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Abu Dhabi attractions

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Top 5 things to do in Abu Dhabi

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Louvre Abu Dhabi
1. Louvre Abu Dhabi
Saadiyat Island's latest addition is a true cultural powerhouse! A unique collaboration between the Parisian Louvre and the UAE government, the groundbreaking Louvre Abu Dhabi contains hundreds of priceless works by some of history's greatest artists.
Qasr Al Watan Palace
2. Qasr Al Watan Palace
Qasr Al Watan Palace is part of the Presidential Palace complex in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Completed in 2017, this culturally significant landmark is open to the public and houses a beautiful Great Hall, various exhibitions of important Emirati artifacts, and a vast scholarly library.
Ferrari World
3. Ferrari World
The world’s largest indoor theme park awaits and it’s devoted to the world’s most prestigious brand. You’ll speed through the park as you race to the thrilling rides. The jewel in the crown is Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster. It accelerates to a speed of 240 km per hour on the straightaways. And then there's the twists and turns... white-knuckle adrenaline-pounding excitement! Of course, you can also slow the pace down with a whole host of family-oriented attractions.
Yas Island
4. Yas Island
Yas Island is a multi-purpose leisure, shopping, and entertainment center located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is home to Warner Bros., World Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Yas Waterpark, and the Yas Marina Circuit, which has hosted the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2009.
Qasr Al Hosn
5. Qasr Al Hosn
Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi. Now a cultural history museum dedicated to preserving Emirati culture, it used to serve as the seat of government. The fort's stone defense tower was the first permanent structure in the now-capital of the UAE.

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All things to do in Abu Dhabi

The Yas Marina Circuit is one of the world’s most advanced Formula 1 circuits and the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It took a staggering 35-million hours to build! Situated just 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi, it offers visitors the chance to step behind the scenes of the world of racing. The circuit has five grandstand areas – Main Grandstand, West Grandstand, North Grandstand, South Grandstand, and Marina Grandstand.
4.5 / 5 (51)
From $32.67
up to —5%
Meet white tigers, lions, and Siberian bears at the Emirates Park Zoo, home to more than 1,500 animals and 225 different species. Visit the huge variety of animals at different areas of the zoo, like: Snake Alley, Giraffe Park, Primate Parade, Petting Zoo, Camel Farm, Mammal Cave, and many more. Make it an unforgettable experience with a close animal encounter.
4.9 / 5 (14)
From $10.35
Yas Waterworld is home to 43 rides, five of them world firsts. It’s 37 acres of wet, watery fun and the best way to cool off in the sun. Adrenaline junkies are served by the likes of Bubble’s Barrel, a high-intensity, looping waterside, and they'll also find the world’s largest surfable wave sheet (gnarly, bro!). Chill-seekers are also catered to, with plenty of soothing smooth rides like the lazily winding Al Rava River. So whatever level of intensity you want your water activities, you'll find it here at Yas Waterworld.
4.8 / 5 (56)
From $73.51
Welcome to Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi, the world’s first-ever Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park! As you set foot through the iconic Warner Bros. shield, prepare to be transported to the lands of your favorite characters for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. The excitement begins at the Warner Bros. Plaza, your portal to uniquely themed lands including Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch, Cartoon Junction, Gotham City, and Metropolis. Hungry for action and adventure or a dash of whimsical fun? Experience 29 exhilarating rides, interactive family-friendly attractions, and unique live entertainment for memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss the chance to walk alongside some of the world’s most iconic characters, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, and watch your childhood memories come to life as you meet Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry, and your favorite modern stone-age family, The Flintstones.
4.8 / 5 (55)
From $84.40
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi's most incredible religious building. It is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. It is also the largest mosque in the country, and the central place of worship for daily prayers, Friday gathering and Eid prayers.
4.7 / 5 (20)
From $20.00
The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi
The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi is one of the largest aquariums in the Middle East, taking visitors on a spectacular journey through 10 cleverly themed zones, and immersing you beneath a frozen ocean, a flooded forest, hidden treasures in an Atlantic Cave, and lots more. The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi is home to 46,000 animals from the tropical waters of the Pacific and freshwaters of the Amazon, through to the frozen ice caps of the Arctic and the caves of the Mediterranean The aquarium houses more than 200 sharks and rays, representing 25 different species. All of the animals are obtained according to stringent guidelines and are cared for by a team of 80 sea life experts. A whole department is dedicated to education with a capacity to welcome 50,000 school children a year. The aquarium is easily accessible from Abu Dhabi island and adjacent to the neighboring five-star hotels, in a prime location for both residents and tourists.
4.6 / 5 (5)
From $28.59
KidZania Abu Dhabi
Let the kids loose in a 55,000 square foot scaled replica of a real city, where learning and fun are rolled into one! KidZania Abu Dhabi tickets get you into a huge world of adventure, where learning and entertainment combine perfectly. KidZania is home to lots of immersive fun and more than 40 role-playing activities for children aged 4-16. It's a great place for developing life skills that simply cannot be taught in the classroom.
From $50.37

