Louvre Abu Dhabi is home to a vast permanent collection spread along 12 galleries, the museum also hosts several amazing temporary exhibits from time to time.
12.Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi:
One of the largest indoor amusement parks in the world is located in Abu Dhabi. Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is, in fact, Warner Bros’ first indoor theme park in the world. This theme park has six immersive zones or lands and 29 thrilling rides, attractions and shows. Every zone, attraction, ride and show is based on the movies and shows produced by Warner Bros., some of which include Bedrock, Gotham City, Dynamite Gulch, Metropolis, Cartoon Junction, etc. You would also get the chance to meet your favourite characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, batman, Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry, and Bugs Bunny. Warner Bros. World is the perfect place for families with little kids and teenagers.
13.Observation Deck at 300:
If you want to have the best bird’s eye view of Abu Dhabi, Observation Deck at 300 is the place you have to be. The observation deck is located on the 74th floor of Tower 2 of Abu Dhabi’s famous Etihad Towers. It is the highest observation deck in the city. In short, there is no better place in Abu Dhabi that gives such an amazing, complete view of the city. However, Observation Deck at 300 is more than the view it offers. On the other hand, it is attached to a cafe that is most popular for its delicious afternoon tea. Here, you can enjoy teas of different blends, coffees and mocktails along with a variety of savoury and sweet dishes. Here you can sip your favourite drink while enjoying the view of the city.
14.Emirates Park Zoo:
Emirates Park Zoo is the first private zoo in the UAE and houses around 1700 animals. Around 30 minutes drive from the main city of Abu Dhabi, Emirates Park Zoo gives a unique experience to the visitors, and is especially loved by children. The zoo is home to 2 white tigers, a Siberian bear, different monkey species, elephants, giraffes, etc. There is also a flamingo park as well as a sea lion enclosure. Apart from these unique species, you would also find several breeds of domestic animals here, who you can touch and feed. If you want to give a twist to your visit to the Emirates Park Zoo, book yourself at the adjoining resort, where there are air-conditioned rooms with balconies that face the park as well as the gardens. Kids will love to explore more such nature reserves like Dubai Safari Park.
If shopping in Abu Dhabi is on your itinerary, you must visit Marina Mall, one of the biggest malls in the city. This high-end mall is spread around an area of 122,000 square meters and has 400 retail stores, making shopping an exciting experience. Apart from this, you would find an amusement center, a movie theatre, a bowling alley and an ice rink at the Marina Mall. There are also several restaurants and cafes at the food court of the mall. In other words, Marina Mall is a great place to hang out and spend time with your family and friends. Apart from all this, Marina Mall has its own observation deck, which would give you a panoramic view of the city including the Persian Gulf.
There is no dearth of amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi, although it is not as popular as its neighbouring Dubai. What makes Abu Dhabi one of the best places to spend your holiday is that it offers the perfect amalgamation of traditional and modern attractions. The city comes alive during festivals, and there are numerous places to visit in and near Abu Dhabi in Eid.
Some other things to do in Abu Dhabi include visiting the Observation Deck to get an aerial view of Abu Dhabi, going to the Emirates Park Zoo, taking a tour of the Arabian Wild Life Park, etc. There are also various luxurious malls where you can shop, eat and have loads of fun. With so many things to do and places to see in Abu Dhabi, it would definitely be a trip you would always remember.
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