If you are the one visiting Abu Dhabi anytime soon, then this post may be helpful to you. Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second largest city of United Arab Emirates in terms of population. The capital is also known to be the bustling center of Business and government activities.
Let’s talk about the most popular places in Abu Dhabi :
- SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the Abu Dhabi’s landmark building. It was initiated by the late president of UAE Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He wanted to establish a structure depicting cultural diversity and modern values of architecture and art. Beside the Mosque is a ground that inhabits the Final resting place of the late president.
The major element in the Mosque is the carpet in the main prayer hall which is considered to be world’s largest carpet designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. The mosque has seven Chandeliers imported from a Germany based company. These chandeliers are bedecked with Swarovski crystals and are the second largest chandelier inside a mosque and third largest in the world. The 96 columns in the prayer hall are the place where you will see mesmerizing craftsmanship, these columns are inlaid with mother of pearl. It can hold about 40,000 worshippers. The mosque is open to all and there are also guided tours available.
- HERITAGE VILLAGE
This village gives an insight into the Pre-oil era of UAE. The village includes the element of traditional life in Gulf, a mosque to remind the importance of Islam in the life of Arabs and Souks. It is located at Abu Dhabi theatre road which is adjacent to the beach. After a visit one may spend time on the beach.
- OBSERVATION DECK
An observation deck at 300 on the 74th floor of Tower 2 at Etihad Towers complex, Jumeirah, is the answer to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.
As the name suggests it is located 300 meters above the ground. The deck offers the 360-degree view of the city’s skyline, Arabian Gulf, and corniche.
Entry fee for visitors: 75AED but the price can be redeemed by the visitors for food and drink from the observation deck’s restaurant. Guests staying at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel are entitled to free entry.
- LIWA OASIS
Liwa Oasis is the southernmost settlements of Abu Dhabi and is about 100 Km south of the Persian Gulf. The Oasis consists of about 50 small villages. One must get out into the desert, Moreeb Dune which is a 100-meter high dune. It gives great opportunity to step out of cars and take pictures of beautiful landscape or have a picnic there. In addition, there are few local Restaurants in Mezaira’ where you get good food. The most famous tourist restaurant there is Liwa hotel.
Do try Dune Buggies, sand surfing, and camel trekking.
- WOMEN’S HANDICRAFT CENTRE
Women’s handicraft center demonstrates the traditional skills of embroidery, basket making, silver thread needlework, and weaving. It is the best place to buy Souvenirs which are mostly handmade. You may also buy Shawls, bags, slippers, Henna bar, carpets, trays, and baskets. It is the government-run center located just behind the Building of General Women’s union.
Visitors are recommended to remove shoes before entering the center.
- BOAT TOURS
To have the best view of Abu Dhabi, Boat tours are recommended. There is an option from luxury charters to catamarans and dhow cruise to speedboats to choose from. One may take overnight boat voyages to see city’s famous Corniche. Other options can be to explore pristine beaches.
For a remarkable view of Landscapes opt for a Luxury sailing catamaran or Sunset cruise which departs from InterContinental Marina. And to experience Stunning skyline opt for Yellow boats.
Different Boat operator runs different tours for all types of budgets but most famous of all is the Sunset cruise that lets you see the beautiful view of the sun setting over the city.
- QASR AL-HOSN PALACE
Al Hosn Palace which is also known as the White fort is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. It was constructed in the year 1761as a conical watchtower and later converted into a small fort in the year 1793 as the residence of ruling family.
The palace is now used by the Cultural foundation as the centre for documentation and research, which holds the documents on the history of UAE. There is the Museum in the Palace’s premises which showcases historical pictures and traditional artifacts.
The Palace host Qasr Al-Hosn festival every year which lasts for 11 days. Festival features live music and dance performances. It is open to the public during the festival.
- THE ABU DHABI FALCON HOSPITAL
This falcon Hospital is the working veterinary Hospital for falcons. Falcons have been an integral part of traditional Gulf Culture and special care is taken for these magnificent birds to full health. The Abu Dhabi falcon hospital tour usually includes a visit to Falcon museum, free flight aviary and visit to examination room if you are a brave heart and up for a challenge, you may also get a chance to perch these birds over your arms and get clicked with them.
- YAS ISLAND
Yas Island is the man-made island and home to UAE’s top entertaining destinations and events. It is 30 Minutes away from Abu Dhabi and features Yas marina circuit, Ferrari world, Yas water world, Yas beach and Yas mall.
Yas marina circuit is the place where Abu Dhabi’s Formula One racing takes place every year. At the centre of the circuit is Yas viceroy Abu Dhabi, an iconic five star hotel, built half on land and half wate.
Ferrari world is world’s first Ferrari Theme park which tells the Ferrari story with all passion through educational rides and attractions.
Yas waterworld comes with the theme of “The Lost Pearl”. It features Souks, restaurants, 43 rides and slides and pearl diving exhibits.
Set on the southern shores is the Yas beach which is open from 10am to 7pm daily. Access to the beach has an admission fee of 50AED.
- EMIRATES PARK ZOO
Emirates park zoo is the perfect destination for the fun day out. The zoo has over 1700 animals, including white tigers, Siberian bears, cheetah, zebra, giraffes and other animals. The park features misting system to keep animals cool in the summers. There is also an Emirates Park Resort which has air conditioned accommodation with balconies overlooking the zoo. Admission fee to the zoo is 25AED.
- ABU DHABI CORNICHE
The Corniche road in Abu Dhabi is a seaside broadwalk that stretches 4 miles long and forms a sweeping curve on the West of Abu Dhabi Island. A stroll at this corniche is the best thing to do when in Abu Dhabi. The walkway provides with an amazing view of Arabian Gulf, Corniche Hotels, Heritage village, Marina mall and beaches. Several beaches feature cafes, ice cream shops and volleyball courts. These beaches often host events such as music concerts and water sports competition. Best way to roam here is through bicycles. The corniche attracts over 30,000 to 50,000 visitors every month.