Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour – Abu Dhabi Itinerary + Hotel Stays

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Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is located on an island in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf and has a perfect balance of cultural heritage and modern infrastructure.  This city has many world records – the World’s largest hand-loomed carpet, the highest High Tea, the tower with the greatest lean, the fastest roller coaster, and the largest cluster of the cultural building of the 21st century.  MARHABA (Welcome) to this beautiful city and learn more about Best Things to Do on Abu Dhabi City Tour or places to visit in Abu Dhabi with the best Abu Dhabi Itinerary. 

Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour
Abu Dhabi Skyline

 

Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour  |  Abu Dhabi Itinerary

Day 1 – Abu Dhabi Itinerary

Start your day with a cup of strong Arabic coffee known as Qahwah and then go for an Abu Dhabi skyline tour along Corniche – main city tour.

CORNICHE 

A stretch of stunning 8 km. curve – the city’s pristine and clean beach-front has gained Blue Flag status. This waterfront has well-maintained manicured gardens, beach umbrellas, restaurants, a children’s play area, a cycling track with a stunning skyline view.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK LUXURIOUS STAYCATIONS OR HOTELS IN ABU DHABI

ETIHAD TOWERS – EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL – QASR AL WATAN PALACE 

Etihad Towers, an iconic building prominently adorning Abu Dhabi skyline, has an Observation Deck on the 74th floor to get a glimpse of Abu Dhabi.  Click here to book tickets to Observation Deck at Etihad towers with a view of stunning Abu Dhabi and Arabian Gulf. 

Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour  |  Abu Dhabi Itinerary
Etihad Towers

Emirates Palace, a 7-star hotel, is known for its regal opulence. It welcomes you with 24-Karat gold-painted interiors, lavish chandeliers, and ballrooms.  The tea and coffee served here are garnished with edible 24 Karat Gold flakes.  High Tea is recommended here.  This luxury Palace also has a beach, landscaped gardens, and lovely fountains. 

Even a Gold vending machine is present inside, where you to feed the machine with cash or a card, and you will get Gold biscuits/bars.  A special Christmas lighting ceremony takes place during December, and you can see the world’s most bejeweled Christmas tree here. Click here to book the famous coffee at Emirates Palace in advance

Also have a tour of spendid and magnificent palace – Qasr Al Watan – which will enchant you with its magnificent architecture and cultural heritage of UAE. Click here to book the tickets for Qasr Al Watan Palace with gardens visit in advance

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Emirates Palace Hotel

SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE 

This masterpiece, magnificent architecture of Abu Dhabi, has 80 marble domes, 1000 pillars, and a perfect combination of modern Islamic design and architecture.  This mosque can accommodate up to 50,000 worshippers. About 90,000 tonnes of white Greek marble has been used with intricate floral patterns, adorned with precious stones like agate, Amethyst, Jasper, Pearls, and many others. When you enter the prayer hall, you will be impressed by the world’s largest loomed carpet and a 24 Karat Gold galvanized chandelier with Swarovski crystals. 

Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour  |  Abu Dhabi Itinerary
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Visitors are not allowed to enter the mosque during prayer times. A strict dress code is to be followed inside the premises by wearing long ankle-length loose-fitted trousers or skirts with full-sleeve shirts and a head scarf(for women). You can even borrow traditional attire for free at Security gates.  During and after sunset, this mosque looks splendid, and it is recommended to visit during that hours.

Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour  |  Abu Dhabi Itinerary
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Day 1 ends here, and in the evenings, you can take Dhow (traditional style Arabic boats) Cruise along Corniche or go to Yas Viceroy hotel at Yas Island for special light effects on its unique roof. 

Click here to book the Dubai to Abu Dhabi day trip with the best Abu Dhabi attractions.

Day 2  – Abu Dhabi Itinerary

Day 2 of the Best Things to do in Abu Dhabi city tour starts with Adventure and ends with Art Tour.  This city has three theme parks – Ferrari World, Yas Water World(water park), and Warner Brothers World.  You can buy a combo ticket for the Ferrari World and Yas Water World.  Warner Brothers World is a huge indoor theme park that covers 1.65 million sq. ft. and is divided into 5 lands.

