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Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a well-ordered, industrious metropolis with a reasonably waterside location. First inhabited by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe in 1760, the settlement remained a small fishing village till oil was found. The revenues reworked Abu Dhabi into the fashionable metropolis of today-a bustling middle of presidency and enterprise.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the most important vacationer attraction and wows all who go to. However the metropolis additionally makes a great base for excursions to the desert landscapes of Liwa Oasis and the oasis metropolis of Al Ain. Discover one of the best issues to do with our listing of the highest sights in Abu Dhabi.
See additionally: The place to Keep in Abu Dhabi
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Clad in Macedonian marble, the gorgeous and completely mammoth Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi’s landmark constructing and by far the preferred sightseeing attraction within the metropolis. The mosque fuses Mameluke, Ottoman, and Fatimid design components to create a harmonious and totally fashionable mosque that celebrates Islamic structure. Artisans used glass-work, mosaic tiling, and complicated carvings to spectacular impact on each the inside and exterior.
It was opened in 2007 after practically 20 years of building. In a position to maintain 40,000 worshippers, it’s the greatest mosque within the United Arab Emirates, and just like the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah, it’s devoted to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.
Non-Muslims are allowed into all areas of the mosque (together with the huge library), and guided excursions can be found. The Abu Dhabi Morning Tour is an efficient solution to get acquainted with the town. This 4 hour tour visits the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the bustling markets and fishing harbor of Al Mina, and the heritage village with an area information. Transport and lodge pickup and drop-off are included.
Handle: Al Khaleej al Arabi Avenue, Abu Dhabi
2. Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Center East’s most spectacular museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi traces your entire historical past of humanity’s creative achievements, from the Neolithic proper as much as the present day. The wealth and variety of artwork on show, from historical Egyptian statuary to well-known work by Picasso, is mind-boggling, whereas the museum’s modern structure, with its galleries gathered underneath an unlimited silver dome, is a motive to go to in itself.
In addition to the everlasting assortment, which runs over 12 galleries, a number of main momentary exhibitions are staged every year. The Louvre is the primary of three deliberate main museums to open on Saadiyat Island, which is ready to turn into the cultural heartbeat of Abu Dhabi within the coming years. The opposite two-Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed Nationwide Museum-are nonetheless within the planning phases.
Official Web site: www.louvreabudhabi.ae
3. Mangrove Kayaking Excursions
To see a unique aspect of Abu Dhabi’s metal and glass exterior, head into the mangrove forests that also ring the islands alongside the shore surrounding the town. There is a bundle of kayaking excursions obtainable for all ranges of expertise and age, starting from 1.5 hours to a few hours of paddling. The Eco Tour permits you to perceive the vital ecology of mangroves, in addition to discover these lovely final remnants of the town’s forests.
One other fascinating factor to do for a extremely particular expertise, is to join a night time excursions and uncover the mangroves by gliding by way of the waters after darkish.
Official website: www.noukhada.ae
4. Ferrari World
This branded theme park brings the joys of Components One racing to Abu Dhabi and is without doubt one of the metropolis’s prime issues to do for thrill seekers and households alike. Young children can check out newly discovered driving abilities on the Junior GT observe, whereas adrenaline junkies can buckle up and journey the Flying Aces curler coaster, which clocks up speeds of 120 kilometers per hour on a 52-meter loop (the tallest on this planet).
There’s additionally a set of Ferrari’s vehicles, with fashions courting again to 1947, and a Ferrari manufacturing facility tour and Ferrari information sport present for true automotive nerds.
Handle: Yas Leisure Drive, Yas Island
Official website: www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com
5. Boat Excursions
For one of the best views of Abu Dhabi’s glittering skyscrapers, it’s essential to head out onto the water. The views of the high-rises are fairly spectacular as you drift out from the marina. A number of totally different operators run excursions for every type of budgets, however two of the extra widespread journeys with vacationers are the island hopping excursions, which embody some seashore and snorkeling time on numerous islands within the bay, and sundown cruises that allow you to see the town lights flicker into motion as nightfall units over the city-a nice selection for a night exercise.
6. Remark Deck at 300
Abu Dhabi’s reply to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is that this remark deck, providing skyline views from the best level within the metropolis, on the 74th ground of the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers lodge. There’s an entry payment for non-guests of the lodge, however the ticket value may be redeemed for foods and drinks from the remark deck’s restaurant, which serves snacks and lightweight bites; tender drinks; and within the afternoon, high-tea. Having high-tea up right here, with the town unfold beneath you, is unquestionably an expertise to your Abu Dhabi itinerary.
