Logo

° F (C)

The best things to do in
Abu Dhabi

Language:   Arabic

Currency: AED

Sales Tax: 5%

Exchange Rate

Abu Dhabi is an extraordinary oasis in the desert for visitors and locals alike. Anyone looking for a wonderful destination with its own unique tourist attractions should look no further than the capital of the United Arab Emirates. There appears to be an endless list of exciting things to do in Abu Dhabi, with many more being introduced every year.

In 2023, over 18 million tourists visited Abu Dhabi. Many of these visitors experienced the city’s beaches, shopping malls, restaurants, and car-themed attractions. Thanks to flights via Etihad Airways from major cities around the world, tourists can enjoy the sights, sounds, and sun of Abu Dhabi in no time. Here are some of the best attractions the city has to offer:

Some of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Standing as a symbol of architectural splendor and spiritual magnificence, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a grandiose mosque named after the UAE's founding father, Sheikh Zayed. An architectural masterpiece and a symbol of faith, arts, unity, and cultural heritage, it is one of the largest mosques in the world, covering approximately 12 hectares of land and an area of 290 meters by 420 meters.

Construction began in 1996 and finished in 2007. It was built using materials sourced from various parts of the world, such as white Macedonian marble. The building features intricate designs inspired by various types of architecture, including the Mughal, Persian, and Ottoman styles.

The mosque has 82 domes of varying sizes, including one of the largest mosque domes in the world, containing seven chandeliers made up of Swarovski crystals. The mosque is open to the public and is a must-see destination. However, it's important to be aware of strict dress codes, with women required to be completely covered, including trousers, long sleeves, and a headscarf. At any one time, it can accommodate approximately 41,000 people, with the main hall alone accommodating a large crowd of approximately 10,000!

A stunning feat of design, this iconic religious landmark is a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.

The Corniche

The Corniche

‘The Corniche’ refers to Corniche Road in Abu Dhabi, an 8km waterfront promenade with plenty to offer. The most interesting attraction along the road is Corniche Beach, a Blue-Flagged public beach known for its clear turquoise water and white sandy shore surrounded by well-manicured gardens.

The beach is 2km long and has three sections: a singles beach called Al Sahil, the ‘quiet zone’ for families, and the third section open to families and children. Also present in the area is a seaside boardwalk with walkways where you can enjoy views of the Arabian Gulf. While at the beach, you can enjoy one of many beach activities as it has two football pitches, five volleyball courts, and three playing fields.

Since you’re at the beach, there’s every reason to go snorkeling. You can also rent a boat for a short cruise or a jet ski for a stronger adrenaline rush. If you prefer just lounging at the beach, you have the Marina Mall on Lulu Island to check out (bring your own binoculars) or see how many buildings in the Abu Dhabi skyline you can identify.

Beyond the beach, the Corniche also has many small parks, gardens, and a variety of fine dining restaurants offering local and international cuisine.

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi

Offering a captivating marine experience for all, SeaWorld features diverse marine life, engaging shows, and interactive exhibits. Visitors can witness incredible marine creatures in all their glory.

Featuring over 183,000 square meters with more than 58 million liters of water, visitors can view all types of marine animals, from sea turtles to sharks and rays. The park is divided into eight different sections, from the Arctic to the Atlantic, all with their unique shows, attractions, and interactive exhibits, including sea lions, birds, and dolphins on show.

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is the first SeaWorld park outside the United States and carries on the tradition of SeaWorld as a family-friendly attraction with plenty of educational opportunities.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The French government allows the UAE capital to use the original museum’s name and to loan artworks that are housed in the Parisian gallery. The Louvre Abu Dhabi hopes to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western art, and it appears that the emirate’s leaders were willing to invest heavily to make Abu Dhabi a top destination for art enthusiasts. This conviction is evident in the bold design of the museum’s exterior and interior.

Located on Saadiyat Island, the museum is another exceptional addition to the cultural district. The island is currently seeing a lot of new development. It will showcase eight different museums and a number of leisure centers for tourists to enjoy once it is finally completed. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the main focus of the island, and its exhibits will thrill art lovers during their Emirati holiday.