More ways to experience Abu Dhabi

Planning your Abu Dhabi visit

Language

Arabic and English

Currency

Dirham (د.إ)

Dialing code

+971

Time zone

Gulf Standard Time (GST)

Getting around

Abu Dhabi is an oven in the summer months, which is why most of the locals leave the city to tourists. Forget walking outside in July and August – save that for the (somewhat) cooler months from November to April/May. Metered taxis are abundant and will take you anywhere for a fair price. Bus n. 5 links the Marina Mall to Al Maryah Island, and bus 54 will take you from Al Zahiya to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The free Yas Express is a handy shuttle bus that links all major sightseeing spots roughly once an hour on three different routes.

Rules to live by

Abu Dhabi is a lot more conservative than neighboring Dubai, so you’d do best to remember to cover your shoulders, arms and legs whenever possible. Walking around in a bikini top or even shorts in certain places is a definite no-no. Happy couples should remember to save the smooching for behind closed doors, and during Ramadan eating and drinking in public view is strictly forbidden. Having even the smallest trace of an illicit drug in your bloodstream or urine is considered possession in these parts, so leave the codeine and Nurofen behind, and whatever you do, don’t get drunk in public.

Nightlife

Most of Abu Dhabi’s nightlife takes place in the luxurious interiors of fancy hotels, so prepare to dress up. Pack your best clothes, and ladies: bring the high heels. Hotels often host elaborate brunches that last from midday to evening, and ‘ladies nights’ mean women often get to drink for free in a ploy to entice more men. For 1920s speakeasy fun head to Butcher & Still at the Four Seasons Hotel. Underground wine bar La Cava at the Rosewood Hotel is an atmospheric treat. Or join the local for some Friday hedonism with a pool party at Al Maya Island. The choice is yours.

What to do in Abu Dhabi for 3 days

Desert Evening Safari + BBQ Dinner

Ready to get sand in all your cracks? This action-packed Arabian excursion will do it. Ride the dunes in a 4x4 and see what it really means to go ‘off-road’ in the desert. After your adrenaline-pumping 'dune bashing' thrill ride you’ll get up close and personal with falcons, eagles and more at a stunning falconry display. You’ll be hungry after all that action. Sit back and relax with a traditional Arabic BBQ and some belly dancing as the sun sets over the desert. There’s no better evening in Abu Dhabi.

Catch a Camel Race

For the full Lawrence of Arabia experience, you can catch local camel races just outside the city limits. In lieu of Peter O’Toole, these hump-backed athletes are ridden by robotic jockeys, which the owners control from speeding SUVs. If you thought camels were slow, sedate animals, the sight of dozens of them galloping about a dusty racetrack is certainly a spectacle! Just be careful with your camera – photographing strangers is technically illegal, but many will be happy to pose with their prized racers.

Desert Morning Safari

Set the alarm clock for ‘early’ because the best time to experience the desert is the morning, before the temperatures climb to boiling point. This desert morning safari takes you out to experience some dune-bashing at sunrise, with little to no other tourists to spoil your view! Hurtle, race and bump in a 4x4 with an experienced guide and then see some cute baby camels at a real Bedouin camel camp. Opt for the optional camel trek for bonus bragging rights.

Get Your Souk On

The UAE are notoriously expensive, especially for travelers who’ll be eating out a lot and snapping up souvenirs for friends back home. One way to claw back some value is to hit up the local ‘souks’ – the sprawling markets where you can find everything from hand-crafted local jewelery to super-cheap street food. Never settle for the asking price, as haggling is considered an integral part of culture, and vendors will instinctively overcharge tourists.

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