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Home | Elegant Traveller | Abu Dhabi: The Best Ways to Spend Your Time

Elegant Traveller

Abu Dhabi: The Best Ways to Spend Your Time

schedule3 Minute Read

Lou Fox

Where the old meets the new...

Rich in history and culture, Abu Dhabi is fast becoming an increasingly popular destination in the Middle East. The capital of the United Arab Emirates, this vibrant city boasts jaw dropping architecture, including historic mosques and dazzling skyscrapers, highlighting the fascinating mixture of tradition and progress within its streets, as well as extravagant shopping and dining experiences. This city is a dream to explore - offering the world in one place with something for every traveller.

Just a ninety-minute drive away from Dubai, with plenty of things to see and do, Abu Dhabi promises something for everyone - from world-famous museums and award-winning theme parks to sand-skiing and souk shopping. Our experts have compiled our top picks for the best way to spend your time, so you can make the most of your time in the Arabian Peninsula.

Looking for a slice of culture?

Discover traditional Arabian life as you stroll through the Zayed Heritage Village, take in scenic waterways and towering mangroves at the Mangrove National Park, or look for carpets, perfumes, Arabian antiques, or gold in Abu Dhabi's diverse range of independent shops, bustling souks and vibrant culture.
Spend a day at the Middle East's most spectacular museum - the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first branch of the world-renowned museum to open outside of France which boasts a range of artefacts from the Neolithic period up to the current day. Worth the trip for the stunning architecture alone, which was inspired by the low-rise homes of the region, the museum is home to more than 700 permanent artworks and groups of art from every period and civilisation, along with over 300 items on loan from partner museums around the world. Spy one-of-a-kind artefacts as you enjoy a stroll through stunning exhibits that bridge the gap between Eastern and Western art.
Qasr Al Watan is not to be missed - more than just a beautiful destination, it's one of the only working Palaces of its kind in the world!! Found within the Presidential Palace compound, Qasr Al Watan is the formal offices of the President, Vice President, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and offers visitors an insight into the vibrant Arabic culture and the country's rich history. Learn about Emirati governance as you wander through the Palace's exhibits, take in the expansive collection of timeless books and manuscripts in the Library and the House of Knowledge, or admire the majestic Great Hall, a true testament to Arabian artistry.
Of course, no trip to Abu Dhabi is complete without visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in Abu Dhabi, welcoming upwards of 55,000 worshippers and visitors daily. You won't be disappointed by the sheer size and beauty of this impressive building. With over 90,000 tonnes of white marble used in its construction and features throughout, such as the 11 tonne, gold-plated, Swarovski chandelier or the 1096 columns each embedded with beautiful amethyst and jasper stones, the mosque is a fascinating work of architecture. Visitors are welcomed with open arms and are invited to gain a deeper understanding of the Emirates' cultural beliefs as the mosque captures the unique interactions between Islam and many other world cultures.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Qasr Al Watan
The Louvre Abu Dhabi
Mangrove National Park
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Looking for modern family fun?

Look no further than Yas Island, just a thirty-minute drive from the city and boasting an array of fun and exciting adventures for the whole family. This incredible island is home to a range of theme parks, shopping opportunities, and leisure activities - truly offering something for everyone. Spend time at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, home to the world's fastest rollercoaster, the world's tallest non-inverting loop, and of course, the famous Ferrari driving experience. Not only does this impressive theme park showcase spectacular car models and fun attractions for all ages, but the largest theme park in the UAE is also located right next to the remarkable Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Not a fan of cars? Grab your swimming costume and head to Yas Waterworld, one of the Middle East's largest water parks. Spread across 37 acres and boasting over 40 rides, slides, and attractions, Yas Waterworld is the ideal way to beat the heat and create unforgettable memories with the family. Surf the world's largest surfable sheet wave, float along the lazy river, get your adrenaline pumping on a trip down the world's largest six person tornado water coaster, or splash in the shallows with your little ones at the tot's playground.
Just a short walk away lies Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, one of the world's biggest, fully air-conditioned indoor theme parks, boasting an array of fun, family-friendly rides and attractions, as well as multiple delicious dining options and shopping opportunities. You and your family will be transported to awesome worlds of action, adventure, and whimsy straight out of your favourite cartoons and movies!
Yas Marina Circuit
Yas Waterworld
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
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Lou Fox

Content Assistant

Ready with a guidebook and my camera, I've been lucky enough to travel all over the world. From learning to dive in Egypt, traversing the theatres and museums in NYC, to volunteering in a small village in rural Uganda, I'm passionate about exploring the planet and writing about what the world has to offer.

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