Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates (UAE) is located on an island in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, has a perfect balance of cultural heritage and modern infrastructure. This city has many world records – World’s largest hand-loomed carpet, the highest High Tea, the tower with the greatest lean, the fastest roller coaster, the largest cluster of the cultural building of the 21st century. MARHABA (Welcome) to this beautiful city and know more about Best Things to Do in Abu Dhabi City Tour.
Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour | Abu Dhabi Itinerary
Day 1 – 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 – city’s pristine and clean beach-front has gained Blue Flag status. This waterfront has well-maintained manicured gardens, beach-umbrellas, restaurants, children’s play area, a cycling track with a stunning skyline view.
ETIHAD TOWERS & EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL – Etihad Towers an iconic building which is prominently adorned Abu Dhabi skyline has Observation Deck on the 74th floor to get the glimpse of Abu Dhabi city.
Emirates Palace which is a 7-star hotel is known for its regal opulence. It welcomes you with 24-Karat gold painted interiors, lavish chandeliers, ballrooms. The tea and coffee are 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. The even Gold vending machine is present inside, where you to feed the machine with cash or card and you will get Gold biscuit/bars. A special Christmas lighting ceremony takes place during December and you can see the world’s most bejeweled Christmas tree here.
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, which are then adorned with precious stones like agate, Amethyst, Jasper, Pearls and many other. When you enter prayer hall then you would be impressed by the world’s largest loomed carpet and a 24 Karat Gold galvanized chandelier with Swarovski crystals.
Visitors are not allowed to enter the mosque during prayers timings. A strict dress code to be followed inside the premises by wear long ankle length loose-fitted trousers or skirts with full sleeve shirts and head scarf(for women). You can even borrow traditional attire for free on Security gates. During and after sunset this mosque looks splendid and it is recommended to visit during that hours.
Day 1 ends here and in 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.
Day 2 – Best Things to do in Abu Dhabi city tour – starts with Adventure and ends with Art Tour. There are three theme parks in this city – 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 which covers 1.65 million sq.ft. and is divided into 5 lands.
FERRARI WORLD – Take a ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster which is a Ferrari-themed adventure indoor park. There are nearly 20 adventurous rides which are a huge dose of adrenaline. If you love speedy 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 tickets deals on Entertainer & Groupon like sometimes it Buys 1 and Get 1 free. This park is located at Yas Island adjoining Yas Mall. You can spend your whole day at this place and then proceed to Louvre museum.
LOUVRE ABU DHABI – Located on Saadiyat Island, it is 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 interlacing of palm leaves roof, creates a Rain of Light effect in 23 galleries.
DAY 3 – Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi City Tour | GUIDE TO ABU DHABI
Check beautiful skylines at 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 starts at about one hour from 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 desert sunset view, camel farms, and adventure in deserts. Annually here, 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 then while going to this Liwa Desert area, you can plan a small stopover at National Car Museum. This museum has a wonderful collection of huge, mini, truck-style, vintage cars.
Architecture lovers should appreciate unique buildings of this city like Aldar Headquarters. Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Al Bahar Towers ( special latticed window panes which reduce interior heat gain by 50%), Gate Towers and Cleveland Clinic. Also, you can take a tour os MASDAR CITY, which is a 100% eco-friendly city dependent on solar energy and other renewable sources. Masdar city is the world’s most sustainable eco-city.
GUIDE TO ABU DHABI | ABU DHABI FACTS
HOW TO REACH ABU DHABI – This city has the finest airports in the world with Etihad’s home ground and other major flights also connect this city. If you visiting for Abu Dhabi for short layover then read these things to do in Abu Dhabi within 24 hours.
If you are staying in Dubai then you can catch a public Bus or Taxi to reach here. Intercity Bus from Dubai runs at every 20 minutes and is very comfortable, have luggage facility, 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 to Abu Dhabi’s Al Wahdah Mall Bus station. One way fare for an adult is 25 AED approximately. Check more about Intercity buses on the official RTA site.
BEST TIME TO VISIT – October to April. December to February is peak tourist seasons with many open ripe-markets, Christmas markets, Art & Craft markets. These markets are usually held on weekends at beach fronts, water-fronts, and gardens. One of the most famous is Ripe Market at Umm Al Emarat Park.
CURRENCY & LANGUAGE – Dirhams. Arabic is the main language, but all people can speak and understand English. Other common languages which many people understand are Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, 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.
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 are as follows-
- Eid- Ul –Fitr is a major festival and this 3-day festival is celebrated with many events all around the city.
- UAE National Day – National Day Celebrations takes 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.
SHOPPING AREAS – WTC Souk for spices, Arabic style Kaftans, Attars, Saffron and many ethnic home décor. MINA PORT for fresh farm produces 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, souvenier, and leather goods. Hamdan Street is very vibrant and is located in the heart of the city.
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.
FOOD – Try Arabic food all over the city, Shisha cafes, and all cuisines from all over the world at various locations of 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 richest cities on earth has wonderful wonders of white-domed mosques, romantic deserts, 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 lived here for more than 4 years and have been always 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.
SHUKRAN (Thank You in Arabic)
So, until then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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