As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a city of striking contrasts. From futuristic skyscrapers to ancient fortresses, this destination has something for every traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Abu Dhabi will not disappoint.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which boasts 82 domes and four minarets. With a capacity of 41,000 worshipers, this mosque is one of the largest in the world and a true architectural marvel. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history and significance of the mosque and its intricate design.
For a taste of modern luxury, head to Yas Island, where you’ll find the world-renowned Ferrari World. This indoor theme park features thrilling roller coasters, racing simulators, and interactive exhibits that celebrate the legacy of the iconic Italian sports car brand. There’s also the Yas Mall, which is home to a range of designer boutiques and international retailers.
If you’re looking to relax and soak up the sun, Abu Dhabi has plenty of stunning beaches to choose from. The Corniche Beach is a popular spot for families, with its soft white sand and calm waters. For a more secluded experience, head to Saadiyat Island, which is home to pristine beaches and luxurious resorts.
To get a taste of traditional Emirati culture, visit the Qasr Al-Hosn fortress. This historic landmark dates back to the 18th century and was once the residence of the ruling family. Today, it serves as a museum where visitors can learn about the history and culture of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
Abu Dhabi is also known for its world-class dining scene, with restaurants offering everything from authentic Arabic cuisine to international dishes. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as shawarma, falafel, and mezze.
3 Days in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a fascinating city that offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for travelers to explore. With three days to spare, you can delve into the rich history and culture of the city, indulge in its luxurious amenities, and soak up its stunning natural beauty. Here’s a sample itinerary for 3 days in Abu Dhabi.
Day 1: Culture and History
Start your first day by exploring the city’s rich cultural heritage. Begin with a visit to the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world. Admire its stunning architecture, intricate design, and learn about its history and significance.
Next, head to the Qasr Al Hosn fortress, a historic landmark that dates back to the 18th century. Explore the museum and exhibitions that showcase the history and culture of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
In the afternoon, head to the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, which is home to a range of museums and art galleries. Visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a stunning museum that houses an impressive collection of artwork from around the world. Other cultural attractions in the area include the Manarat Al Saadiyat, an arts and culture center, and the Abu Dhabi Art Hub, an artist village that showcases local talent.
Day 2: Modern Marvels
On your second day, experience the modern marvels of Abu Dhabi. Start by heading to the Yas Island, where you’ll find Ferrari World, an indoor theme park dedicated to the iconic Italian sports car brand. Adrenaline junkies can ride the world’s fastest rollercoaster, the Formula Rossa, and experience the thrill of racing in the simulators.
Next, head to the Emirates Palace, a luxurious hotel that epitomizes the opulence and grandeur of Abu Dhabi. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of its restaurants, or indulge in a decadent spa treatment.
In the evening, head to the observation deck of the Etihad Towers, which offers stunning views of the city and the Arabian Gulf. Afterward, head to the Corniche, a scenic waterfront promenade that’s perfect for an evening stroll.
Day 3: Natural Beauty
On your final day, immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Abu Dhabi. Start by visiting the Mangrove National Park, where you can take a guided kayak tour and explore the mangrove forests and waterways.
Next, head to the Emirates Park Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with a range of animals, including giraffes, zebras, and tigers. Afterward, head to the Al Ain Oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to thousands of date palms and other crops.
In the evening, head to the Observation Deck at 300, which offers stunning views of the city and the Arabian Gulf from the highest point in Abu Dhabi. Afterward, head to the Yas Marina, where you can enjoy a leisurely dinner while overlooking the stunning Yas Marina Circuit.
In conclusion, with three days in Abu Dhabi, you can explore the city’s rich history and culture, indulge in its luxurious amenities, and soak up its stunning natural beauty. This itinerary is just a starting point – there’s so much to see and do in this vibrant city, so be sure to explore and discover all that Abu Dhabi has to offer.
How to get to and around Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a well-connected city, with several transport options for getting in and around. Here’s a guide to getting to and around Abu Dhabi.
Getting to Abu Dhabi
By Air: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the main airport serving the city, located around 30 km from the city center. It’s served by several international airlines, and there are frequent flights to and from major cities around the world.
By Car: If you’re traveling from Dubai, you can take the Sheikh Zayed Road (E11) and it will take you straight to Abu Dhabi. The journey takes around 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.
By Bus: There are several bus services that operate between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including the E100 and E101. These buses are comfortable, air-conditioned, and affordable, and they run frequently throughout the day.
