Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is on an island in the Persian Gulf. The emirate with its shopping mega centres, modern skyscrapers, and Marina malls beckons all. With the sky above and the sand below there is something for everybody from culture, heritage, beaches, dining, shopping, adventure, nature, and more. Abu Dhabi blends the Arabic tradition of hospitality with modernity and offers world-class places. We list 10 exciting places to visit in Abu Dhabi to help you discover Emirates Arabic heartbeat. Read on!
Top 10 Places To Visit In Abu Dhabi
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The majestic and incredible mosque is a haven that celebrates different Muslim civilizations and showcases cultural diversity. The space is an open dialogue into understanding the beliefs of emirate culture. It welcomes up to 55,000 worshippers and visitors daily. The amethyst and jasper columns, reflective pools, Swarovski chandeliers, courtyard with the largest marble mosaic artworks, and a serene prayer hall will keep you enthralled. The mosque boasts of one of the largest chandeliers and a hand-woven carpet that is mentioned in the Guinness World Record.
Location: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street – 5th St – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
2. Zaya Nurai Island
Take a short 15-minute boat ride from the shores of Abu Dhabi to reach the secluded paradisal island. Nur means light as the sun-drenched beaches boast of turquoise blue waters. The azure waters and the soft white sandy beach make this a splendid retreat. Stay amid peace and tranquillity surrounded by garden scapes. The private island is a jewel in Abu Dhabi’s crown and is home to an ultra-luxurious resort. This lush idyllic island is accessible from all the major travel ports in the UAE.
Location: Nurai Island – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
3. Wadi Adventure
This family-friendly adventure park is at the base of the majestic Jebel Hafit mountain. Just a half an hour drive from Al Ain you reach the first man-made white water rafting channels at Wadi Adventure. The surfing wall, wakeboarding facilities, splash pool, and swimming pool make this place exhilarating. There is an aerial adventure course with 18 obstacles, a two-level airpark, a vertical climb line, a 14-meter giant swing, and a 1200 meter long zip-line. The park welcomes sports professionals, corporates for team-building events and provides packages that include accommodation.
Location: Mbazzarah Al Khadra – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
4. Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum showcases the juxtaposition of different cultures in the same space designed by the Pritzker-prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. The exciting place to visit in Abu Dhabi encompasses 9200 square metres that include a Permanent Gallery and a Temporary Gallery. The symphony in concrete is a subtle play of reflected light and water in an incredible architectural structure. On Saadiyat Island, the views of the Arabian Gulf amazes you. This is one of the modern wonders of the world and a symbol of UAEs architectural traditions and achievements. The huge silvery dome appears to float above the museum, a geometric structure composed of 7850 stars.
Location: Saadiyat – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
5. Ferrari World
The indoor theme park is Ferrari branded that offers exhilarating rides, shopping, authentic dining venues, and more. Get on board the Formula Rossa which is the world’s fastest roller-coaster that takes you from 0 to 240 km per hour in 4.9 seconds to soaring heights of 52 metres. Meanwhile, there is the Flying Aces with the world’s highest roller-coaster loop that climbs 63 metres at a 51-degrees angle. Try the Tyre Change Experience that tests you to match the pace of F1 pit crews. An exciting Bell’Italia ride takes you to explore a mini Italy in a Ferrari 250 California. A Family Zone, eclectic powered go-karts, state-of-the-art simulators and more keep the entire family enraptured.
Location: Yas Island – Yas Leisure Dr – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Looking for the best staycation holiday offers in Abu Dhabi? Click Here
6. Emirates Palace
On the western side of the city’s Corniche, is the elaborate Presidential Palace, one of the greatest places to visit in Abu Dhabi. This is the place where the de facto ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomes visitors and arranges majlis. The palatial property is a short distance from the Corniche, a seaside promenade splendour, lined with lush parks. The shades of the sands inspired the colour of the building in the Arabian Desert. The modern methods of the design were used to build the structure which blends Islamic architectural elements in geometric patterns and styles that are rhythmic. The central dome features elaborate geometric patterns, an architectural marvel.
Location: W Corniche Rd – Al Ras Al Akhdar – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
7. The Empty Quarter
This is Abu Dhabi’s bucket list place to visit for an immersive adventure experience. The golden sands move with the winds that form dunes of hundreds of feet high. You can see the ever-changing expanse of desert with the naked eye. The place is beautiful by day or night and is home to the magnificent Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. The warm Arabian hospitality offers sumptuous dining in a valley of towering dunes. You also experience camel treks, dune bashing, desert walks, camp-fire barbecues and much more. The Tel Moreeb which is 300 metres high is the world’s tallest sand dune, a photogenic dune that you should get up close and personal with.
Location: Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
8. Al Ain Oasis
Visit the exciting Al Ain Oasis where the ancient irrigation system is still operational. There are 147000 date palms that shade meandering pathways in the oasis. This is a perfect place to visit in Abu Dhabi with family and friends. The oasis spreads over 1200 hectares where agricultural methods are the same as 4000 years ago. Get a unique insight into how the region’s inhabitants tamed the desert many years ago. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011 and is in the garden city of Al Ain. Fruit trees such as orange, mango, banana, fig and jujube also grow here. The Abu Dhabi attraction is a fun-filled nature experience.
Location: Central District, Near to Al Ain Palace Museum – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
9. Mangrove National Park
The sprawling Mangrove National Park is a bird watchers paradise. Escape from the hustle of the city to head to the emirates ecological asset. This place is protected by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) and is filled with mangrove forests. The biodiversity hotspot includes salt marshes, algal communities, mudflats and more. Located just outside Abu Dhabi city, this is a great day trip tour to take with the family. There are channels for kayaking, bird watching experiences and other water activities. Take a Mangrove Walk through the natural landscapes and be engulfed in the world of mangrove trees or go wildlife spotting.
Location: Anantara Hotel – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
10. Yas Island
Yas Island is a popular leisure island and one of the top places to visit in Abu Dhabi. This is a family-friendly hub that packs in lots of fun. Just a 15 minutes drive from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, Yas Island welcomes you to an F1 race track, plenty of theme parks, beautiful Yas Beach, stunning hotels and an incredible golf course. This is a perfect place to visit for a holiday by the sea. The Yas Marina is a state-of-the-art circuit that hosts the Etihad Airways Formula 1 races on Yas Island. Yas Kartzone offers go-kart thrills while you can also enjoy regular on-track fitness events. W Abu Dhabi is an iconic five-star hotel on Yas Marina Circuit, World Abu Dhabi theme park, Clymb for indoor skydiving are some of the other attractions.
Location: Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates