Ahlan Bik to Abu Dhabi: 5 Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

5 Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

أهلا بك Welcome! Abu Dhabi might have a reputation as a business city, but there’s no shortage of playtime activities in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is full of the sorts of things you may be expecting: jaw-dropping modern architecture, historic mosques, and over-the-top shopping experiences. But the city is also full of activities that might not immediately come to mind for first-time travelers: Eco-minded tours that immerse travelers in tangled mangroves, seaplane tours offering a falcon’s-eye-view of the city, and serene spas out in the middle of the biggest sand desert in the world. And while you’re exploring, don’t overlook the city’s underrated parks and palm-lined promenades, which offer even more scenic places to explore—weather permitting, of course.

Here are the five must-go places you should not miss on your next Abu Dhabi Trip.

1.   Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

This is the first place that every traveler’s put on this first list. One of the world’s largest Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque is an Abu Dhabi must-see. Completed in 2007, it can fit 40,000 visitors and worshippers into a space the size of four football fields. But it’s not only the size that’s impressive. The architecture is a shining culmination of cross-cultural influences: The architects were Emirati, Italian, and British, bringing together design elements from Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, Egypt, and beyond. The details are grand, from the reflective pools to the 82 white marble domes, 1,096 exterior columns, and 24-carat gold Swarovski crystal chandeliers, all creating a transcendental experience.

2.   Emirates Palace

Like the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Emirates Palace sets the standard for luxury lodging in Abu Dhabi. This sprawling resort says it goes “beyond 5-star luxury” for its clientele — which is frequently visiting royals and dignitaries. But you don’t have to be a guest to experience what all the fuss is about. This resort — which occupies nearly 250 acres of coastline along the Corniche and stretches more than half a mile from wing to wing — has become one of Abu Dhabi’s most recognizable landmarks. Emirates Palace looks almost like a cross between the Taj Mahal and a fairy tale castle: The structure features more than 100 domes, the insides of which are decorated with gold, crystals, and mother of pearl. More than 1,000 chandeliers and rich handmade carpets add to the interior’s opulence, while outside the hotel, palm trees, lush gardens, and bubbling fountains create an oasis effect.

3.   Abu Dhabi Desert Tours

Surrounding the Liwa Oasis in the western part of the emirate is the Al Gharbia region, home to the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter). As the enormous uninterrupted sand mass in the world, the Empty Quarter provides the perfect backdrop for various desert excursions. Whether you’d prefer a more traditional camel trek or a wild dune buggy ride (often known as “dune-bashing”), a safari-style jeep ride, or a birds-eye balloon tour, you’ll find plenty of ways to explore the Arabian desert. Several companies offer organized tours of the Empty Quarter; some of the more reputable options are Arabian Adventures, Emirates Tours, Abu Dhabi Adventure Tours, and Abu Dhabi Desert Safari. Tours can be booked through the companies’ websites. The earlier you try to make reservations, the more likely it is that there will be availability.

4.   Mangrove National Park

Mangrove National Park is one of Abu Dhabi’s most impressive natural wonders. Home to 60 species of birds, scenic waterways perfect for kayaking, and more than seven square miles; it’s a naturalist’s dream. The mangroves themselves are also an attraction. They can grow up to 15 feet high, and their famous long root systems “snorkel” out of the saltwater for air. For a closer look, hire one of the licensed and ecologically responsible tour operators to make sure your visit has a minimal impact on the habitat. 

5.   Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

This massive amusement park dedicated to all things Ferrari opened on Yas Island in 2010. Nearly eight years later, the park is home to Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller-coaster, Flying Aces, the world’s tallest non-inverting loop, and the famous Ferrari driving experience. The Ferrari Driving Experience gives visitors the chance to cruise Abu Dhabi’s streets in a real Ferrari. The park is designed with children in mind, but even speed-freak adults will appreciate the rides and the attention to detail.

So next time when you plan to visit Abu Dhabi, reread the blog and mark your list; we make sure you see some of the best places in Abu Dhabi.

Narakum Qariban fi ‘Abu Zabi, it means see you soon in Abu Dhabi.

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1 Comment

  1. Definitely, what a fantastic website and revealing posts, I definitely will bookmark your site.Best Regards!

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