Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is the biggest out of all the seven Emirates of UAE. It is also the second largest city in terms of population. But Abu Dhabi has more to it than meets the eye. It has become one of the most visited places in the world. Alongside Dubai, Abu Dhabi is worth visiting if you’re taking a vacation in UAE.
Also, the city continues to flourish thanks to the renewed interest of tourists to visit UAE for its sights and sounds, as well as the overall culture it offers for everyone to experience. Oil has become a significant part to the drastic change in Abu Dhabi. From a small fishing village, Abu Dhabi has exponentially grown in terms of revenue ever since oil was discovered.
Take a look at the most popular tourist attractions you must visit when in Abu Dhabi. These attractions and locations are majestic, so you’re not going to have any problems having the best time of your life when you visit UAE’s capital city.
Top Attractions And Locations To Visit In Abu Dhabi
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most popular landmarks in Abu Dhabi. It is embellished with Macedonian marble, which makes up its majestic and gorgeous look. It took 20 years for the mosque to be complete, and it opened its doors in 2007. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is considered the biggest mosque in UAE.
2. Heritage Village
If you want to get a blast from the past, the Heritage Village is perhaps the best place to visit. It is an amazing representation of the life in Abu Dhabi before the oil discovery.
3. Women’s Craft Centre
Another place to visit to check the regular life in Abu Dhabi is the Women’s Craft Centre. Tourists can check out the local women showcase their traditional skills like basketry, embroidery and weaving. For those who want to pick authentic souvenir items, this is the place to go to.
4. Qasr al-Hosn
Qasr al-Hosn is the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi. The building is located along the First Street and it features the Cultural Foundation within the grounds of Abu Dhabi. Currently, the building is host for research involving historical, architectural and archaeological. Also, the Qasr al-Hosn Festival must also be checked. It is an 11-day annual event that takes place on the grounds of the fort.
5. Boat Tours
There are boat tours being offered in Abu Dhabi for tourists to see the best views of the city. Also, it is a great break from the busy Abu Dhabi streets. You will admire the high-rise buildings and the remarkable landscapes Abu Dhabi offers. You can go with family or friends, or all by yourself if you want to spend some time alone and experience the stunning views of Abu Dhabi.
6. Liwa Oasis
Liwa Oasis has a historical significance with the ruling families of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The ruling family known as “Al Nahyan” originally came from the Liwa Oasis before they migrated to Abu Dhabi in 1793. Every year, the Liwa Festival is held. A huge number of foreign and local visitors go to the place to witness the off-road, as well as the camel racing events.
7. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the number one falcon welfare institution on the planet. It started on October 3, 1999, as an affiliate of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency. Its main objective is to tend to injured or ill falcons, but the hospital also offers tours for interested tourists. Likewise, the hospital manages an animal shelter. It becomes a haven of hundreds of stray dogs and cats.
8. Observation Deck at 300
If you want to witness the unbeatable views of the cityscape and the surrounding islands in Abu Dhabi, the Observation Deck at 300 is a must-visit. It is located on the 74th floor of Tower 2 at the Etihad Towers complex. For people who are non-guests of the hotel, there is an entry fee. However, the ticket can be exchanged for food and drink from the restaurant located on the same floor. It is definitely an experience to get a bird’s eye-view of Abu Dhabi.
9. Emirates Park Zoo
The Emirates Park Zoo showcases a so-called “misting system” to keep animals as well as visitors cool during summer months. Also, it is home to more than 1,700 animals like white tigers, Siberian bear, cheetahs, lions and zebras. The park also has balconies overlooking the zoo.
10. Yas Island
Yas Island is a man-made island that can be reached via car, bloat or plane. Tourists never fail to visit the island, which was named as the leading tourism project in the world at the World Travel Awards. Formula Rossa, one of the top attractions of the island, is the fastest rollercoaster in the world with a speed of up to 240 kph.
