Top 10 Things to do in Abu Dhabi
Your desert adventure awaits you.
We welcome you to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. Some say it’s over the top, others say that it’s just simply the UAE way. Overwhelming with endless options of adventure, Abu Dhabi offers everything from a pristine coastline to a bustling city with enormous skylines that are encased in a sweeping desert comprised of meticulous sand dunes.
Taking above and beyond to the new extreme, Abu Dhabi showcases an array of adventurous activities for travellers by mixing it in with towers, shopping megacentres, white-marble furnishings and crystal chandeliers that are nearly as big as a house. Somehow, however, it encapsulates the true Arabian culture both day and night.
Here, we’ve listed the top 10 things to do in Abu Dhabi:
Dine in the Desert
It’s not often that you’ll get to say that you’ve dined in the desert. Thanks to Arabian Adventures, you’ll be able to enjoy a range of traditional Arabian eats with a spectacular backdrop of rolling sand dunes. Available from breakfast through to dinner, a dine in the desert is the perfect option for travellers wishing to reconnect with the great outdoors and experience a true Arabian night. Guests can expect an assortment of meaty grills and classic fresh mezze including hummus and kibbeh, all in the comfort of couches and a campfire.
Emirates Palace Spa
If a 24-karat gold facial interests you, then the Emirates Palace is most certainly the place to make you feel like a king or queen. Sitting on 85 hectares of meticulously kept gardens, Emirates Palace is one of Abu Dhabi’s five-star luxury hotels that boasts premium service, outstanding views and of course, their world-renowned spa. It has been designed using a range of natural health beliefs and ancient philosophy to create a revitalizing journey. Visitors needing a pamper can choose between their Signature Palace Escape, Royal Massage Therapies, facials, Hamman Rituals and many more.
It’s only in the United Arab Emirates that you’ll find a dedicated Falcon Hospital. In Abu Dhabi, visitors are able to explore the hospital and gaze at the mighty falcon – an important and traditional animal of the Gulf culture. Tours of Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Hospital include entry into the museum, a look at the examination room and the free-flight aviary. Of course, for those up for the thrill, well-behaved falcons may even land for a photograph.
If fast cars, high speed rollercoasters and a go-karting academy interests you, then we have finally found your calling. Ferrari World is one of the world’s largest indoor amusements parks found on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Featuring endless shopping options, dining halls, a cinema, live shows, a go-karting track, a real-life experience behind the wheel and even the world’s fastest rollercoaster that reaches 240km in 4.9 seconds – it’s all here and it’s all very real at Ferrari World. Here, you’re the stallion.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Opening its doors in November 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most prestigious art galleries – almost on par to the Louvre Paris. With a focus on art and civilization artefacts, guests will be enlightened by the array of work showcased; all celebrating the universal creativity of mankind, inviting guests to see and experience humanity in a new light. Current exhibitions include The First Great Powers that showcases the funeral set of princess Henuttawy, The First Villages and Universal Religions which includes a leaf from the blue Qur’an.
If you’re a shopaholic, we have finally found the one destination where you can shop until you drop (quite literally). Opening its doors in 2001, Marina Mall is one of Abu Dhabi’s biggest and most prestige shopping centres within the city. With over five levels, shoppers will be amazed with the grandeur of Marina Mall, to say the least. Covering 1.3 million square feet, there are over 400 retail outlets including Gucci, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent to name a few. Oh and did we mention, there’s also a bowling alley, a revolving restaurant and even an observation tower with some of the best views of the city?
Moreeb Dunes Liwa
Under three hours from Abu Dhabi’s CBD, travellers will find a precinct called Liwa in the UAE. Notable for its spectacular sand dunes that tower over each other, a visit to Liwa is not complete without sand-duneing your way through these miraculous creations. Whether you’re a first-timer, a beginner or more advanced when tackling sand dunes, the Moreeb Dunes will certainly have something for your taste. As for thrill seekers, some of the worlds’ tallest dunes soaring almost 300 metres high can be found here.
Observation Deck at 300
They say that the best view is always from up top, which is exactly where you need to experience the best views of Abu Dhabi. Travelling up to the 74th floor to Jumeirah Hotel’s Observation Deck 300, guests will find a jaw-dropping, 360-degree, magical view of Abu Dhabi’s incredible skyline as well as front-row seats to view the Persian Gulf. A trip to 300 is perfect to pair with their delectable afternoon tea which includes an exquisite combination of savoury to sweet options.
Sheikh Zayeeh Grand Mosque
Grand is an understatement. Found in the heart of Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most prestigious, majestic, meticulous and overall impressive centres: the Sheikh Zayeeh Grand Mosque. Opening in 2007 after an almost $545 million construction, today, the grand mosque is the largest in the country and sees up to 41,000 visitors daily which includes travellers and those visiting for worship and daily prayers. With meticulous gardens, visitors will most certainly be amazed by the 80 domes, 1000 pillars and the staggering 90,000 tonnes of pure white marble.
We welcome you to Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s highlight to say the least. A trip to Yas Island will shortly turn into a holiday or getaway in itself. If you’re looking for a waterworld, theme parks, critically acclaimed accommodation, a golf course, a beach, a shopping mall, endless dining options, a marina, a Formula 1 racetrack and Abu Dhabi’s biggest nightclub, you’ll find all of that and more on Yas Island. There’s no doubt that the United Arab Emirates goes above and beyond, on Yas Island they go bigger and better.