FERRARI WORLD 

Take a ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster, a Ferrari-themed adventure indoor park. There are nearly 20 adventurous rides which are a massive dose of adrenaline.  If you love fast cars and various models of Ferrari, then go for this. As weekends (Friday & Saturday) are very crowded, plan your trip on weekdays (Sunday to Thursday). There are many good ticket deals on Entertainer & Groupon. Sometimes, it Buys 1 and Gets 1 free. 

This park is located at Yas Island, adjoining Yas Mall.  You can spend your whole day at this place and proceed to the Louvre museum. Or you can go for Warner Brothers –Click here to book Ferrari world tickets.

Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour  |  Abu Dhabi Itinerary

The entrance of Ferrari World Theme Park

LOUVRE ABU DHABI 

It is located on Saadiyat Island, an art and Civilization museum developed jointly by UAE & France. This museum presents a historical narrative of art from different eras and how art evolved from ancient times till today.  Its special 180m wide filigree dome, with geometric openings, represents the interlacing of palm leaves roof, creating a Rain of Light effect in 23 galleries.

DAY 3 – Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour – Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

Check out beautiful skylines on other islands of this city – Al Maryah Island and Al Reem Island.  Also, you can go for the world’s largest uninterrupted desert-sand dunes, which start about one hour from the city center.  Also, you can plan your stay in virgin deserts where nobody is around – only shaded sand dunes, camels, and stars. 

I opted to stay a night in the desert at Tilal Liwa – Desert resort and had a beautiful sunset view, camel farms, and adventure in the deserts.  Annually, Camel Festival and Dates festivals are held where there are many competitions like Most Beautiful Camel, Camel Races, and many more. 

If you love cars from the vintage era or some unique models, you can plan a small stopover at National Car Museum while going to this Liwa Desert area. This museum has a beautiful collection of massive, mini, truck-style, vintage cars.  

Architecture lovers should appreciate the unique buildings of this city, like Aldar Headquarters. Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Al Bahar Towers (unique latticed window panes which reduce interior heat gain by 50%), Gate Towers, and Cleveland Clinic.  Also, you can take a tour of MASDAR CITY, a 100% eco-friendly city dependent on solar energy and other renewable sources.  Masdar city is the world’s most sustainable eco-city. 

Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour  |  Abu Dhabi Itinerary
Aldar Headquarters
Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour  |  Abu Dhabi Itinerary
Al Bahr Towers

GUIDE TO ABU DHABI – Things To Do In Abu Dhabi In One Day

Best Things to Do in Abu Dhabi City Tour
Glittering Abu Dhabi at night

HOW TO REACH ABU DHABI 

This city has the finest airports in the world, with Etihad’s home ground and other major flights also connecting this city. If you visiting for Abu Dhabi for a short layover, then read these things to do in Abu Dhabi within 24 hours

If you are staying in Dubai, you can catch a public Bus or Taxi to reach here.  Intercity Bus from Dubai runs every 20 minutes and is very comfortable, has a luggage facility to store all your suitcases, air-conditioned and takes around 2 hours to reach Abu Dhabi.  You can take this Intercity bus from Ibn Battuta Metro station or Ghubaiba Bust station of Dubai and drop at Abu Dhabi’s Al Wahdah Mall Bus station.  One-way fare for an adult is approximately 25 AED.  Check more about Intercity buses on the official RTA site

BEST TIME TO VISIT 

October to April. December to February is the peak tourist season with many open ripe markets, Christmas markets, and arts & crafts markets. These markets are usually held on weekends at beach fronts, water-fronts, and gardens.  One of the most famous is the Ripe Market at Umm Al Emarat Park. 

Best things to do in Abu Dhabi City Tour | Guide to Abu Dhabi
Enjoy Desert Life in Abu Dhabi

CURRENCY & LANGUAGE 

  • Dirhams.
  • Arabic is the primary language, but everyone can speak and understand English. Other common languages that many people understand are Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, and French.

