Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

Nov 2, 2023 | 0 comments

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, is a mesmerizing blend of rich history, striking modern architecture, and vibrant culture. Boasting a range of attractions and experiences, this thriving metropolis offers something for every traveler. From iconic landmarks to immersive cultural sites, let’s explore some of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi.

Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque:

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a famous and popular attraction. It’s a significant part of any Dubai vacation. The mosque is a stunning combination of different architectural styles, creating a modern and beautiful structure that showcases Islamic design. It took almost 20 years to build and was opened in 2007. 

The intricate details, including glasswork, mosaics, and carvings on the walls and floors, add to its charm. It’s the largest mosque in the UAE and can accommodate up to 20,000 people. Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must when exploring Abu Dhabi.

2. Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art museum located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It operates under an agreement between the UAE and France, signed in March 2007. This agreement allows the museum to use the Louvre’s name until 2037. 

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is considered “France’s largest cultural project abroad” by the Louvre itself. The museum is quite large, covering an area of about 24,000 square meters, with 8,000 square meters dedicated to galleries. This makes it the biggest art museum in the Arabian peninsula. The museum showcases artworks from around the world, aiming to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western art. Since its opening, it has already welcomed 2 million visitors, making it the most visited museum in the Arab world by 2019.

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3. Corniche Beach

Corniche Beach

If you’re looking to enjoy Abu Dhabi’s sunny weather, head over to the beautiful Corniche Beach. This beach is famous for its clear turquoise water, soft white sand, and stunning views of the Persian Gulf. It also features a well-maintained seaside boardwalk with lovely walkways, manicured gardens, and benches where you can relax and take in the picturesque scenery.

The beach is 2 kilometers long and divided into three sections. Al Sahil (Gate 4) is perfect for singles and larger groups, while Gate 2 and Gate 3 are ideal for families, with Gate 2 having a quiet zone. These family sections are separated by a fence. Facilities like showers, changing rooms, and cabanas are available, and you can rent sun loungers and umbrellas for a fee. A lifeguard is on duty until sunset to ensure safety.

If you’re in the mood for some activity, there’s a nearby children’s play area, as well as cycling and walking paths. You can also enjoy free sports facilities, including volleyball courts, football pitches, and playing fields. For water enthusiasts, there’s the option to go snorkeling and explore the local marine life. And when hunger strikes, you’ll find several cafes and restaurants nearby to satisfy your cravings.

The beach offers stunning views, including Lulu Island and one of the world’s tallest flagpoles near Marina Mall. You can even rent a boat or jet ski to get out on the water and enjoy the majestic views of the Abu Dhabi skyline.

Corniche Beach is a well-maintained public beach with a Blue Flag designation, located in the heart of the UAE capital. The entrance fee is AED 10 for adults, AED 5 for children, and free for kids under five. If you want to use a sun lounger, it costs AED 25.

Don’t forget to capture the iconic views from Corniche Beach, especially during sunset. The northwesterly position of the beach provides the perfect backdrop for stunning photos to share on social media.

4. Qasr Al Watan

Qasr Al Watan

Qasr Al Watan is a working Presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, and it’s a remarkable cultural landmark that invites you to explore the UAE’s rich heritage. It’s not just an ordinary palace, but a place that promotes cultural understanding and showcases the nation’s incredible history. The palace’s design pays tribute to Arabian heritage and artistry, and you’ll be in awe of its grandeur when you step inside. The open halls and structure reflect its importance in Emirati culture.

One of the must-see attractions at the palace is the Palace In Motion event, which is perfect for families. It features a stunning light and sound show that tells the story of the UAE’s journey in three captivating acts. The show takes place in front of the main palace every 30 minutes after sunset. Please note that the timings may change.

Qasr Al Watan is dedicated to promoting knowledge and learning. Here, you can learn about the formation of the UAE, its governing traditions, and its core values. The palace showcases Arab contributions to various fields of knowledge. You’ll also have access to halls that are typically reserved for official summits. Inside, you’ll find the Qasr Al Watan Library and the House of Knowledge, where you can explore a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and resources about the UAE’s history and culture.

A highlight of your visit will be the Spirit of Collaboration area, where entities like the Federal Supreme Council, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council come together. You can learn about diplomacy and protocol while admiring the iconic chandelier and circular layout, which symbolize the UAE’s commitment to enlightenment and equality.

The Presidential Banquet showcases how the UAE hosts dignitaries from around the world. You can learn about customs, protocols, and cuisine served in this grand banqueting hall. You’ll also get insights into the unique collections of silver, crystal, and chinaware.

To visit Qasr Al Watan, you need to go to the Visitor Centre, where you can enter the palace. There is free parking available, and valet parking is also an option for a fee. The parking is open from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm, seven days a week.

Tickets for Qasr Al Watan can be purchased online through the official ticket portal. The prices are AED 65 for adults and AED 30 for children. If you want to attend the Palace in Motion light show, tickets are available for AED 25 for adults and AED 12 for children.

5. Yas Island

Yas Island

A hub of entertainment, Yas Island is a thrilling destination offering a wide range of attractions. From the adrenaline-pumping Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, with its world’s fastest roller coaster, to the aquatic adventures of Yas Waterworld, there is no shortage of excitement. Additionally, motorsport enthusiasts can visit the Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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6. Saadiyat Island

Saadiyat Island

Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is going to become a major cultural hub in the future. Right now, it’s already home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened on November 8, 2017. The Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi are also planned to be built here, making the island the artistic and cultural center of the UAE. 

Even now, tourists and people who love culture can visit this beautiful island to enjoy the breathtaking sunset views. There are places like Manarat Al Saadiyat and UAE Pavilion that often display works by famous photographers, artists, and painters. Additionally, the island has a cultural center and three art galleries that are open all year round.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Abu Dhabi has come a long way from being a small fishing village to becoming a thriving metropolis. The discovery of oil in the region brought about a significant transformation, turning Abu Dhabi into a modern and bustling city. With its stunning waterside location and well-organized infrastructure, Abu Dhabi has become a top tourist destination, rivaling even the attractions of Dubai.

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