Handle: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Highway, Abu Dhabi
7. Qasr Al-Hosn
The just lately restored Al-Hosn Fort, also called the Previous Fort or the White Fort, is the oldest constructing in Abu Dhabi and considered one of its main historic factors of curiosity. The palace was inbuilt 1793 because the residence of the ruling household and the seat of presidency. The inside of the Al Hosn Fort has been modernized and is now used as a museum that traces the historical past and tradition of Abu Dhabi, with oral histories and loads of historic pictures on present. The courtyard and the magnificent tile work over the principle northern gate are notable options.
Handle: Hamdan bin Mohammed Avenue, Abu Dhabi
8. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is a working veterinary hospital for ailing and injured falcons, however it additionally supplies guided excursions of its services for guests. The excursions can help you rise up shut and private with these birds of prey within the wards, whereas an on-site museum explains the historical past of falconry. If you happen to’re up for the problem, you might also have the possibility to carry one of many birds, and even to feed one, relying on the actions the vets are performing on the time of your go to.
Location: Off Sweihan Highway, Abu Dhabi
Official website: http://www.falconhospital.com/
9. Warner Bros World
Yas Island’s newest theme park addition, Warner Bros World is devoted to its cartoon, film, and comedian guide heroes and villains with all rides based mostly round these characters. With six “lands” all captured underneath one roof (your entire theme park is inside and air-conditioned) this is without doubt one of the greatest locations to go to for households. There are rides appropriate for tots to teenagers. Bedrock and Cartoon Junction are particularly arrange for little ones, whereas Gotham Metropolis and Metropolis are house to among the big-hitter spotlight rides, which mix 4D interactive content material with curler coaster-style thrills and spills.
Official Web site: www.wbworldabudhabi.com
10. Yas Waterworld
If the warmth is grinding you down, head to Yas Island to chill off on the water park. Yas Waterworld is a mammoth theme park, with waterslides and an inner-tube river journey, in addition to the world’s first hydromagnetic twister water rafting journey; the world’s largest surfable sheet wave; and the Jebel Drop, a free-fall velocity water slide. If that each one looks as if an excessive amount of of an adrenaline rush, there are additionally eating places, cafés, and outlets right here for some gentler pursuits. There’s additionally a devoted water play space for households with babies.
Handle: Yas Leisure Driver, Yas Island
Official website: www.yaswaterworld.com
11. Yas Island
Yas Island is considered one of Abu Dhabi’s prime luxurious lodge locations, with stretches of sandy seashore which might be excellent for spending the day sunbathing. This space can also be house to the Yas Marina Circuit, which is the place Abu Dhabi’s Components One racing takes place yearly. Solar seekers ought to beeline straight to Yas Seaside; adrenaline followers can guide a Components One expertise at Yas Marina Circuit; and customers ought to head straight to Yas Mall, the town’s premier purchasing vacation spot.
Official Web site: www.yasisland.ae
12. Desert Safari
The most well-liked day journey or in a single day journey from Abu Dhabi metropolis is a desert safari to the south of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, both to the gorgeous Liwa Oasis, which lays proper on the sting of the Empty Quarter, or to the Al Khatim Desert close to Al Ain.
The Empty Quarter desert accommodates the biggest sand dunes on this planet, and the dunes of each areas are a improbable playground for anybody who needs to journey dune buggies, strive sand boarding, go camel trekking, or just take in the huge star-strewn desert sky after darkish at a desert camp. Most journeys embody stops to go to a camel farm and supply a style of conventional desert life, in addition to heading into the dunes themselves.
The Night Desert Safari is a superb choice for guests with solely a short while to spare, providing a six-hour tour into the emirate’s desert environs. Guests are taken on a 4×4 tour of the dunescape earlier than settling down for dinner at a desert camp, with conventional tannura and stomach dancing leisure offered. As soon as at camp, visitors can select from a number of complimentary actions, comparable to sand-boarding and camel rides. All transport, with pickup and drop-off from Abu Dhabi inns, and meals is included.
13. Emirates Park Zoo
If in case you have little ones in tow and are questioning what to do in Abu Dhabi, this glorious zoo makes a enjoyable day trip, solely a 30-minute drive from the town. There’s a host of animals on the wildlife park, together with uncommon white tigers, giraffes, elephants, a herd of zebras, and a Siberian bear. There’s additionally a primate part, with many various kinds of monkeys, and a flamingo park with a sea lion enclosure. On the petting zoo, youngsters can contact and feed home breeds of animals.
