Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is a perfect mix of culture, adventure, luxury, and warmth. Filled with exciting experiences and activities, there are a lot of places to visit in Abu Dhabi. Visitors from all around the world come to Abu Dhabi to get a feel of Arabian hospitality and culture. The city is a bustling center of government and business, and at the same time has a laid-back feel that lets tourists enjoy its sights and sounds with ease.
In this article, which is also a travel guide, here are some of the top places in Abu Dhabi that’s worth visiting. So let’s now take a roller coaster ride to this amazing destination:
Three Abu Dhabi Attractions You Should Not Miss Out
- The Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque – The Shaikh Zayed Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for 40,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24-carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing twelve tonnes.
The mosque’s first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site. This beautiful landmark took 20 long years to be built. You can find glass work, mosaic tiling, and carvings, all of which are intricately woven together.
- Observation Deck at 300 – It is a joy to experience the illuminated city of Abu Dhabi from the observation deck on the 74th floor of the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel. The observation deck is one of the most attractive places to visit in Abu Dhabi and the purpose is to let you revel in the skyline views from the highest point in the city. There is an entry fee for the hotel’s non-guests though the ticket price can be redeemed at the restaurant at the deck, which serves light bites, drinks, and high-tea. Imagine the bliss of sipping on a hot cup of tea with the city spread out before you. Without a second thought, the Observation Deck is a must inclusion in your Abu Dhabi tour itinerary.
- The Liwa Oasis – Your trip to Abu Dhabi remains incomplete without a signature desert visit to the Liwa Oasis, located 150 kms southwest of the city. This Oasis settlement is beautiful enough to take your breath away. With one of largest sand dunes in the world right on the outskirts, the oasis settlement is famous for date farming. If you have a craving to ride the dune buggies, try sand surfing or go camel trekking because you are in UAE, this place will keep you coming back for more.
Three Abu Dhabi Sightseeing Spots to Enrich Your Travel Bucket
The Heritage Village – A close and authentic replica of a typical Bedouin Village, Abu Dhabi’s Heritage Village promises you an insight into the Emirati life before modernization set in. Located in a serene and pleasant beach area, you can find traditional day-to-day objects used by the Emiratis. Find yourself in one of these workshops and watch craftsmen demonstrate Emirati metalwork and weaving skills. The displays include a sneak peek into the local agriculture and the pearl diving trade that dominated the economy before the famous oil discovery was made.
- The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital – Done with a customary picture on the desert with a falcon on your shoulder? Now, rekindle your interest in the Falcons with a visit to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital that, apart from being a functional veterinary hospital for ill and injured falcons, offers guided tours exhibiting its facilities and features. Delve deeper into the history of falconry through an on-site museum tour and get up close and personal with this beautiful creature in this important place to visit in Abu Dhabi.
- The Mangrove Kayaking Tours – If you want to see a different aspect of Abu Dhabi, make it a point to book the Mangrove Kayaking Tours that allows you to understand the essential ecology of mangroves while also exploring the beautiful last remnants of the city’s forests.
Want some special experience to cherish for a long time? Go for the night tours and behold the mangroves as they glide through the waters amidst the darkness all around.
Four Abu Dhabi Tourist Places for the Explorer in You
- The Yas Water World – Water bodies, islands and the ocean itself have a significant role to play in making Abu Dhabi, the beauty that it is. Amidst your city tour, when the heat compels you to take some rest, head off to the Yas Island, one of the most important places to visit in Abu Dhabi and find yourself in a huge theme park with an inner-tube river ride. The Yas Waterworld hosts the world’s first ever hydro-magnetic tornado water rafting ride and the world’s largest surfable sheet wave along with the Jebel Drop, which is a super-exciting free-fall speed water slide. Already feeling an Adrenaline rush, too much to handle? Well, there are cafes, restaurants, and shops to let you relax as well. The dedicated water play area makes it a destination worth visiting with families including elders and children.
- The Ferrari World – Do you have a passion for adventure and look forward to all things thrilling wherever you go? Well, Abu Dhabi will certainly not disappoint you because it is home to one of the most exciting branded theme parks from around the world, which is also one of the most popular places to visit in Abu Dhabi. The Ferrari World brings the Formula One racing thrill for you and your family to spend an amazing time.
Even children can try out their skills on the Junior GT track while the expert in you buckle up for riding the Flying Aces rollercoaster, clocking up to a speed of 120 Km/hr on a 52-meter loop. For all the Ferrari enthusiasts out there, there’s also a collection of old models of Ferrari cars, a factory tour and some knowledge games for fun.
The Boat Tours – Nothing can possibly give you a better view of the glittering skyscrapers of the city than the boat tours that keep you excited throughout, right from the time of drifting out from the marina. The Island hopping tours and the sunset cruises are the two most popular boat tours that you must take to realize the meaning of life. The scenery of the city lights getting illuminated with the dusk setting over the city might actually sparkle the poet inside you. The boat tours offer great evening activity and are must when you are in Abu Dhabi.
The Emirates Park Zoo – If you have little ones in the group, then a visit to the Emirates Park Zoo is mandatory. This wildlife park has a host of animals including that of a Siberian bear. Now, isn’t that interesting. The petting zoo area of the park allows children to touch and feed domestic breeds of animals too, making it one of the most fun places to visit in Abu Dhabi.
Two Abu Dhabi Points of Interest for the Historically Inclined Travellers
The Saadiyat Cultural District – The Saadiyat Island is emerging to be the cultural centre of Abu Dhabi in the years to come. The district, as one of the notable points of interest in the city, is all set to turn Abu Dhabi into an artistic and cultural hub of the entire UAE. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and the Zayed National Museum are all being constructed and developed in full swing. At present, you can visit the Saadiyat Cultural District to check out the UAE Pavilion, a culture centre
with three galleries and the art exhibitions of the Manarat al Saadiyat. There’s also an exhibition space about the Saadiyat Island itself and a restaurant to satiate your taste bud after a cultural overdose.
The Qasr Al-Hosn – The Qasr Al-Hosn or the Old Fort or White Fort is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. As a major historical point of interest, it gives you an insight into the history and culture of Abu Dhabi. Treat your eyes to the magnificent courtyard and tile work over the main northern gate and relive the age-old traditions through plenty of oral histories and historical photographs. The palace was built as the residence of the ruling family and the seat of government back in 1793.
A Few Tips and Insights
While your travel bucket is filled with all the above-mentioned places and attractions and more, here is a list of some tips to make your trip to Abu Dhabi even more exciting:
The best time to travel is from November to March as the weather is not too hot and it is also the time for several festivals and outdoor activities.
The four major means of transportation in the city are taxi, bus, rental car and private car. There is a good network of roads and while travelling in rental cars, you need not be worried about traffic jams at any time of the day.
The city code is 02, the calling code is 971 and by dialling 999, you can directly reach the police should you have anything to complain.
The city is generally safe for all. However, it is always advisable to take some general precautions and avoid travelling very late at night.
Smoking is strictly banned in all public places in the whole of the city so, beware.
So, all set to head off to this beautiful city in UAE and reach out to all the important places to visit in Abu Dhabi? Go ahead and make memories to cherish for a lifetime.