Abu Dhabi is often referred to as the second-best place to visit in the UAE after Dubai. The capital emirate of the UAE is much more culturally infused and tranquil than Dubai and has strived to break out of Dubai’s shadow to showcase itself as a destination in its own right. It has created some of the most mind-boggling modern attractions that make visitors from all over the world marvel at them. For a UAE vacation, check out this list of places and things to do in and around for a memorable Arabian vacation.
16 Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi
1: Ferrari World
In November 2010, the world’s first Ferrari-themed entertainment and adventure park debuted in Abu Dhabi, and it became the ultimate draw for sports car fanatics, family vacationers, and Formula 1 fans. Visitors and locals alike are welcome to enjoy an amazing day of fun and excitement at the one-of-a-kind indoor attraction, which has a variety of mind-blowing rides and thrills for all ages.
For the ultimate adrenaline rush, take a ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster – Formula Rossa which zooms to a speed of 240 km/h in less than a minute. The park also has mild speed rides suited for young children and multi-user thrills that grownups can enjoy with their kids. Ferrari World is located at Yas Island and is operational Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12 pm to 8 pm. A Single-day ticket costs around AED 295 per person and AED 230 per child.
2: Al Reem Island
Al Reem Island Abu Dhabi is a man-made island in the Persian Gulf that is part of the Emirate. The island is connected to the mainland by the Abu Dhabi Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge. It is located north of the capital city of Abu Dhabi, on the other side of the Abu Dhabi Creek.
Many things can be found in Al Reem Island. It is about one kilometer away from Abu Dhabi City and it has a lot of restaurants, shops, and other attractions.
Al Reem Island has a number of buildings, including a government hospital, schools, a mosque, and a shopping mall. It is also home to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, which hosts many events every year. The island is home to a lot of recreational areas for people to go swimming and boating.
3: Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum is a landmark attraction in the emirate and a true architectural modern masterpiece. This fascinating attraction should be on everyone’s Abu Dhabi things-to-do list because it is the first Louvre museum outside of France. Louvre Abu Dhabi is a recently constructed iconic landmark with a dome of intricately crafted metalwork that adorns the cityscape.
Through the play of shadow and sunrays, this mesh-like canopy depicts the feeling of wandering beneath the shade of clustered trees filtering the sunlight through their branches. Throughout the museum, exhibitions and galleries celebrate both Eastern and Western art. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6.30 pm. Admission Cost is approx. AED 60 per person.
4: Take A Spin In An Eco-Donut Boat
Eastern Mangroves Promenade is a lesser-known attraction for tourists. A cluster of Eco-Donut Boats that you may drive alone can be found right off the major route to Dubai on the north side of the city. The small solar-powered round boats could be rented for an hour or longer and can accommodate up to six persons. Navigate your way through the flora and fauna mangroves and have a BYO lunch or supper — it’s the ideal place to spend time or evening outdoors.
Be aware of sea snakes, flamingos, turtles, and foxes, and give yourself plenty of time to locate parking, since it can get extremely crowded, especially on weekends (Fridays and Saturdays).
5: Abu Dhabi Corniche
Abu Dhabi is also, known for its beautiful Corniche, which is a promenade along the shores of the Persian Gulf. The Corniche is a beautiful place for visitors to relax in. It is a great place to take photographs and have fun. It has been made in such a way that even little children will love it. This place offers some amazing views of the waves. It is a popular place in the city as many people go there for fun and relaxation.
6: Yas Water World
At Yas Waterworld, you can cool off, have fun, and beat the heat in Abu Dhabi with over 40 water rides that are sure to give you an adrenaline rush. Some of the best adventure water rides to check out are Bubbles Barrel – the world’s largest sheet wave zone, Bandit Bomber – the world’s first-ever suspended water rollercoaster, and Falcon Falaj – a six-seat giant water slide. Dedicated zones with exciting mini rides and water slides are perfect for kids to splash around and have a fun time. Located on Yas Island, this fascinating water park is open from Saturdays to Wednesdays from 10 am to 8 pm. Thursdays are exclusively for ladies from 12 pm till 9 pm.
7: Saadiyat Beach
One of the most incredible experiences in the UAE is strolling on Abu Dhabi’s white sandy beaches, as well as taking in the turquoise gulf water views. Saadiyat Beach is a well-known beach and a favored destination for locals and tourists alike searching for a sense of serenity and relaxation from the hustle and bustle of daily life in Abu Dhabi. Take advantage of the sun, splash in the water, and have fun with some water sports adventures at Saadiyat Beach on an Abu Dhabi trip.
8: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is arguably the most iconic cultural attraction to visit in the emirate. Featuring a glistening white and gold facade, it is one of the most magnificent mosques in the world. Over 1000 columns and 82 marble domes make up the grand mosque’s stunning architecture. The interiors feature crystal chandeliers, semi-precious stones, and the world’s largest handloom carpet. This masterpiece of Islamic architecture is one of the few mosques that allow access to Non -Islamic visitors. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located at Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, 5th St – Abu Dhabi. It stays open from 9 am to 10 pm from Saturdays to Thursdays. On Fridays, it is operational from 3 pm till 10 pm. Another great reason to visit this colossal mosque is that it is free of cost to visit and hence can be easily included along with an Abu Dhabi City Tour.
