Abu Dhabi – UAE’s second most lauded scion (the first one being Dubai), is lesser hyped though more beautiful in multiple ways. The city lies in its quiet slumber and continues to flourish amidst its tree-lined streets, scenic parks, and wider roads. By those roads lie lofty buildings that speak of the architectural prowess of the city sitting on the banks of Persian Gulf. A mere 2-hour drive from Dubai will take you here. Upon reaching, there are ample of things to do in Abu Dhabi that would account for a memorable trip.
Visit Abu Dhabi for the all the nature’s serenity or a traditional treat from the times of old Persia, you would have a plenty of activities to do. Abu Dhabi, with all its extravagance concealed in quietude, opens up its welcoming arms to every traveler. If you are looking forward to making the best of their Arabian holidays, then this is the place to be.
1. Enjoy a day out at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque happens to be the most prominent place in the capital city of UAE for Friday gatherings, everyday worships and saying prayers. Clearly, visiting it remains one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi. One of the largest mosques in the world, Sheikh Zayed Mosque can accommodate a maximum of 40,000 people. Talk about its architectural accomplishments, and the mosque is the perfect example of Persian art.
All the domes, columns, gold gilded chandeliers, and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpets embellish the mosque. Certainly, the mosque is the finest piece of architecture you can marvel while in Abu Dhabi.
Protip: Go for the 5 pm ‘Sunset Tour’. Reach the mosque around 4:30 pm, it’s the perfect time to click wonderful pictures of the mosque.
Saturday to Thursday – 9am to 10pm
Friday – 4.30pm to 10pm
2. Try out a range of activities at Ferrari World Theme Park
Known for its massive area, the Ferrari World Theme Park is one of its kind and a must visit attraction in Abu Dhabi. The theme park is full of experiences and activities for a person from any age group. Located on the Yas Island, the theme park can be easily reached from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or Sharjah.
There are shuttle services for the park available from different parts of the Yas Island. From getting the thrill of riding a ferrari F1 racer car, to the amazement of the Ferrari Gallery, this place is perfect for a day long excursion.
Ticket price: AED 295 per person for 1 day pass (for adults and kids)
Timings: 11 am to 8 pm
Find more details about the Ferrari World Theme Park here
3. Go sunset watching at Abu Dhabi Corniche
Overlooking the sprawling 8 km length of waterfront, Corniche Abu Dhabi is a place to cool your heels in the ever bustling Abu Dhabi city. Even better, the Corniche is also known for the popular attractions around like Marina Mall, Lulu Island, and Emirates Palace. There are separate children’s play areas, dedicated pathways for cyclists and pedestrians, cafés and restaurants, and the Corniche Beach with its separate beach park. The beachfront has been awarded a Blue Flag status, which means it’s an internationally recognized eco-friendly zone.
The beach is safe for bathing and ensures clean surroundings. People have also considered strolling at the beach for hours and catching the stunning view of the glittering city skyline after sunset. The entry on the beach is absolutely free.
Parking fee: AED 10
4. Delve in the Arabian past at the Heritage Village
Here comes the pure and unspoiled experience of the Emirati culture. At the heritage village people pay a visit to savor the experience which is one of its kind. The Heritage village has treasured the fervent Persian charm and specialities of the place which can be experienced in the local market place here. Emirates Heritage Club runs this oasis village presents a glimpse from the vibrant past of Emirates.
The village presents a picture of the desert way of life, where tourists can get to enjoy a campfire with coffee pots, a goats’ hair tent, and a falaj irrigation system. They all are clearly appointed in an open museum. Workshops are there in the village as well where weavers, potters, metal workers, exhibit their skills. Even you can try your hands on a few of them if they allow you! A day tour of the village is an excellent thing to do Abu Dhabi.
Timings: Saturday to Thursday: 9am to 4pm, and Friday: 3.30pm to 9pm
5. Indulge in dining, city excursion, and a lot more at Yas Island
For all the admirers of affluence, Yas island is the place to be. Be it taking someone special on a romantic dinner, going for a soothing beach walk, or marveling at the exceptional examples of the modern architecture while taking a helicopter tour, Yas Island brings the ultimate comfort to every wanderlusting soul.
There are available boat tours, waterfronts, and the best of them all in Ferrari world. The stunning views of Arabian Gulf from flying aces, and bird’s eye view from seawings are extraordinary in their own way. Yas Island can tend to all your wanderlusting desires.
6. Take a tour of Etihad Modern Art Gallery
Etihad Modern Art Gallery is the place where work on canvas comes alive. A perfect place to catch wonderful artwork, the gallery exhibits fine work from different eras. Art exhibitions displaying works from world renowned artists, at a place having multi-functional art space is certainly the pick of attractions in Abu Dhabi.