Qasr Al Watan

Qasr Al Watan

One of the most interesting parts of the building is The Great Hall. The ornamentation and mosaic patterns of the central dome, archways, and floor exhibit the very best of Arabian architecture and culture with theme colors white, blue, and yellow, each representing purity, the waters of the Arabian Gulf, and the desert respectively.

Originally built as a palace for government officials and a place for hosting guests of the government, it was opened to the public in 2019 at the direction of Sheikhs Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In addition to the awe-inspiring interior, the grand palace has a large library where visitors can take some time to learn more about the history and culture of the UAE.

The Falcon and Saluki show

The Falcon and Saluki show

A popular desert experience allowing visitors to witness the ancient sport of falconry and the traditional art of Saluki hunting, the Falcon and Saluki show is held twice daily at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in the Liwa Desert.

It allows visitors to witness the agility and skill of falcons and Salukis and immerse themselves in Emirati culture. The falcon is a cultural symbol of the UAE. The birds have been associated with Emirati culture for centuries. The show offers insights into the importance of falconry and the role of falcons in the lives of the Bedouins, a nomadic Arabic tribe that has lived in the Middle East for centuries, while also showcasing the unique characteristics of the Salukis, one of the world's oldest dog breeds.

The show is often part of the Desert safari experiences in Abu Dhabi, so visitors can combine it with various other activities, such as sandboarding, camel rides, and dune bashing.

Ferrari World

Ferrari World

The racing fan in the family will find adrenaline pumping, hair-raising racing-themed rides including Formula Rossa, which is the fastest roller coaster in the world. The Fiorano GT Challenge will propel you at speeds of 95 km/h in a Ferrari F430 Spider. The circuit was created on a real GT racecourse, and it will send you down twisting parallel tracks. It is just one of many fast rides available to visitors.

After experiencing the Ferrari fun rides and rollercoaster, you can dine at one of the six Ferrari World restaurants. There is also plenty of shopping to do, so the Ferrari fan in the family won’t miss out on great souvenirs from the Italian car maker.

Yas Marina Circuit

Yas Marina Circuit

One of the most impressive aspects of the circuit is it takes you through the Yas Viceroy Hotel. The hotel makes an excellent base for anyone in need for speed as the Yas Marina Circuit is built around it. In certain rooms, you will be able to see the track right from your window. Now that is what every car lover wants to wake up to.

There is also a dedicated drag racing center at the Yas Marina Circuit. So, no matter what kind of car racing you prefer, there is the chance to do it.

If getting behind the wheel is a little too much, there is always the tour of Yas Marina Circuit. Take a tour of the venue and see just where the big boys of Formula One spend their time when competing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Observation Deck at 300

Observation Deck at 300

Abu Dhabi has some of the most unique buildings being constructed today. They house hotels and companies from around the world and offer a brilliant skyline to the city. Just wandering around Abu Dhabi will give you the chance to take in the great city views.

Jubail Mangrove Park

Jubail Mangrove Park

If you're looking for serene beauty, Jubail Mangrove Park is an ecological gem in Abu Dhabi. The park provides a tranquil escape through lush mangrove forests and winding boardwalks, pleasing all nature lovers.

A unique attraction located on Al Jubail Island, the park is primarily a mangrove sanctuary, home to a variety of wildlife, such as birds like herons and flamingos. The 2-kilometer boardwalk offers close-up views of the mangroves and the wildlife. The park aims to enhance awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the mangrove habitats, focusing on the ecological functions and the importance of protecting and preserving the natural environment and wildlife. This educational focus is a vital part of its practices and provides a vast range of amenities and activities.

Beyond the visitor center and cafe, visitors can engage in a variety of water-based activities, including stand-up paddleboarding and sunset kayaking. A tranquil and educational experience in equal measure, it provides a fantastic escape from urban environments and is a popular destination for many people who are in love with nature.