9: Yas Mall
An exquisite and modern shopping mall, Yas Mall is a one-stop destination perfect to strike off everything you desire on your Abu Dhabi holiday shopping list. Combined with dining and entertainment under one roof, Yas Mall offers visitors an exhilarating shopping and recreational experience. Located on Yas Island, it is Abu Dhabi’s largest shopping complex. For shoppers, Yas Mall boasts 370 international brands and shops. The mall is not just about shopping, it is also one of the best spots to treat your taste buds to culinary delights from over 90 restaurants, cafes, and bistros.
10: Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is a fun adventure land teeming with rides and entertainment revolving around Justice League superheroes, and your favorite childhood cartoon characters. This indoor theme park attraction blends adventure and thrill with Warner Bros. entertainment in 6 unique zones that offer exhilarating rides and recreational activities for all ages to enjoy. Located at Yas Island, the theme park operates Sundays to Thursdays from 12 pm to 8 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 8 pm. Entry ticket is priced at approx. AED 295 per person and AED 230 per child.
11: Qasr Al Hosn
Back in the 1700s, Qasr Al Hosn served as a watchtower to guard the coastal trade. It was later converted into a fascinating Emirati museum displaying rich culture and art. This attraction, considered to be Abu Dhabi’s oldest structure, provides a glimpse into Abu Dhabi’s journey through time and is an important cultural landmark in Abu Dhabi. The annual Qasr Al Hosn Festival presents a variety of Emirati craftsmanship and traditional folklore. Qasr Al Hosn is located on Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street in Al Hosn. It is open from 9 am to 7 pm on Sundays through Thursdays, and from 12 pm to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission ticket costs approx. AED 30 per person and AED 15 per child.
12: Al-Ain oasis
Tagged as ‘the Garden city of Abu Dhabi’, a trip to Al Ain is refreshing as this oasis city cocooned within Abu Dhabi presents a fusion of natural, modern, and cultural elements of the emirate. This oasis is located east of the city and is one of the most amazing places you will ever go to. There are many things that you can do in the oasis such as hiking, camel riding, horseback riding, enjoying the fresh air, etc.
The Al Ain Oasis is also home to many different restaurants that have authentic Arabian and international cuisine. Many people visit the oasis to enjoy the tranquility of the desert, while others do so to see some of the more exotic animals such as camels, ostriches, and golden eagles.
13: Abu Dhabi Hot Air Balloon Ride
Abu Dhabi is an amazing city that is known for its unique tourist attractions. One of the most popular is the Hot Air Balloon Ride, which is a great opportunity to see the city from above and soak in the beautiful scenery. The ride starts at the Zayed Heritage Center, which is at the heart of the old city. It’s a great way to experience Abu Dhabi from a different perspective. On this hot air balloon ride, you will fly over Abu Dhabi and its famous landmarks including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Al-Shahaniyah Island, Yas Island, Khalifa Port, the Corniche, Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Corniche, the Sheikh Zayed Road, the Abu Dhabi Mall, the Mina Zayed Mosque, the Saadiyat Island.
14: Abu Dhabi Desert Safari and Camps
A UAE vacation is incomplete without exploring its Arabian deserts. Experience the turquoise and pink deserts of Abu Dhabi while riding camels or exploring on horseback. During an Abu Dhabi desert safari, you get the opportunity to enjoy desert adventure sports and wildlife experiences such as camel riding and falconry shows.
The desert landscape is also perfect for Bedouin-style evening experiences such as traditional barbeque dinners and Arabian entertainment. If you desire a truly unique experience in the desert, stay in an opulent Bedouin-styled desert camp that offers comfortable accommodations amid bewitching settings.
15: Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi
The Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi is a motorsport race track in Abu Dhabi. It is the first purpose-built Formula One racing circuit in the Middle East. The track is located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was designed by Hermann Tilke and constructed by the German company Bilfinger Berger. The circuit was inaugurated on November 25, 2009, with the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The track has a capacity of 120,000 spectators.
16: Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is an orphanage for falcons. It was established in 1999 by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and his wife Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. The Falcon Hospital is a licensed wildlife park and rescue center for falcons. The hospital provides veterinarians to take care of injured birds and rehabilitate them and also researches the diseases that affect raptors. It houses around 300 falcons of various species and breeds. Located near the Abu Dhabi International Airport, (Location Map) The hospital is open to the public every day except Fridays.
There are countless things to do in Abu Dhabi and we can’t mention them all here. What we will say is this: Abu Dhabi is a city of discovery, whether it’s nightlife, food, or culture. Each corner you turn, there is something you didn’t know about.
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