Getting around Abu Dhabi
By Taxi: Taxis are a convenient and affordable way to get around Abu Dhabi. The taxis are metered and the fares are regulated by the government, so there’s no need to negotiate the price. There are plenty of taxis available throughout the city, and you can flag them down on the street or book them through a ride-hailing app.
By Bus: Abu Dhabi has an extensive public bus network that connects all parts of the city. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable, and the fares are affordable. There are several bus stations around the city, and you can buy tickets at the station or onboard the bus.
By Metro: The Abu Dhabi Metro is currently under construction and is expected to be operational in the coming years. It will connect major parts of the city, making it easier for tourists to get around.
By Car: Renting a car is a good option if you want to explore the city at your own pace. There are several car rental companies in Abu Dhabi, and the rental fees are reasonable. However, traffic can be heavy in some parts of the city, so it’s important to plan your route and allow plenty of time for travel.
Places to stay in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a city that offers a range of accommodation options for all types of travelers, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. Here are some places to stay in Abu Dhabi:
- Emirates Palace: This iconic hotel is one of the most luxurious in the world, with opulent rooms and suites, private beaches, and a range of amenities, including a spa, fitness center, and restaurants.
- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: This elegant hotel is located on Saadiyat Island, offering stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. It has spacious rooms and villas, a private beach, a spa, and several restaurants.
- St. Regis Abu Dhabi: This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, offering spacious rooms and suites with modern amenities. It has several restaurants, a spa, and an outdoor swimming pool.
- Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi: This iconic hotel is located on Yas Island, overlooking the Yas Marina Circuit. It has stylish rooms and suites, several restaurants, a spa, and a rooftop swimming pool.
- Centro Capital Center: This budget-friendly hotel is located in the business district of Abu Dhabi, offering comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities. It has a fitness center, a restaurant, and a rooftop swimming pool.
- Al Seef Resort and Spa by Andalus: This luxurious resort is located on Abu Dhabi’s eastern coast, offering spacious villas with private pools and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. It has a spa, several restaurants, and a private beach.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island: This hotel is located on Yas Island, offering comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities. It has several restaurants, a fitness center, and a rooftop swimming pool.
What and where to eat in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a food lover’s paradise, with a range of culinary options that cater to every taste and budget. Here’s a guide to what and where to eat in Abu Dhabi:
- Arabic Cuisine: Abu Dhabi is known for its delicious Arabic cuisine, which includes a range of dishes such as shawarma, falafel, hummus, and kebabs. Some popular Arabic restaurants in Abu Dhabi include Li Beirut, Almayass, and Zahr El-Laymoun.
- Seafood: With its location on the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi has a rich seafood culture. Freshly caught fish and shellfish are a staple of many local restaurants. Some popular seafood restaurants in Abu Dhabi include Finz, Sayad, and Fishmarket.
- International Cuisine: Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan city that offers a range of international cuisines, including Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and more. Some popular international restaurants in Abu Dhabi include Hakkasan, Cipriani, and Toro Toro.
- Street Food: Abu Dhabi has a vibrant street food culture, with plenty of food trucks and vendors selling tasty snacks and meals. Some popular street food spots in Abu Dhabi include Truckers, The Streat, and the Abu Dhabi Night Market.
- Desserts: No meal in Abu Dhabi is complete without indulging in some delicious desserts. Some popular dessert spots in Abu Dhabi include Maison Samira Maatouk, La Brioche, and L’ETO.
Coworking in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a growing hub for entrepreneurs and startups, with a range of coworking spaces that cater to the needs of remote workers, freelancers, and small businesses. Here’s a guide to coworking in Abu Dhabi:
- Regus: Regus has several coworking spaces in Abu Dhabi, offering flexible office solutions that include hot desks, private offices, and virtual office services. They have locations in Al Bateen, Al Maryah Island, and other parts of the city.
- The Bureau: The Bureau is a coworking space located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, offering flexible office solutions that include hot desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. They have a range of amenities, including high-speed internet, printing and scanning services, and a coffee bar.
- WeWork: WeWork has a coworking space in Abu Dhabi, offering flexible office solutions that include hot desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. They have a range of amenities, including high-speed internet, printing and scanning services, and a community of like-minded professionals.
- The Space: The Space is a coworking space located in the Khalidiya area of Abu Dhabi, offering flexible office solutions that include hot desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. They have a range of amenities, including high-speed internet, printing and scanning services, and a coffee bar.
- Koffeeworks: Koffeeworks is a coworking space located in the Al Khalidiya area of Abu Dhabi, offering flexible office solutions that include hot desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. They have a range of amenities, including high-speed internet, printing and scanning services, and a coffee bar.