14. Sir Bani Yas Island
Among the best quick breaks from Abu Dhabi metropolis is to the wildlife reserve of Sir Bani Yas Island, first established by Sheikh Zayed. Indigenous Arabian wildlife comparable to gazelles and the endangered Arabian Oryx plus launched animals, together with giraffes and leopards, free roam throughout the huge reserve, which covers the inside of Sir Bani Yas Island.
Guests can guide 4×4 safaris, strolling safaris, and horse-riding excursions to view wildlife throughout the reserve, in addition to different actions, together with mountaineering, mountain biking, and kayaking. The island is accessed by boat from Jebel Dhanna, 260 kilometers west of the town.
15. Heritage Village
Abu Dhabi’s Heritage Village is an genuine reproduction of a typical Bedouin village that offers guests an concept of Emirati life earlier than the oil increase. It is positioned in a reasonably seashore space of the town, which is a pleasing place to wander after a go to. There are displays that includes conventional day-to-day objects, workshops the place you possibly can watch craftspeople reveal Emirati metalwork and weaving abilities, and shows introducing guests to native agriculture and the pearl diving trade-the major economies right here earlier than oil was found.
Issues for Buyers to Do in Abu Dhabi
For Arab crafts, take a look at the Womens’ Handicraft Middle on Karama Avenue, the place you possibly can see native ladies demonstrating abilities comparable to weaving, embroidery, and basketry. It’s run by the Abu Dhabi Ladies’s Affiliation and helps native feminine artisans of their work, in addition to holding these historical abilities and traditions alive.
To choose up a bit of traditional Arab fashion gold jewellery, head to the Gold Souq inside Madinat Zayed Purchasing Middle, the place you will discover dozens of gold distributors. For a wide range of crafts, together with carpets, shawls, textiles, and trays, in addition to incense and spices, have a poke round within the fashionable World Commerce Middle Souq.
The place to Keep in Abu Dhabi for Sightseeing
Abu Dhabi metropolis is huge, and inns are unfold out throughout the world. You may be taught extra concerning the format with our article on The place to Keep in Abu Dhabi: Greatest Areas & Inns. For first time guests, the Downtown space, close to the Corniche, is an efficient base and has all kinds of inns. If you happen to’re after a resort-style keep, take a look at Saadiyat Island and the world close to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, alongside the shores that separate Abu Dhabi Island from the mainland.
- Luxurious Inns: Close to the Corniche, the opulent Emirates Palace is considered one of Abu Dhabi’s prime inns, pampering its visitors with plush suites and private butlers. Close by, the fashionable Jumeirah at Etihad Towers affords spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf from its well-known Remark Deck, in addition to apartment-style lodging for households.
For resort dwelling, Shangri-La Lodge, Qaryat Al Beri has a personal seashore with views of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque simply throughout the water, a high-end souk related to the lodge, and a pool inside lush gardens. Additionally on this space is The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, identified for its family-friendly options, together with a youngsters’ membership, play areas, and a number of swimming pools, in addition to its glorious eating places.
- Mid-Vary Inns: The Sheraton Abu Dhabi Lodge & Resort is widespread for its personal lagoon with a seashore and swimming swimming pools within the Downtown space, permitting a resort really feel proper within the coronary heart of the town. Southern Solar Abu Dhabi is a contemporary high-rise in Downtown, identified for its superior service, beautiful roof pool space, and ample rooms.
The Vacation Inn is one other extremely rated mid-range choice exterior of the Downtown space and a brief drive from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It has a health club, spa, pool, and enormous rooms arrange for each enterprise and leisure vacationers.
- Funds Inns: Funds lodging is troublesome to search out in Abu Dhabi, however many mid-range inns supply steep discounts-especially throughout off-season. If you happen to’re watching your pockets, the Novel Lodge Metropolis Middle affords glorious worth within the coronary heart of the town, just some minutes’ stroll from the Corniche. There is a pool and health club and neutral-toned rooms.
Additionally within the metropolis middle, the Al Diar Dana is a well-liked finances choice with rooms that include kitchenettes. On Yas Island, the Centro Yas Island Abu Dhabi by Rotana is cheap, with a pool and restaurant, and lies inside quick access of Ferrari World, the island’s well-known theme park.