Abu Dhabi: the United Arab Emirates’ Capital – the Top 10 Places of Interest
Dubai is a very popular travel destination, but have you ever thought of its neighbor Abu Dhabi? Abu Dhabi is the United Arab Emirates’ capital and rich in culture and tradition. This city holds many amazing and impressive attractions. You’ll marvel at its beauty! In this article, we’ve put together everything you need to know about Abu Dhabi and what you need to keep in mind during your trip. In addition to that, we’ll reveal our top 10 places of interest in the capital. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Abu Dhabi in a Nutshell
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which are located on the eastern coast of Southwest Asia. The city lies on a 70 km2 wide island in the Persian Gulf. But don’t worry, you don’t have to take a boat every time you want to get to the mainland. Several bridges and connect Abu Dhabi to the mainland, and they are easy to navigate. In total, more than 1.5 million people live there.
Since Abu Dhabi is located right in the desert, be ready for some very hot days, especially during summer. Rainy days are a rarity. The hottest months are from May to September – in August, the hottest month, the average temperature is 37 °C. During winter, the temperatures reach about 26 °C, and the coldest month is January with an average temperature of about 19 °C. So, we recommend you travel there in winter. That way, you’ll experience nice weather and summer temperatures, but the heat won’t crush you.
Due to Abu Dhabi’s fast-paced lifestyle and constant modernization, it is often difficult to find traditional dishes in Abu Dhabi. All restaurants offer a very wide range of international food options. Still, try to ask for kebbe naie, a traditional dish made of beef or lamb meatballs. It comes with onions, couscous, and Arabic spices. Finally, the dish is stored in a cool place and also served cold.
Abu Dhabi is a very large city. You’ll easily get around there using the public transportation network. The buses have regular schedules and taxis are also very reliable. If you want to cross a canal, we recommend you take an abra, a traditional small wooden boat. To get around the various streets and explore the city, you can rent an e-scooter.
There is super much to experience in Abu Dhabi! All year long, the city offers a wide range of great events. The probably most spectacular is the Yasalam Festival. Four days of entertainment, fun and crazy shows await you there. It takes place in October or November, after the world-famous Grand Prix Formula 1 race.
Before revealing our top 10 places of interest, we’d like to remind you to behave respectfully and abide by the rules that apply in Abu Dhabi. Be polite and don’t dress provocatively or wear tight clothing. You best check out all the regulations beforehand, so as not to cause any misunderstandings.
The Top 10 Places of Interest in Abu Dhabi
Now let’s start with our list of top 10 places of interest. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques. No wonder, with its 56 hectares wide area! The four towers are 107 meters high. Incredible, right? But the decorations are just as stunning. The interior of the mosque holds seven chandeliers in total, made of gold-plated brass and stainless steel and enriched with countless Swarovski crystals. Moreover, the mosque is endowed with the most delicate marble.
This sumptuous building’s value lies at more than 350 million euros! If you choose to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, be sure to stick to the correct dress code. This means that you have to take off your shoes before entering, cover up, and wear a headscarf, which you can get at the entrance for free.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
As the name suggests, there is a close connection with the famous Louvre in Paris. The Louvre in Abu Dhabi is also an amazing art museum with various collections, from ancient times to the 21st century. Many famous artworks come from the Paris Louvre and are now on display in Abu Dhabi. Not only the art exhibitions are impressive, but the building itself is also stunning. Its flat dome measures 180 meters in diameter and is composed of more than 8,000 small metal stars!
Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
This attraction is perfect for all keen swimmers and thrill-seekers! The Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is a popular water park with more than 45 different attractions. Not only are there lots of exciting rides, but many shows and events also take place there. In total, the Yas Waterworld stretches out over 15 hectares. You’ll surely have a great time here!
It’s one of Abu Dhabi’s most beautiful streets, Corniche Road. Walk along this eight-kilometers long road surrounded by restaurants, lovely cafés and the popular Corniche Beach. Moreover, this promenade allows you to get a view of noteworthy monuments and skyscrapers.
Qasr Al Hosn
Do you want to learn more about Abu Dhabi’s history? Then be sure to add Qasr Al Hosn to your sightseeing list. It is a former fortification that was built in 1761 and extended until 1940. Until 1966, it also was the seat of Abu Dhabi’s government. After various renovations, it reopened as a museum in 2018. We really recommend you visit this place as well, as you can admire great artifacts from 6,000 BC.
Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
This amusement park will fill you with excitement. Get ready for a day of fun and adventure, accompanied by all the Warner Brother characters you can think of! Enjoy the great restaurants and cafés or amazing live music in the 150,000 m2 area. Moreover, there are nearly 30 different rides for all ages. Everybody will get their money’s worth!
Qasr Al Watan
The Qasr Al Watan is Abu Dhabi’s sumptuous presidential palace. It was opened to the public only in 2019. Before then, it was used exclusively for official purposes, like the reception of foreign heads of state. Nowadays, these events still take place there. This palace will leave you speechless. It counts as the most magnificent palace in Abu Dhabi, which is saying something!
The dome alone measures 37 meters in diameter. The interior features a chandelier studded with 350,000 crystals. Moreover, the presidential palace consists of the eastern and the western wings. In the eastern wing, there is a library that houses about 50,000 books on Abu Dhabi’s history and tradition. In the western wing, international and political meetings are held.
Observation Deck at 300
If you’re up for looking at Abu Dhabi from above, the Observation Deck at 300 is the right place for you. This viewing floor lies on the 74th floor of the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. With its 300 meters height, it’s the city’s highest observation deck and nothing for the faint-hearted. Just get comfortable, order a drink, and enjoy the amazing view of the skyline.
Sheikh Zayed Bridge
As we’ve mentioned above, Abu Dhabi is connected to the mainland through several bridges. One of these is the Sheikh Zayed Bridge. It is 842 meters long and very impressive due to the interesting architecture, consisting of S-shaped arches supporting the bridge. We recommend finding a nice spot in the evening from where to admire the bridge by night. It is lit by many colorful lights, a real eye-catcher!
You want to relax on the beach in Abu Dhabi? Then go to Saadiyat Beach There, you can enjoy the miles-long sandy beach and stunning turquoise sea. It counts as one of Arabia’s most beautiful beaches! Moreover, you can participate in many great sports activities, such as yoga classes and sustainable water sports like windsurfing or sailing. Just be careful and get informed beforehand about where exactly you are allowed to stay. A big part of the beach belongs to the nature reserve and is therefore not accessible. The nature reserve’s purpose is to protect the critically endangered hawksbill turtles.
Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most modern and magnificent cities. If you’re looking for amazing monuments and palaces, you’re at the right place! Be it the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque or the stunning presidential palace Qasr Al Watan – the façades and decorations will leave you speechless.
If you want to learn more about Abu Dhabi’s history and culture, be sure to visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi or the Qasr Al Hosn. You’ll have plenty of action and fun at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi has a lot to offer. Were we able to convince you? Then what are you waiting for? We wish you a lot of fun on your next trip to Abu Dhabi!