First inhabited by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe in 1760, Abu Dhabi remained a small fishing village until the oil was discovered. The revenues generated transformed the city into the modern megapolis that it is today, a bustling, well-ordered, and industrious city with a pretty waterside location akes few of the many places to visit in Abu Dhabi which has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world.
Do you want to experience a holiday destination with high rise buildings, elegant shopping malls selling premium products and luxurious hotels? Guess what, you don’t need to travel to Dubai to experience them. Abu Dhabi has everything that Dubai has only with less crowded entertainment centers and lesser traffic on the streets. Here is a list of some of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi. You can either make a separate trip to Abu Dhabi or add a couple of days in your Dubai holiday package and make it a part of the overall trip.
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, clad in Macedonian Marble, is Abu Dhabi’s landmark building, and it’s most popular tourist attraction. A tour of this mosque is an essential part of every Dubai holiday package. The grandiose of this mosque is a fusion of Mameluke, Ottoman, and Fatimid design elements, creating a harmonious and modern structure that celebrates Islamic architecture. After nearly 20 years of construction, it was opened in 2007. The intricate architecture of this mosque makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the biggest mosque in The UAE. The intricate use of glasswork, mosaic and delicate carvings on the walls and floors of the mosque increases its beauty. The size of the mosque can be guessed by the fact that it can house 20000 people in its premises at a time. Among the list of places to visit in Abu Dhabi, a tour to Sheikh Zayed Mosque has its special place.
2. Ferrari World
The Ferrari World, a branded theme park in Abu Dhabi, brings the thrill of Formula One racing to an amusement park. A trip to Ferrari World is provided as a special trip by Dubai Tourism. This theme park is the best place to be for adventure seekers but the location serves as an ideal spot for friends and family to hang out together. If you are feeling adventurous, you can ride the Flying Aces Roller Coaster, which clocks of a speed of 120 kilometers per hour on a 52-meter loop. This rollercoaster is the tallest in the world. Children can test out their amateur driving skills on the Junior GT track. The collection of Ferrari cars here is one of the biggest and houses the models dating back to 1947.
3. Observation Deck At 300
The Observation Deck is Abu Dhabi’s answer to Burj Khalifa in Dubai, offering a view of the city’s skyline from the 74th floor of the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel, the highest point in the city. Outsiders have to pay an entry fee, but it can be redeemed for drinks and food from the observation deck’s restaurant. Standing on the Observation Deck of The Jumeirah is an amazing experience which is amplified with a touch of luxury. The food court here offers lovely high tea in the afternoon. It is a splendid affair as you indulge in a specially curated menu overlooking the encompassing views of the city.
4. Yas Waterworld: One Of The Most Fun Places To Visit In Abu Dhabi
When it comes to adventure, there are a lot of places to visit in Abu Dhabi but then none of them is on the levels of Yas Waterworld. If the city’s grinding heat is bothering you, you should definitely head to the Yas Island and enjoy your time at Yas Waterworld. It is a massive theme park, home to the world’s first hydro-magnetic tornado water rafting ride, and world’s largest surfable sheet wave. And when you are done with all the rides, you can relax in one of the numerous cafes and wait for the adrenaline rush to vanish.
5. Qasr Al-Hosn
The Al-Hosn Fort, also known as the White Fort, is Abu Dhabi’s oldest building, and one of its most important historical attractions. The fort was built in 1793, as the seat of the government and the residence of the ruling family. The interior of the Al-Hosn Fort is now a museum that traces the history and culture of Abu Dhabi, after renovation and modernization. Visitors can enjoy the photo galleries showcasing the life and the history of Abu Dhabi. The fort is known for its amazing decorative paneling on doors and windows along with beautiful tile work in the premises.
6. Emirates Park Zoo
Rare White Tiger at Emirates Park Zoo
Situated only a short drive away from Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Park Zoo is a must see on your list of places to visit in Abu Dhabi if you’re traveling with kids. From rare white tigers, a Siberian bear, a primate section with different types of monkeys, to a flamingo park with a sea lion enclosure, you will find a host of animals at this wildlife park. The kids can also pet and feed domesticated breeds of animals at the petting zoo.
7. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, which provides guided tours of its facilities for interested visitors, is a unique veterinary hospital for ill and injured falcons. This is one of the very unique places to visit in Abu Dhabi. This exclusive tour allows you to get a close look at the majestic birds of prey, while an on-site museum tells you all you need to know about these majestic birds. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get the chance to hold or feed one of the birds.
8. Saadiyat Cultural District
Saadiyat Island Model
In the coming years, Saadiyat Island is all set to become the city’s cultural heartbeat. The island is home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which was inaugurated on 8th November, 2017. The Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, both still in early planning and construction phases, will also be located here, turning the island into UAE’s artistic and cultural capital. Tourists and culture seekers can still visit this pristine island for its gorgeous views of the sunset. Manarat Al Saadiyat and UAE Pavilion often exhibit works by world-renowned photographers, artists, and painters. This island also has a cultural center and three art galleries running all year long.
Suggested Read: Everything You Need To Know About Dubai Shopping Festival 2018
9. Sheikh Zayed Bridge
Sheikh Zayed Bridge
This Bridge is the symbol of the grandeur of Abu Dhabi. This 842-meter long bridge is known as an engineering marvel. The design of the bridge incorporates traditional Islamic and Arab art styles. The best time to see this place is during the sunset when the bright orange color paints the sky with the bridge in the foreground.
10. Abu Dhabi Art Hub
Abu Dhabi Art Hub is one its kind artist-run art community where one can go on the journey of artistic development in The Middle East. Of all the places to visit in Abu Dhabi, this is the perfect venue where an art lover would find their piece of mind. Abu Dhabi Art Hub provides a platform for interaction and cross-cultural artistic exchanges between national regional and international artists. The art and culture enthusiasts will love a visit to this place. You will find art exhibitions and creative workshops running around this art hub every day.
11. Heritage Village
If you are a history lover then the heritage village will win your heart. Visiting this place will take you on a time travel journey showcasing the glorious past of the country. An authentic replica of a typical Bedouin village, Abu Dhabi’s heritage village provides the tourists with a taste of life in the Emirates before the oil boom. Located near a beautiful beach area, the Heritage Village is a pleasant place for the tourists to relax. There are various exhibits, workshops, and displays, which introduce travelers to the main economies of the UAE before oil was discovered.
The premises of heritage village are adorned with elaborate campfires, goat hair tents and the ancient irrigation system of UAE. You can also visit the local craft shops and see the craftsmen displaying their ancient techniques. Apart from these, there are spice shops, photography exhibitions, Bedouin tents and open museum, everything created to give you an experience of the authentic lifestyle of Abu Dhabi.
Suggested Read: 20 Amazing Things To Do In Dubai That Are Absolutely Free
12. Liwa Oasis
Dune bashing is one of the most amazing things to do in Dubai. This experience is only elevates your Abu Dhabi trip. Situated to the south of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the beautiful Liwa Oasis offers a great escape from the city chaos. People know the oasis settlement for date farming, and one of the world’s largest sand dunes is just located on the outskirts of the oasis. Liwa is the perfect place to try sand surfing, go camel trekking, and riding dune buggies. Among all the Abu Dhabi attractions, Liwa Oasis has a very special place. The adventure enthusiasts will love riding a dune buggy and jumping over the dunes. There are royal luxury tents available here and those who want to experience how the night looks like in the desert, there is no better place to visit in Abu Dhabi than this.
13. Boat Tours In Abu Dhabi
Cruise Boat Tours
Nothing gives the view of Abu Dhabi’s skyline like a boat tour does. A sunset cruise is the best way to enjoy the colours of the sun going down over city’s high rise apartments and tall buildings. In fact, a sunset cruise is one of most amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi. The city slowly coming to life as a bulb after another lits up is a beautiful sight to behold. There are several operators which organize boat tours in the marina and one can find boats for a group tour to a private dinner cruise as per their requirements.
