Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate and also the capital of the UAE. Even though Dubai usually gets most of the attention and almost all tourists visit Dubai, there are still so many things to explore in Abu Dhabi.
The place is filled with action, nature, history and culture. You’ll be surprised by all the amazing things Abu Dhabi offers.
I gathered my top 15 list over things to experience in Abu Dhabi:
1. Emirates Palace
You say the first hand impression is usually the most important one. This is Abu Dhabi’s way of showcasing Arabian culture and architecture. Their private beach is 1.3 km long and they serve cappuccino with real gold.
2. Sheikh Zayed Mosque
As if the Emirates Palace wasn’t enough to show how wealthy Abu Dhabi is, they also have a huge mosque built with inspiration from Taj Mahal. It took 11 years to complete the mosque and it is the eighth largest in the world.
3. Ferrari World
Right next to Yas Island you’ll find Ferrari World with the world’s fastest rollercoaster ‘Formula Rossa’. They also have a F1 simulator and is a must visit for people who love F1 and fast rollercoasters.
4. Yas Island
On Yas Island you’ll find the F1 tracks, the amazing Viceroy Hotel from where you have a cool view over the tracks from their rooftop terrasse and Yas Waterwold.
5. Heritage Village
UAE is still a new county and the locals haven’t always lived as wealthy a life as they do today. In the Heritage Village you’ll experience the lifestyle they had just before they found oil. You can take a picture of a camel, have a picnic and visit some of their craft shops.
6. Marina Mall
Marina Mall has great stores for shopping. And they have a spinning tower with a restaurant inside. So while having lunch or coffee the tower spins around and gives you a 360 degree view over Abu Dhabi. Outside the mall there’s huge ferris wheel, where you can relax after all the shopping.
7. Masdar City
UAE is changing all the time. Masdar City is a small village in Abu Dhabi and relies only on solar energy and other renewable energy sources.
8. Emirates Zoo
It’s super cheap and you get to feed the camels, zebras and giraffes. And you get to interact with so many animals. They also have lions, tigers, elephants etc.
9. Kayaking through the mangroves
The mangroves in Abu Dhabi is the only place in UAE where you are allowed to go kayaking. While kayaking you can see birds and foxes.
10. Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre
The Wildlife Centre is one of the few places in Abu Dhabi where you’ll actually feel that the people care about the nature. The people working here will tell you the sad past of their rescued animals. Many animals at the centre come from private families who thought it would be great to have a pet lion or tiger.
11. Yas Waterworld
The weather is always good. It is the only Emirati-themed waterpark in the world, which is inspired by the UAE’s rich heritage of pearl diving.
12. Desert safari
Getting tired of the big city? On the desert safari you’ll be able to go camel riding, see a bellydance show, go dune driving and take lots of pictures of either the sunset or sunrise. Usually they serve coffee and local food as well.
13. Smoke shisha by the water
You can’t go to the UAE without smoking shish by the water. Lots of restaurants with outdoor servings also have shisha.
14. The Corniche
Located in the city of Abu Dhabi you’ll find the 8 km long Corniche, which has a beach, fountains, cycling paths and park areas as well.
15. Day Trip to Dubai
Dubai is just a one hour drive from Abu Dhabi, which makes it a must-visit. In Dubai you can see the tallest building of the world and go shopping the the world’s largest mall with 1,200 shops.
Any must-sees I forgot to put on my list? Let me know!