MODE OF TRANSPORT IN THE CITY

 Taxis are very safe, reliable and not very expensive. You can also catch a city bus. For self-driving, you have to bring International License and the driving is similar to US-style – Left Hand Drive.  Check time-table of Abu Dhabi Bus – routes. 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OF ABU DHABI

There are many International Annual Events and Festivals held here, and it is highly recommended to at least visit one of them. List of all these events and festivals is as follows-

  • Eid- Ul –Fitr is a significant festival, and this 3-day festival is celebrated with many events around the city.
  • UAE National Day – National Day Celebrations take place all over UAE. It comes on 2nd December and commemorates UAE Independence. There are special events arranged all over UAE.
  • Abu Dhabi Golf Championship
  • Camel Beauty Contest, Camel races at Liwa Desert (takes place in winter)
  • Red Bull Air Race World Series
  • The Emirates Photography Competiton andExhibition.
  • Formula 1 – F1 Race hosted by Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit
  • Liwa Date Festival – Festival of Dates harvest
  • Abu Dhabi Science Festival
  • Abu Dhabi Film Festival
  • Mother of the Nation Festival – 10 days long festival in March with many street performances.
  • Abu Dhabi Food Festival – International & Local chefs demonstrate their skills. Generally hosted in March.
  • Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
  • Bride Show Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi International Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition
  • International Jewelry & Watch show.
  • Qasr Al Hosn Festival
  • Al-Ain Aerobatic Show

BEST AREAS TO STAY 

Corniche or Yas Island. 



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SHOPPING IN ABU DHABI

  • WTC Souk for spices, Arabic style Kaftans, Attars, Saffron, and many ethnic home décor. 
  • MINA PORT for fresh farm products like fruits, vegetables, Plant saplings, etc.  MARINA, AL WADAH, AND YAS MALL for luxury brands,
  • HAMDAN STREET – for touristy knick-knacks, huge Gold showrooms, fabric, souvenirs, and leather goods. Hamdan Street is very vibrant and located in the city’s heart.

FAMOUS BEACHES 

Corniche, Saadiyat Beach, Yas beach, LULU Island, Al Maya Island, Al Bateen Beach, etc. Check Beach timings and days before going there as some beaches have specific Ladies Only days and time slots.

Best things to do in Abu Dhabi City Tour | Guide to Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Marina Front

FOOD

Try Arabic food all over the city, Shisha cafes, and all cuisines from all over the world at various locations in the city.   

This capital city of UAE depicts rich Emirati heritage, beautiful harbors, absorbing peace at stunning Cornice, modern skyline, and many more adventures.  Abu Dhabi is one of the wealthiest cities on earth and has extraordinary wonders of white-domed mosques, romantic deserts, and welcoming locals representing the true essence of beautiful Arabia.  Feel the speed at Formula 1 races – Yas Marina Circuit or traditional Camel races on burning-red sand dunes. 

A place with a perfect blend of old traditions and modern wonders.  I have lived here for more than 4 years and have been constantly impressed by its cultural heritage and modern infrastructure. Very safe city and a nice relaxing place.  Get in touch with me if you have more queries or guidance on this beautiful city of the United Arab Emirates. Also, read about what to wear in Abu Dhabi. 

Best Things to Do in Abu Dhabi City Tour
Feel the beauty of desert in Abu dhabi

RELATED READS

SHUKRAN (Thank You in Arabic)

So, until then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………

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118 Comments

  1. WOW now thats a jam packed list! I never knew there was so much to do here. Ferrari world looks awesome, I never knew this existed. I would love to visit when some of the festival are on, that sounds amazing.

  2. Thank you Yukti for giving such great trip case study for Abu Dhabi. I’ll sure visit in this place from this year ending. Also, I would love to travel the worlds. So, I’ll read your blog daily.

  3. I have friends in Dubai and I know that I need to visit Abu Dhabi someday! My kids will enjoy Ferrari World. My husband would love to visit the Louvre for sure, and I would love to go shopping! 🙂

  4. This is a very helpful guide to planning a trip to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi transforms during events and I think adding the list of all the main events is very thoughtful.

  5. You mentioned the seasons, and that markets are open in winter. But do these really worth visiting? i was thinking to go in spring.

    1. Yes, I love harvest or farmers market as they have some vibrant vibes. If you love such things in cool green gardens or nearby sea then it is really worth visiting.

  6. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is on my bucket list and I’d love to visit it when I come to UAE. I am extremely fond of roller coasters & so Ferrari World seems like a pit stop for me 😀 I’d definitely like to see those sand dunes. Thanks for sharing such amazing recommendations.

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