Places to visit in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is an industrious and well-managed city. First inhabited in 1760 by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe, the settlement continued to be a small fishing hamlet until the discovery of oil there.  The revenues earned transformed the city into a bustling seat of business and the government. 

Located on the island of Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is a collage of stunning beaches, magnificent architecture, cultural and traditional monuments, premium ultramodern shopping plazas and adventure-sport destinations. This city, which is a perfect mix of contemporary culture and traditional ethos, is a paradise for tourists.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque falls in the list of the top places to visit in Abu Dhabi and wows all who pay a visit. The city also makes a good base for excursions to the city of Al Ain and the desert landscapes of Liwa Oasis. 

While Dubai is the better-known Emirate, Abu Dhabi doesn’t hold back when it comes to offering a memorable holiday experience. Below, we have compiled a list of top places to visit in Abu Dhabi so that you can have an experience of a lifetime.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque 

The largest mosque in the country, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. It is the key place of worship for daily, Friday and Eid prayers. During Eid, imore than 41,000 people visit daily.

Emirates Palace 

The Emirates Palace Hotel is one of the two seven-star hotels in the world, next to Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Built at a cost of $3bn, the hotel is the most expensive hotel ever built and is ideal for those who make luxury a priority. 

Yas Island 

A 30 minute drive from the UAE capital, the Yas Island is an island in Abu Dhabi. It is an emerging entertainment destination and is home to the Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts the annual F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Louvre Abu Dhabi 

Located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum and was inaugurated in 2017 by the French President Emmanuel Macron and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Its aim is to bridge the gap between eastern and western art forms, and people who love artistic expression should visit here.

Corniche Road 

The 8-km long Corniche or Corniche Road includes separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, children’s play areas, cafes, restaurants and the Corniche Beach. It forms a sweeping curve on the main Abu Dhabi Island’s western side and is replete with cycle paths, park areas and fountains. It’s a great place to enjoy a fun evening with the family. 

Saadiyat Island 

Saadiyat Island is a tourism-cultural project for Emirati heritage, nature and culture. The project includes a large, low-lying island, 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Saadiyat Island is expected to become the city’s new cultural centre because of the island’s cultural district, which will likely include eight museums. Be one of the first people to visit here!

Yas Waterworld 

Spread over 15 hectares of land, Yas Waterworld is an Emirati-themed waterpark located on the Yas Island and is home to more than 40 slides, rides and attractions, including Rush Rider, Bubble’s Barrel and Bandit Bomber- the longest suspended roller coaster in the Middle East.

Formula Rossa 

Formula Rossa is a roller coaster located at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. It is the world's fastest roller coaster with a top speed of 149.1 mph 240 km/h (240 km/h), and if you’re an adrenaline junkie, you just can’t miss out on riding this. 

Qasr Al Hosn 

Holding the city’s first permanent structure, Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi built around the 1790’s. It was converted in to a museum in 2018 and houses artefacts dating back as far as 6,000 BC. History buffs should certainly pay a visit. 

Capital Gate 

In downtown Khaleej Al Arabi Street, one can see a modern day challenger to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Capital Gate has been certified as the World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower, by the Guinness Book of World Records and leans more than 4 times than the tower in Pisa.

Observation Deck at 300 

Located on the 74th level of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, the Observation Deck at 300 is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi where visitors can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city’s skyline. The cafe is known for its afternoon tea and offers freshly ground coffee or tea blends along with sweet and savory treats. Simply relax and enjoy a panoramic view of the nation’s capital. 

Qasr Al Watan 

Qasr Al Watan is an architectural landmark of Arabian artistry and heritage. Come here to seek knowledge about various Arabic contributions to world history, or if simply you want to soak in the splendour of the architectural marvel.

Manarat Al Sadiyat 

The name of the city’s first art destination literally translates to mean a “place of enlightenment”. 

As the first art and culture centre of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the venue offers a wide variety of exhibitions and performances all year-round. Tourists Visitors can admire the Norman Foster-designed UAE Pavilion which is home to Abu Dhabi Art, or visit the gift shops for buying memorabilia. 

Yas Marina Circuit 

Feel the heat of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as you tune in to the sounds of car engines revving up. Get behind the wheel of an F-1 car and challenge your buddies. 

Umm Al Emarat Park 

Looking forward to spending time with your family outdoors?  Head over to the Umm al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi. It offers everything from a botanical garden to a petting zoo. This will be a trip to remember for the entire family.

Emirates Park Zoo 

Located in Al Bahia, about 35 Km from Abu Dhabi city, the zoo is an ideal destination for families to enjoy fun activities. There are more than 1,700 animals, including a 31-year-old, 300kg-plus Siberian bear, majestic white tigers, cheetahs and dozens of zebras.

Nurai Island 

Inspired by the Arabic word ‘nur’ meaning ‘light’, Nurai Island is a stunner and a perfect retreat for those seeking some peace and tranquillity. You’ll also get to enjoy uninterrupted and unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf.

Khalifa Park 

This leafy and large park is close to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and has several attractions, including ponds and waterfalls, a children's amusement park, a football playing area, fountains and a small train that passes round the site. 

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