Top Things To Do in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, offers the perfect combination of holiday activities. Right from historical places to theme parks, this Emirate has everything to keep tourists busy and entertained. Although not as glamorous as Dubai, Abu Dhabi stands on its own when it comes to interesting attractions that would blow your mind away. With this note, let us look at the best things to do in Abu Dhabi.
1. Discover the amazing architecture of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the UAE making it one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi. This beautiful white structure is fused with gold, glass and tile work, making it an incredible vision. While prayers are conducted here every Friday, the mosque is open to people of all faiths who want to check out the amazing architecture of the place. The mosque is also home to the largest manmade carpet in the world and some of the largest crystal chandeliers you would have ever seen. While it is mandatory for women to wear an abaya, men also have to wear clothes that cover their legs and arms, while entering the mosque.
2. Spend some memorable time at Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
Today, Abu Dhabi houses some of the best state-of-the-art theme parks and glamorous malls. However, not so long ago, it was a simple fishing village, which thrived on fishing and pearl diving. If you want to have a glimpse of the past of the city, a visit to Abu Dhabi Heritage Village would be perfect. Here, an entire Bedouin-style village has been recreated, complete with tents and huts of the yesteryears. You would also find artisans displaying their skills like weaving, metalwork, glasswork, pottery, etc. While strolling through the heritage village, you would be taken back to ancient times. Do visit the retail store, where you can buy spices and other handicrafts. All these activities make it one of the ideal Abu Dhabi things to do.
3. Get a bird-watching experience at Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Falcons were hunting birds and an extremely important part of the Bedouin culture. While these birds are no longer used for hunting, they are still a great source of pride for the Emiratis. In fact, the falcon is the national bird of the UAE. If you want to know more about these birds, who are deeply loved and respected in the UAE, a visit to Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is a must. Opened in 1999, this hospital has treated more than 10,000 falcons and other species of birds. The tour of the hospital would give you the chance to watch doctors performing treatments and even surgeries on the birds. You may also get to feed and hold the falcons.
4. Enjoy the spectacular views of the city from Observation Deck at 300
If you want to enjoy the beauty of Abu Dhabi’s skyline, Observation Deck at 300 is the place to be. This observation deck is located on the 74th level of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, and it is so-called because it is 300 meters above the ground. If you are a guest at the hotel, you can visit the observation deck for free. However, if you are not a guest, you can still visit the place by paying an entry fee. Do not forget to redeem your ticket for some refreshments and snacks. Moreover, you can also visit the place to enjoy afternoon tea along with the aerial view of the capital Emirate city.
5. Don’t miss some exciting moments at Yas Island
Yas Island is the place to go if you are looking for pure entertainment and fun in Abu Dhabi. Located just 20 km away from the city center, Yas Island is a hub of theme parks and other attractions. The highlight of the place is Ferrari World, the Formula One themed amusement park. Then there is the Yas Waterworld, which is one of the largest as well as the best waterparks in the UAE. The latest addition on the island is the Louvre Museum, which is a must-visit for art lovers. Families with kids would love visiting Warner Bros. World on the island. Apart from these, Yas Island boasts of a beach club, a marina circuit and even a shopping mall. In short, it has everything to keep you entertained.
6. Witness History of Abu Dhabi at Qasr Al-Hosn
One of the most important historical buildings in Abu Dhabi is Qasr Al-Hosn. Interestingly, it is also the oldest building in the city. Constructed in 1793, the Al-Hosn Fort, which is also called the White Fort or Old Fort, was the residence of the royal family. Today, the fort has been renovated to add certain modern elements. It has been converted into a museum that traces the history of the region through old, historical photographs and oral histories. Do not forget to check out the beautiful tile work and the courtyard, which are the two interesting features of Qasr Al-Hosn. No wonder, this masterpiece is also listed in top things to do in Abu Dhabi.
7. Explore a new tourist attraction of city – Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan is the latest addition to the numerous attractions of Abu Dhabi. Qasr Al Watan literally means the Palace of the Nation and is a magnificent structure fit for royalty. It is the finest example of Arabian architecture. The opulent and elegant rooms of the Qasr Al Watan is a reflection on the craftsmanship, knowledge and governance of the city. The palace has several zones, each with its own features and functions. The Great Hall, Spirit of Collaboration, the Presidential Banquet, Qasr Al Watan Library, House of Knowledge, etc. are some of the amazing rooms that you should check out. Time your visit during the evening, so that you can check out the unique light and sound show, Palace in Motion.
8. Get close to the wildlife at Emirates Park Zoo
If you are in Abu Dhabi with children, a visit to Emirates Park Zoo would be interesting for everyone, especially the little ones. The best way to enjoy the zoo is by staying at the resort inside the zoo. Apart from exploring the zoo by going on a safari, you would get to indulge in some unusual activities like having breakfast with the giraffes. Along with giraffes, the zoo is also home to elephants, white tigers, a Siberian bear, zebras, monkeys, flamingos, etc. You would also get to pet the domestic breed of animals at the petting zoo.
9. A highly recommended Al Ain Oasis
The desert and the urban jungle are not the only things that you can see in Abu Dhabi. In fact, the eastern region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, i.e. Al Ain is home to what can be called a forest of palm. Comprising more than 147,000 palm trees, the Al Ain Oasis is a true sanctuary from the heat of the city. Spread around an area of 1200 hectares, the Al Ain Oasis has many other fruit trees apart from the date palm trees. A walk around the oasis would give you the chance to see trees bearing orange, jujube, mango, banana, figs, etc. However, the major highlight of the place is the falaj irrigation system, which is an underground irrigation system that has been used by the Arabs for more than 1000 years. So, when the heat of the city becomes too much to bear, Al Ain Oasis offers you the much-needed respite.
10. Rejuvenate yourself at The Corniche
The Abu Dhabi Corniche is the perfect place to rest and relax in the evening as well as to get the daily dose of exercise. Stretching 8 km, the Corniche is a manicured waterfront promenade stretching from Hilton Hotel to beyond Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. The place is home to walking and cycling paths, children’s play areas, cafes and restaurants, and a public beach as well. Endowed with the Blue Flag Status, the Corniche beachfront has all the necessary beach amenities. While the bathing water at Corniche Beach is clean as well as safe, you cannot swim more than 40 meters from the beach. There are also beach guards all over the place for the safety of the visitors.
What’s next waiting for you?
Aside from the above-mentioned places, you can explore several other tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi that are worth visiting. You can simply check out the Emirates Palace, shopping at Marina Mall, going on a desert safari, strolling on the Abu Dhabi Corniche and going on a boat tour or dhow cruise are some other interesting things to do in Abu Dhabi.