14. Mangrove Kayaking Tours
If you have believed that Abu Dhabi is all about the desert and the ocean then you are wrong. Among all the places to visit in Abu Dhabi this biologically rich part of UAE is also known for its lush green mangroves. Dubai Tourism provides specialized day and night tours of the mangrove forests of Abu Dhabi. The best way to explore these mangrove forests is to go around using kayaks. You’ll find a lot of kayaking services around the park. The joy and thrill of exploring the park are one of its kinds. The park also organizes an Eco Tour where one can learn about the life and habitat of this park and the kind of effect climate change is doing here. The park also organizes night tours. It is a surreal experience to float through the forest when it is pitch black.
Abu Dhabi Skyline View From Corniche Road
Corniche is a long road along the western border of the city. This road runs parallel to Abu Dhabi’s coastline. Corniche is a picturesque location filled with shopping malls and entertainment centers. Those who are not interested in being a part of the hustling bustling environment of the malls can also take a stroll under the warm and sunny weather of the city. An early morning cycle or a bike ride is the perfect activity and is counted among the essential places to visit in Abu Dhabi. Doesn’t matter what you do and at what time you visit Corniche, the great views of the water and the skyline won’t disappoint you.
16. Explore The Ghaf Gallery
Are you an art enthusiast? If yes, then the Ghaf Gallery is the best place for you to visit. Located in Khalidiya center, this 1500 square foot of exhibition area is a place where you can enjoy artworks from new and upcoming art talents. Mohamed Kanoo and Jalal Luqman were the two artists that found the Ghaf Art Gallery. Running since 2006, this art gallery is the perfect introduction to the ever growing contemporary art scenes in the Emirates.
17. Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace is more of a seven-star luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi but its architectural beauty will spellbind you even if you are just passing by. This lavish hotel adds to the grandeur of the city. Emirates Palace has a private beach, elegant swimming pools and a delicious food and drinks menu. Spread across 100 hectares of area, the marvelous lawns and the magnificent gardens make you feel as if you have walked into a movie set. With 114 domes and more than 1200 crystal chandeliers, Emirates Palace is open for public visit throughout the year.
18. Saadiyat Public Beach
The beaches of Abu Dhabi have a mesmerizing views of the horizon, spotless coastline and clear blue water. The Saadiyat Public Beach offers an array of amenities that includes casual strolling or surfing against the gentle waves. The beach cafés are popular for some mouthwatering snacks and beverages. The beach also has a street shop from where one can buy bohemian style clothing and local handmade jewelry.
19. Al Jahili Fort
Al Jahili Fort
The Al Jihili is another important historic building of Abu Dhabi. In the year 1891 they had to construct this fort in order to defend Abu Dhabi’s percious palm groves. It now serves as an important landmark of the city. Al Jahili Fort has captivating gardens and a permanent exhibition displaying the rise of Abu Dhabi as one of the richest cities in the world.
Suggested Read: 10 Things To Do In Dubai Shopping Festival Apart From Shopping
20. White Water Rafting At Wadi Adventure
The white water rafting at Wadi Adventure takes you through grades of extreme watersport experience on an artificially constructed river. Wadi adventure is one of the most popular Abu Dhabi attractions. Since Abu Dhabi landscape is not fit for watersports, that’s why this artificial river was made to conduct activities like rafting, kayaking and surfing. You can also enjoy aerial assault and wall climbing in the adjoining areas of the park.
With so many attractions, activities and places to visit in Abu Dhabi, One will surely need a huge planning to experience the best of this city. Make sure that you enjoy the citie’s lifestyle, culture, and food with our specially curated trips designed for a memorable vacation.
Top 20 Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi - Thomas Cook India Travel Blog
Abu Dhabi has everything that Dubai has only with a whole lot less crowd. Here is a list of some of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi.
Thomas Cook India