National Aquarium

The National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi provides many opportunities for visitors of all ages to marvel at the wonders of marine life, with a stunning array of fish, coral reefs, and aquatic species that are visually stunning.

The largest aquarium in the Middle East, it spans over 9,000 square meters and is home to 46,000 animals from 330 species. Located in Al Qana, it is divided into ten zones, including the UAE's Natural Treasures, Atlantic Caves, Red Sea Wreck, and more. With many marine creatures on display, from rays to sea turtles and, of course, the majestic shark, there is plenty for everyone to marvel at.

The aquarium has a strong focus on the environment, with conservation, education, and wildlife rescue being a key part of its practices. Having teamed up with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, they ensure they are a leading destination for conservation efforts in the region.

The National Aquarium provides visitors an immersive and educational experience with its amazing interactive exhibits and commitment to transparency and animal welfare.

Warner Bros. World

Warner Bros. World

Umm Al Emarat Park

Umm Al Emarat Park

Emirates National Auto Museum

Emirates National Auto Museum

One place car enthusiasts will want to add to the list of places to visit while in Abu Dhabi is the Emirates National Auto Museum. Located in Al Dhafra, about 28 miles south of Abu Dhabi, this pyramid-shaped museum houses the car collection owned by Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. Also known as the Rainbow Sheikh, he is famous for his collection of Mercedes cars in different colors. The collection includes exotic, unique, and record-holding vehicles. Even if you tried, you can’t fail to notice the incredibly large model trucks on display at the museum.

Sea Plane Tours

Can't decide if you want an air or a sea tour of Abu Dhabi? Do both! Explore the Emirati coastline by sea and sky for a one-of-a-kind adventure. Board one of these amphibious planes to see the Yas Marina circuit and surrounding areas from the best seat in the house; above.

Yas Waterworld

Yas Waterworld

With a wide range of water attractions, Yas Waterworld is the perfect blend of excitement and adventure for everyone, not just water enthusiasts! Located on Yas Island, the largest water theme park in Abu Dhabi spans over 15 hectares with over 40 rides and slides catering to thrill-seekers, families, and kids alike.

Inspired by Emirati culture and history, with its design and story based on "The Legend of The Lost Pearl," the park offers many services for visitors' needs, including quick-service takeaways for those on the move, as well as sit-down restaurants that cater to all visitors' needs. There are many opportunities to indulge, as well as a self-service market complex, Qaryat Al Jewana, where visitors can shop comfortably.

The park has also been recognized as the world's leading water park and has been home to the World Flowboarding Championships. A diverse and immersive water adventure experience, everybody comes away from it having had the time of their lives (and more than a little bit wet)!

Abu Dhabi is a travel experience unlike any other. It is the gateway to the rising Middle East. The city bridges the gap between east and west, and its many tourist attractions offer visitors a unique holiday experience.


Weather



Where to Stay

Top Luxury Hotels

Book your stay in one of Abu Dhabi's top luxury hotels

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri


The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Canal

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Canal


Abu Dhabi Edition

Abu Dhabi Edition


The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort


W Abu Dhabi

W Abu Dhabi


Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel


Madrooba

Local Favorite: Madrooba

Madrooba is a popular dish in the United Arab Emirates and is widely eaten in Abu Dhabi. The meal is made using seafood – any fish will do - that has been salted. This is known as "maleh." Maleh is a delicacy in Abu Dhabi, with many restaurants serving it. The fish is rinsed thoroughly before being place into a pot of water that is seasoned with spices. Flour is slowly added as the fish and spices combine, thickening the fish/water broth into a sauce. The finished madrooba will then be served with flatbread (naan) and ghee. Madrooba is a demonstration of the UAE's cuisine from when the country was known for fishing and not oil.

  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • X
  • email

MORE From FORTLOC


Point of Interest

VILLA DEL BALBIANELLO

Point of Interest

PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS

Travel

Seattle

Point of Interest

CHATEAU STE MICHELLE

Point of Interest

VILLA EPHRUSSI DE ROTHSCHILD

Resort Town

A SPLENDID MEDITERRANEAN VACATION SPOT