While Dubai is the first-holiday destination that comes to mind when we think of the UAE, the capital city of Abu Dhabi is not far behind. It is the best place to learn about Arabian heritage and traditions. It is also full of breathtaking modern architecture, rich history, imposing mosques, and a complete shopping experience. It strikes a beautiful balance between the ancient and the contemporary, offering an ideal vacation destination to its visitors. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in this largest Emirate.
Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan or the Presidential Palace takes you on an enriching journey about Arabian heritage, history, and culture. A recent addition to the excellent list of Abu Dhabi tourist attractions, this magnificent structure is an awe-inspiring and opulent landmark adorning the Emirate. It has a sprawling library with an extensive collection of books and historical resources. The East Wing consists of a vast array of manuscripts, artifacts, and other objects of significance. This place is a haven for history buffs to learn about the rulers and other governing institutions that have played essential roles in shaping this great nation.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Built-in the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, this majestic structure is considered one of the critical landmarks in Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the country and can accommodate more than 40000 worshippers at a time. This mosque’s construction is with Macedonian marble combining mixed elements of the Fatimid, Ottoman, and Mameluke design of architecture. It is one of the two mosques in the UAE that welcomes non-Muslims too. The remarkable façade has pure white marble and gold with intricate carvings and mosaic tiling. It proudly displays the world’s largest handloom carpet and the world’s most enormous chandelier, completely handmade with gold and Swarovski crystals.
This colossal theme park opened its gate to visitors in 2010. Since then, it is one of the most visited places in Abu Dhabi. The Ferrari World brings exhilarating Formula One racing to Abu Dhabi. It houses some of the most hair-raising rides, such as Flying Aces – the world’s tallest non-inverting loop, and Formula Rossa – the world’s fastest roller-coaster at 150 mph. It also offers an electrifying Ferrari driving experience. You can also see a fantastic collection of Ferrari cars, a few of them dating back to the 1940s. You can also indulge in a Ferrari knowledge game show and see a Ferrari factory tour. A visit to this place is one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
A visit to the delightful Heritage Village is the best way to discover the roots of the region. Located along the city’s beaches, it replicates the original fishing villages of the ancient days and is ideal for a glimpse into Emirati life. You will stumble upon Bedouin tents and cottages that exhibit traditional skills, including metalwork, pottery, glass blowing, weaving, and spinning. An ancient irrigation system called ‘Falaj’ is used to water the crops here and is considered one of the major highlights. You can shop for souvenirs such as herbs and spices, soaps, etc., here too.
Stretching to around 5 miles, Corniche is a superb waterfront estate filled with shops, bars, hotels, restaurants, and cafes. It is the perfect place to unwind after a hectic day and witness the spectacular sunset. The promenade offers magical views of the deep blue waters of the Persian Gulf and the impressive city skyline. It is replete with a public beach, kids’ play area, fountains, parks, walking, cycling, and jogging tracks. It is undoubtedly one of the best places in Abu Dhabi.
The rugged deserts of Abu Dhabi provide the ideal getaway from the chaos of the city. A desert safari in Abu Dhabi is a must in your travel itinerary. You will get to experience top-notch Arabian hospitality and also enjoy your day with amazing activities. Enjoy exciting activities like 4×4 dune bashing, a bumpy camel ride, quad biking, and sandboarding. Smoke flavorful shisha pipes, dress up in Arabian garments, watch a magical sunset, and click stunning pictures. Live entertainment shows such as Belly Dancing, and Tanura Dance are in store for you. Savor some mouthwatering BBQ dinner under the stars before you conclude your evening.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Opened in 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is hands down one of the best places to see in the city. What makes it stand apart is that it is the only Louvre in the world outside Paris. The famous Jean-Nouvel designed this massive museum comprising of a striking dome, which is a highlight in itself. The building is extraordinary, showcasing a spectacle on the water which attracts people like a magnet. Located on Saadiyat Island, it is home to some of the most brilliant masterpieces and artwork from the Neo-Classical Age to contemporary time. You can also enroll in free talks and fine art-related screenings that are also held in the museum.
Warner Bros World
Warner Bros World is situated on Yas Island and plays an ode to all the favorite characters. All the rides here are based on comic book heroes and villains. This amusement park’s exterior has a 200-feet tall tower based on the famous Warner Bros. Water Tower in California. The park is divided into six lands – Bedrock, Warner Bros Plaza, Dynamite Gulch, Cartoon Junction, Gotham City, and Metropolis. Different lands cater to various age groups in the family. Some of the rides include The Joker Funhouse, Marvin the Martian Crater Crushes, Tom and Jerry: Swiss Cheese Spin, Cartoon Junction Carousel, The Jetsons Cosmic Orbiter, Tweety Wild Wockets, Scooby-Doo: The Museum of Mysteries, and more. This is a great place to spend a day filled with fun with your dear ones.
Abu Dhabi may have a reputation as a business city, but it certainly has plenty of attractions to charm its visitors. It is also home to some offbeat activities and attractions such as a falcon hospital, exotic spas, dense mangroves, Yas Island, Jebel Hafeet, and the Al Ain Camel souk. So next time you are looking for a slightly different experience in your UAE holidays, you know where to head.
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