Whether you are traveling solo, as a couple, with friends or with family, Abu Dhabi has heaps of amazing sights and attractions for visitors. You are more likely to run out of time than out of things to do, see and explore. Yalla!
From palaces, mosques, museums and forts to mangroves, deserts, oases and parks, there are bountiful options to choose from when it comes to attractions in Abu Dhabi. Not to mention the incredible theme parks, adventure parks and water parks.
With the Emirate being blessed with year-round sunny weather, most activities are outdoors. If you have decided, against all logic, to visit during the scorching hot summer months, there are still many indoor places to go such as theme parks, museums, cinemas and malls, which are all delightfully airconditioned for your comfort. Alternatively, put sunscreen on and go for an adrenaline rush in a cool waterpark. It’s honestly so much fun, and you don’t need to have kids to go. Some of the water rides are decidedly bloodcurdling and probably best suited for adults.
What should be on your list to explore?
Whether you are religious or not, the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an absolute marvel of a site and you should seize the opportunity to visit such a breathtakingly beautiful and serene space. Another must is a stroll along the Corniche and a visit to Emirates Palace. Also, you should definitely go island hopping. YAS island has a whole host of activities such as Ferrari World, Warners Bros World and YAS Waterworld as well as Yas Marina Circuit where you can try go-karting or test your limits at over 200km/hour in an Aston Martin GT4. Saadiyat is another island well worth visiting with pristine beaches and, of course, the magnificent Louvre Abu Dhabi. If you have the time, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the oasis town of Al Ain.
The Arabian Gulf
The calm blue waters of the Arabian Gulf are a pivotal part of Abu Dhabi’s attractions. Few cities in the world offer the combination of sea and city. You can just float in the clear, warm sea with the spectacular cityscape as a backdrop, do some leisurely kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). If you feel like stepping up the thrill factor, try some of the many available water sports such as jet ski, jet boat rides, wakeboarding or parasailing. If you are feeling really adventurous, why not try a hydro-powered flyboard, a water jetpack or a Jetovator watercraft?
Parks in and around Abu Dhabi
Umm al Emarat Park in downtown Abu Dhabi is a beautiful park with sprawling green lawns, date palms and winding walkways. The park features an indoor Botanic Garden, the Wisdom Garden, the Animal Barn petting zoo and the Children’s Garden, as well as a Shade House with viewing platforms. On Saturdays, the park is home to The Ripe Market selling fresh organic and local produce, and year-round, the amphitheater hosts events such as outdoor cinemas and concerts.
Reem Central Park is a large public space in the heart of the city with contemporary art installations, dancing fountains and serene waterways, dotted all around the park. Locals and visitors from all over the world meet here to relax on the grass, play at the skate park and playgrounds, and grab a bite from the restaurants and food trucks.
Jubail Mangrove Park is a sanctuary for avian and marine species native to Abu Dhabi. Birdwatchers, nature-lovers and photographers will be in their element here. A maze of elevated boardwalks allows you to wander through the mangroves and discover an array of wildlife such as turtles, herons, gazelles and more. This family-friendly park aims to enhance awareness of the important ecological function of the city’s mangrove habitats.