11. Arabian Wildlife Park
After the Sir Bani Yas Island was established as a nature reserve in the year 1971, it became the place for the preservation of the animals in the brink of extinction. These animals are within the UAE, as well as the Arabian Peninsula. Shortly after the Arabian Wildlife Park was established, it covers half of the island to help with the rehabilitation and breeding of endangered animals in the region. It is also a place where animals roam freely.
12. Al Ain Oasis
Al Ain Oasis is the largest oasis in Al Ain. It is known for its underground irrigation system known as “falaj”. This system brings water from boreholes to palm trees and water farms. Also, the Al Ain Oasis is UAE’s first curated UNESCO World Heritage site.
13. Yas Viceroy
The 5-star Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is an architectural success. It is the centerpiece of Yas Island and it hovers over land and water. With 11 dining and lounge venues, Yas Viceroy offers exquisite cuisine from all parts of the world.
14. Jebel Hafeet
Jebel Hafeet is Abu Dhabi’s highest peak, and is the second highest in UAE. It is 1,240 meters and stands guard over Al Ain and borders Oman. There were also fossil discoveries in the area, which laid down the ancient history of the city. Likewise, there were more than 500 ancient burial tombs dating back 5,000 years ago that have been found in the foothills of Jebel Hafeet.
15. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Located in Yas Island, Ferrari World is an amusement park. It is the first and only Ferrari theme park in the world. Also, it holds the record for the largest space frame structure ever built. Formula Rossa can also be seen here. The theme park covers an area of 86,000 square meters. In 2015, Ferrari World was hailed as the “Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction”.
16. Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain Zoo is built in a 400-hectare land. It is located in the Jebel Hafeet foothills. The zoo exhibits animals mainly Arabian oryx and antelopes, gazelle, eland and lechwe. Also, it hosts the white lion (which is almost extinct and believed to have less than 200 in the world).
17. The Corniche
The Corniche is located in Abu Dhabi. It stretches out up to eight kilometers and hosts stunning waterfront, including play areas for children, restaurants and cafes. Also, the lane for cyclists and pedestrians are separate. It also showcases the Corniche Beach, a beach park supervised by lifeguards.
18. Al Ain Camel Market
Al Ain Camel Market is the very last souk of its kind in UAE. It is located in Al Ain and it offers a great opportunity to see camels up close and personal. Also, photo ops are welcome, but make sure to ask permission first before you point your camera to one direction. There are tours around the pens but you are free to walk around on your own.
19. Arabian Nights Village
If you want to feel the old Arabia, Arabian Nights Village is a great place to be. It lets visitors experience the timeless beauty of the desert and the traditions of the Emirati. The village emerges from a massive dune valley, which is majestic to look at. Guests can spend their time in a courtyard overlooked by two watchtowers.
20. Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace is a luxury hotel showcasing deep and vast Arabian heritage. The hospitality of the hotel staff is excellent. The hotel has a total of 394 residences. 302 of these residences are rooms, and the other 92 are suites. In 2008, pop star Christina Aguilera performed in the hotel as part of her “Back To Basics” Tour.
21. Hili Fun City
Hili Fun City is located in Al Ain, and it is a destination for the whole family. This entertainment facility opened in 1985, and since then, families who want to have a great time come to this theme park. Also, it is the gulf’s first ever theme park.
22. Qasr Al Sarab
Resort in a desert? Why not? Qasr Al Sarab offers a haven for those who love the beach. Experience unmatched luxury and comfort in the middle of the mystic desert of Empty Quarter. Qasr Al Sarab provides luxurious experience for people who love adventures. You can ride the camel over dunes or soak yourself in the free-form swimming pool.
23. Yas Waterworld
Yas Waterworld is located in Yas Island. It is a waterpark consisting of 45 rides, attractions and slides. Five of the rides at Yas Waterworld are the firsts in the world. Among them are “Dawwama” (a hydro magnetic-powered six-person waterslide) and the “Bubble’s Barrel” (a FlowBarrel 10 Double Sheet Wave Ride).