Timings: 10 am to 10 pm (Saturday – Thursday)
7. Go shopping at The Galleria, Al Raha, and Marina Mall
Abu Dhabi & Dubai are known for their boutiques and world-class shopping facilities. The capital city of Arab Emirates is home to some of the most luxury brands in the world. Abu Dhabi Mall, Yas Marina Mall, Avenue at Etihad – for boutique shopping, is also known for the most chic and elegant shopping. Among others, Paris Avenue, Souk Central Market, The Galleria and Carpet Souk are some other elegant shopping places.
Iranian Souk is the place where homeware, pillow, pottery, and Iranian Bedspread can be found in different class and designs. The handloom products exhibit fine handwork, and intricate pattern with fine embroidery. While Carpet Souk located at Al Khaleej al Arabi Street offers different kinds of colorful carpets and rugs, of over 4000 types, all housed in 3 floors.
8. Spend moments of quietude at Al Ain Oasis
Al Ain has been rightly deemed as an oasis of tranquility in the middle of a bustling Abu Dhabi City. The place has been carefully set up to ensure a peaceful getaway for all the nature lover who wish to escape the bustle of the citylife. Al Ain Camel Souk is another attraction of the place that visitors must not miss. Narrative trails, food and beverage outlets, and cultural retailers are the highlights of this place.
There is plenty of free parking available at the tourist site. Al Ain Palace and Al Ain National Museum in the vicinity of the oasis make for a peaceful retreat. Traditional farming methods, and year-round festival programs make this UNESCO World Heritage site a prominent site in Abu Dhabi
Timings: 8am – 5pm
9. Enjoy magnificent views of Alain City from Jebel Hafeet
Image Credit: Lloyd De Jongh for Pixabay
Jebel Hafeet, at 1240 meters, is the highest peak in the Emirates. Jebel Hafeet boasts of a neat and well-designed motorway. The evening is the best time to go driving at this lofty highroad tucked in the mountains. A thrilling ride up to Jebel Hafeet is one of the most thrilling things to do in Abu Dhabi.
The wonderful views of Alain City from the top of the city is just too good to leave you mesmerized. Over 500 burial tombs from 5000 years ago have been spotted in the foothills of the Jebel Hafeet mountains.
10. Spend leisure moments with family at Mushrif Central Park
Boasting of a vibrant park, shade house, and a huge botanic garden, Mushrif Central Park is the pick of places to visit in Abu Dhabi. Additionally there are animal barns, a petting zoo, an amphitheater, & a large open lawn that make perfect atmosphere to plan a momentous outing with family and friends. Kids get a separate play zone to enjoy and minger with other kids. All the lights and aesthetic beauty of the place make it incredibly beautiful.
Should you plan on to get stunned with the awe-inspiring design and modern architecture at its best Abu Dhabi is the place to be! Amidst the Persian charm & magical vibes of the city there are ample of things to do in Abu Dhabi that would make you feel accomplished about your trip.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Abu Dhabi
What are the best things to do in Abu Dhabi with friends?
The following are the top things to do in Abu Dhabi with friends:
1. Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
2. Indulge in activities at Ferrari World Theme Park
3. Witness sunset at Abu Dhabi Corniche
4. Explore Heritage Village
5. Savour local delicacies
6. Take a tour of Etihad Modern Art Gallery
What are the best adventure activities to do in Abu Dhabi with friends?
The following are adventures to enjoy in Abu Dhabi:
1. Explore the Jebel Hafit Tombs
2. Conquer the desert on a 4x4 safari
3. Kayak in the Mangrove National Park
4. Set sail on the Arabian Gulf
5. Go on safari at Sir Bani Yas Island
Is it safe to visit Abu Dhabi during Covid times?
You need to follow all the mandatory travel guidelines mentioned by the authorities to ensure a safe travel experience. Complete both doses of vaccination before planning your visit and get an RT PCR test done as you may have to produce it at the entry and exit points. Maintain social distancing and remain masked while stepping out. Avoid visiting crowded places and gatherings. Keep sanitizing your hands regularly after touching surfaces.
What can I do in Abu Dhabi?
Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, watching the sunset at Abu Dhabi Corniche, spending a day at the Yas Island, and shopping at The Galleria are some of the many things to do in Abu Dhabi.
Can you consume alcohol in Abu Dhabi?
The legal age of drinking generally is 18. However, a Ministry of Tourism law prevents hotels from serving alcohol to those under 21. Saying that consuming alcohol in Sharjah is prohibited.
What should I wear in Abu Dhabi?
Dressing in Abu Dhabi majorly depends on the place you are planning to visit. Abu Dhabi is slightly conservative and expects women to be covered from shoulders to knees, at least. Jeans, trousers, shirts, long dresses and t-shirts are what you should pack.
What is the best time to visit Abu Dhabi?
The best time to visit Abu Dhabi is from March to May and September to November as the spring and fall offer pleasant weather and reasonable rates.
Is Abu Dhabi better than Dubai?
Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are special in different ways. Abu Dhabi is a more traditional and calmer city whereas Dubai is great for shopping experiences and amusement parks.
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