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5 Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi: Feel the Luxury

Abu Dhabi skyline with skyscrapers in the sun set
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, UAE's capital, blends modern skyscrapers with traditional glamour. The stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which provides unparalleled excitement as one of the world's biggest indoor theme parks, are some of the top attractions in the city. You can also explore Al Ain, a picturesque town in Abu Dhabi's Eastern area, and conclude your day with a delightful walk along the Corniche.This guide will navigate you through the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi, from the modern marvels to the timeless traditions.

Road leading to the Jebel Hafeet mountain in Al Ain
Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi

How to Reach Abu Dhabi: A Traveller’s Guide

Abu Dhabi, where golden dunes meet towering skyscrapers, offers adventure and cultural exploration. Visiting the capital is an excellent opportunity to observe the architectural wonders and follow the ancient trails of the Bedouins. You will also find modern highways leading directly to the city's skyline. 

By Air

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the main gateway, connecting major airlines worldwide. Luxurious options like Etihad Airways offer a first-class experience.

  • From Airport to City: In Abu Dhabi, consider renting a car, hailing a taxi, or utilising hotel shuttle services to get to your hotel.

By Road

Road trips from neighbouring emirates like Dubai are convenient. Taxis and car rentals are also readily available.

  • Ensure your car is in good condition, pack necessary items such as water and snacks, and be aware of the driving rules in the area.

  • Always follow the posted speed limits. Speeding fines in Abu Dhabi are hefty and can quickly add up. (Urban areas: 40 km/h to 60 km/h - Highways: 80 km/h to 140 km/h) 

  • Do be wary of radar traps. These are frequently used on major roads to catch drivers exceeding the speed limit.

  • Be aware of the Salik system, an automated toll system used on several major roads in the UAE, including some in Abu Dhabi. A small fee is automatically deducted from your prepaid Salik account or linked credit card when driving through a Salik gate.

Best Time to Visit Abu Dhabi - Plan in Advance

  • October to April: Escape the summer heat and enjoy pleasant temperatures, ideal for outdoor activities.

  • Ramadan Month: Discover the Emirati culture during Ramadan, but be mindful that the opening hours of different businesses and tourist attractions may vary during the month. 

  • Festivals: Vibrant events like the Abu Dhabi Festival and National Day celebrations add extra excitement.

Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Standing proudly as a symbol of Islamic traditions and Abu Dhabi's heritage, this awe-inspiring mosque is the city's most iconic landmark. Boasting intricate architecture and dazzling carpets, it draws millions of visitors seeking spiritual serenity and artistic wonder each year.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Immerse yourself in artistic treasures from across the globe housed in a stunning Zaha Hadid-designed museum. The Louvre Abu Dhabi brings history to life in a symphony of light and stone. Wander through galleries teeming with global treasures and exquisite art pieces.

Yas Island

Sign board of Yas Island
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Experience adrenaline-pumping rides at Ferrari World, cool off at Yas Waterworld or catch a Formula One race. Yas Island is a family haven filled with excitement. With seven hotels and endless exciting activities, boredom becomes a forgotten word.

Qasr Al Watan 

Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi
Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi

Qasr Al Watan isn't just a palace; it's a cultural oasis. Get to know the Emirati and Arabian heritage through exquisite exhibits, splendid architecture, and a collection of books and manuscripts. This educational adventure promises to inspire and enlighten its visitors.

Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi - Best Hotels in Abu Dhabi 

Choosing your accommodation can make or break your trip. However, Abu Dhabi boasts a diverse selection of accommodations catering to all tastes and budgets, from five star luxury hotels to charming guesthouses. This guide will help you navigate the options and discover your ideal setting within this vibrant emirate.

Luxury & Comfort

Pamper yourself in one of Abu Dhabi's fancy hotels.

Front view of Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi
  • Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi: Amenities include private beaches, endless pools, and fine dining.  

  • Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island: It’s a fancy hotel in the middle of the excitement in Abu Dhabi. It's close to the Yas Marina racetrack and Yas Waterworld, just a 5-minute drive away. Ferrari World and Yas Mall are also nearby, about a 10-minute drive away.

Budget-Friendly Options with High Guest Ratings

You can find relatively cheap hotels in Abu Dhabi, such as

  • Raouché Arjaan by Rotana: A family-friendly hotel with pools and city playgrounds.

  • Centro Yas Island: Pulse with Yas Island's heart at Centro. Vibrant atmosphere with a touch of Formula One thrills.

  • Aloft Abu Dhabi: The hotel perfectly reflects the urban vibe of Abu Dhabi with elegant spaces, rooftop beats, and Instagram-worthy corners.

Abu Dhabi - Things to See & Shopping Spots

Yas Mall

At Yas Mall, fashionistas can explore designer boutiques, while tech enthusiasts can find the latest gadgets.Food lovers can embark on a culinary adventure across 60+ restaurants. Housing over 350 local and international stores, Yas Mall is a top shopping destination capped off by blockbuster entertainment in the 20-screen cinema.

Madinat Zayed Souk

Lose yourself in Madinat Zayed Souk, shopping for silk carpets and handicrafts. Each stall has its unique vibe, inviting you to discover the soul of the Arabian trade. Here, souvenirs aren't mere mementoes but embody Abu Dhabi’s rich cultural heritage.

Marina Mall 

Marina Mall is every shopper’s paradise. With 400+ stores featuring global brands and local favourites, it's a one-stop shop for fashion, entertainment, and delicious bites. Plus, a movie theatre and kids' area ensure everyone is satisfied.

Abu Dhabi's Dining Highlights - Where to Eat

Don’t miss out on Emirati cuisine! Savour flavourful dishes like Makhboos (spiced rice with meat), Luqaimat (sweet dumplings), and Khabees (flatbreads).

Craving culinary wanderlust? Look no further than this award-winning restaurant. Let tasty dishes from Italy, India, and the Middle East take your palate on a gastronomic adventure while your eyes feast on mesmerising views of the Arabian Gulf. Prepare to be amazed!

It features several cuisines from Italy, France, and the Middle East, all accompanied by panoramic city views on the 18th floor. It is an experience for the senses, guaranteed to amaze you.

Additional Tips for Visiting Abu Dhabi

  • Download offline maps and essential apps before arrival.

  • Get travel insurance for medical emergencies.

  • United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) is the UAE's currency.

  • Carry some cash with you.

  • Bargain at the vibrant souks and traditional markets.

  • Taxis are readily available, but ride-hailing apps like Uber are also popular.

Al Jahil Park in Al Ain featuring palm trees
Al Jahil Park, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What's unique about Abu Dhabi?

A. The city features modern attractions like the Louvre and Yas Island, with a rich cultural heritage and stunning architecture.

Q. Why should I visit Abu Dhabi?

A. Experience luxurious hotels, world-class attractions, diverse dining, thrilling adventures, and a glimpse into Emirati culture.

Q. How safe is Abu Dhabi?

A. Abu Dhabi is a very safe city with low crime rates. Yet, always take necessary precautions like watching your belongings.

Q. What are the must-do activities in Abu Dhabi?

A. Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, experience thrilling rides at Ferrari World, relax on pristine beaches, and explore the Mangrove National Park.

Q. What are some family-friendly things to do in Abu Dhabi?

A. Yas Island offers theme parks like Yas Waterworld and eco-friendly adventures. Numerous museums and educational centres cater to children.

Q. How expensive is Abu Dhabi?

A. Costs vary depending on your accommodation, dining, and activity choices. Luxury experiences can be costly, but budget-friendly options are available.

The best thing about Abu Dhabi is that it's got something for everyone. Explore the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi, from historical landmarks to shopping malls and entertainment spots! So, what are you waiting for? Come to Abu Dhabi. There are many things to see and opportunities to make memories in this fantastic city!


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